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  • Mrs G

Vocational Concepts for Special Education

Updated: Mar 2, 2023

Before I became a Special Education teacher, I worked at a non-profit with young adults who had cognitive disabilities. These clients were 17-22 years old and were transitioning into their first jobs. The vocational education materials I found were written with academic language. The content was inaccessible to my clients. So, I developed what would become the first draft of my Life Skills Vocational products.

Vocational Education for Special Needs Students

All of the products in my vocational series introduce students to vocabulary and concepts that they will find in the workplace. The Vocational Reading Comprehension Workbooks I & II, teach workplace vocabulary: clocking in, paychecks, job duties, work schedule, interviewing, and more.

The reading comprehension tasks are broken into five parts to support scaffolding based on individual student needs.

Vocational Interactive Notebook

In the Vocational Interactive Notebook, students walk through each step in looking for a job. It includes searching for a job, applying for a job, and interviewing. Students are prompted with meaning-making questions such as, “why do people get jobs?” and “what type of job might you want to have?”. Students create their own map for the job application process. I spent four weeks completing this with my students. You can find the bulletin board visuals here. I love that this notebook sparked so many insightful conversations.

Writing Workbooks & Adapted Books

In the spirit of accessibility and respect, I created a vocational writing workbook for a client with significantly impaired dexterity. His disability meant that he had the most success when using a speech-to-text program. However, his motivation to do the same work as the rest of our group meant that he wanted to develop his writing with his peers. Unfortunately, what I found were many amazing resources that had pictures and topics appropriate for elementary students.

So, I developed a vocational workbook that has large primary lines and four tasks for each vocational vocabulary word: highlight, trace, copy, and complete the sentence. This workbook allowed him to participate in the group in a way that was similar to his peers but still met his needs. For extended independent learning, I created Adapted Books.

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