IntroductionVocational assessment is a process involving usingmultiple methods of information gathering to assist client in vocationaldecision-making (Rawlins-Alderman, Dock, Steele & Wofford, 2015). Informationregarding to area of preferences, interests, strengths and limitations, pastexperiences, and educational background will be collected (Sitlington &Clark, 2001; Rawlins-Alderman, Dock, Steele & Wofford, 2015). Theassessment explores more about client by providing information about self andworld of work, modelling constructive behaviours, and boost self-confidence bylearning more about one self (Fouad, 1993). Vocational assessment assesses allthe vocational relevant variables that may influence vocational decision. It isnot just a standardized test, it may assess individual’s decision-makingprocess, interests in work, informal interview of client’s cognitive, and alsowork-life balance (Fouad, 1993; McMahon & Watson, 2012).Standard version of vocational assessment tools ismainly developed for general population. There are also some vocationalassessments designed for people with disabilities to assist them in makingcareer choices (Levinson, 1994).
For clients with disabilities, modificationsand adaptations on vocational assessments procedures are done accordingly tomeet their needs. A case study will be used in this essay. Our client isMichael, a 40- year-old Vietnamese man with two children. He appeared to be afriendly, but shy with limited English. He had no paid employment for the pastseven years since he came to Australia. He has been looking after the childrenall those year while his wife went to work. However the children are nowteenagers and they do not stay at home much.
Michael does not seem to be motivated to work and helacks confidence, but he would do his best if he got a job. He has someexperience working in kitchen such as cooking and some general kitchen dutiesback in Vietnam. He does not have specific interests and he is not clear abouthis future goals. Critiquesof Vocational Assessment ToolsPsychometric assessment is one of the vocationalassessment methods available.
It usually includes standardized tests andinventories such as personality tests, reasoning tests, motivationquestionnaire, and ability tests to assess disability status (Rawlins-Aldermanet al., 2015; Sitlington & Clark, 2001). It is further removed from tasksfrom actual work, but it is still related in rehabilitation planning(Sitlington & Clark, 2001).
It is commonly used to obtain information ofclients such as basic cognitive skills, functional capacity like worker traits,and also abstract information like emotional functioning (Rawlins-Alderman etal., 2015; Flansburg, 2011). It is a very useful method but not without somelimitations.
Even though psychometric assessment is mostly standardized andvalid, one of the main criticisms is that is a poor predictor of employability(Rawlins-Alderman et al., 2015). It is due to the reason that the informationgathered is not close to actual work performance. It is also found that it maybe ineffective with clients with disabilities who have low literacy level asthe measures do not include people with disabilities in the sample population. To accommodate clients with disabilities, severalmodifications can be done such as 1) testing medium, 2) time limits, and 3)test contents (Nester, 1993; Sitlington & Clark, 2001). Change in testingmedium means to present the same information with different method or medium.
It may include braille, larger font size, or in audio. Changing time limitscould cause some issues but it is necessary especially with people with certaindisabilities. Change of test content does not happen that frequent and it may affectthe validity of the tests (Nester, 1993).