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Work in a disabled person’s life is very significant. It provides them above all a possibility to build a sense of objectivity, performing three basic functions : income, rehabilitative and socialising. The first function has a great meaning in fulfilling basic needs. Thanks to earnings a disabled person can meet their existential needs, buy food, clothes etc. Professional activity of a disabled person is also very crucial, as far as rehabilitative aspect is concerned. It helps with life skills, enables learning maximum self-reliance adequate to a kind of disability. The third function – socialising – is related to establishing interpersonal relations, fulfilling the need of affiliation to a specific group. This is a vital function, thanks to which a disabled person learns how to live with other people, how to cooperate with them.

The activation of disabled people consists above all of correct perception of disability and related with it limitations that a given individual copes with. The starting point here is a correct diagnosis of contraindications to perform specific occupations or professional actions. Important thing is to define interests, knowledge, skills, competence or abilities of a disabled person. When talking about activating people with disabilities, the essential aspect in this case is motivation to action, endeavour, facing the challenge of searching for a job. Such person should be aware of their predispositions, should know her goals, corresponding their possibilities.

Therefore career advisor’s role is extremely significant. They got a difficult task to do, that is, helping a disabled person to construct a realistic picture of their future, create their individual plan of activity. That will be essential to disabled persons entering labour market, who are often very good workers. Disabled persons’ attitude is shaped for many years, beginning from their earliest age – often relating to the character of their relations with significant persons, e.g. parents. Relations with parents have a special meaning for children and youths. Parents define they way of perceiving oneself, especially when contacts with the outer environment is limited. An adult acquires at home a sense of support and security, positive patterns which concern establishing and maintaining relations with other people as well as a sense of freedom, competences and identity. Then such person in their adult life will strive for taking advantage of their potential to a greater extent.

The most common limitations, which enable disabled persons employment, are both internal and external barriers. Employers’ aversion to employ disabled people, negative social attitude, organizational and legal obstacles, still architectural ones or difficulties to access education system (especially in small locality) are internal barriers. These ones are in the way of searching for a job by disabled. Nevertheless, the barriers hidden inside disabled persons should be mentioned as well. Such persons give up all hope for achieving a success on the labour market at the very beginning. The reason for that is lack of faith in their abilities, lack of motivation, support from family or government.

Referring to disabled persons, achieving professional qualifications is strictly related to struggling with many barriers. This also concerns imposing constraints and making demands. The strongest ability to defer remuneration, the greatest motivation of achievements, trust to one’s own capabilities, responsibility for taking action, tendency to careful planning one’s goals execution. That means there is a great probability of winning set objectives in the future, higher satisfaction and quality of life.

The element of constructing own future is making career plans. Planning is related to setting goals and constitutes a form of creating ones future, has an influence on the present, motivates current actions. Professional future planning is a specific life plan because: it determines an individual’s long term activity, concerns matters significant for people, reflects their needs and values as well as is shown in an individual’s everyday life[1].

Career advisory on the stage of occupation and professional development path selection, in case of disabled persons, should be a consequence of earlier therapeutic and educational interactions. Systematic process of professional preorientation and orientation is a unique opportunity to discover and develop a disabled person’s potential. What is more, it develops strong points of their personality, including the system of values as well as their positive outlook. Appropriate support provided to disabled is a chance for their independence and optimal use of their possibilities. It gives hope for their successful entry on the labour market in the future as well as achieving a decent quality of adult life. Planning the occupational future may help a disabled accept the limitations which result from their disability. Persons, who manage their own professional development, have a sense of competence and efficiency. They perceive themselves as the ones, who have a possibility of free choice, whereas their actions positively influence their life.


Iwona Kuc


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  1. Kantyka S., Zatrudnienie osób niepełnosprawnych a problem ich niepełnosprawności, „Aktywizacja Zawodowa i Społeczna” 2005, No. 3.
  2. Mądrzycki T., Osobowość jako system tworzący i realizujący plany, GWP, Gdańsk 1996.
  3. Wolan-Nowakowska M. (ed.), Poradnictwo zawodowe dla osób niepełnosprawnych – ku możliwościom przeciw ograniczeniom, Akapit, Kraków 2009.


[1] T. Mądrzycki, Osobowość jako system tworzący i realizujący plany, GWP, Gdańsk 1996, p. 84.