Early on in my career as a Vocational Counselor working with survivors of TBI, it became evident to me that Standardized Paper and Pencil testing was essentially useless with regard to predicting an individual’s ability to sustain gainful employment. Paper and Pencil testing is administered in a controlled setting and is an artificial environment when compared to an actual work environment.
I quickly transitioned from Paper and Pencil testing to utilizing a Situational Assessment for predicting an individual’s ability to sustain gainful employment. By definition, a Situational Assessment places an individual with a disability in a simulated work condition and environment that resembles actual job related tasks that an individual will be asked to engage in by an employer. In addition, my observation of a survivor’s critical behaviors (e.g.: interaction with supervisors and coworkers, punctuality, productivity) was extremely valuable in determining an individual’s ability to sustain gainful employment. The Situational Assessment also allowed me to develop compensatory strategies to assist the individual’s productivity and just as important, assess the survivor’s willingness to accept and utilize the strategy.
Once the Situational Assessment concluded, I was far more capable of assisting a survivor of a TBI pursue gainful employment as I was able to better understand their strengths and difficulties. This knowledge was monumental in helping these individuals pursue employment opportunities and increased their chances for successful gainful employment
In conclusion, Paper and Pencil testing offered me no data that would assess an individual’s critical work behaviors and productivity, which are extremely important elements of being successfully employed. The use of the Situational Assessment was far more predictive with regard to determining an individual’s ability to sustain gainful employment.
For more information, contact Harold Bialsky ‘The Life Care Planner’ at: