A “functional vocational evaluation” may be conducted before your child enrolls in vocational education. [34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.43(a)(2)(v)]. The assessment process should determine vocational interests, aptitudes, achievement, and potential. A variety of assessment procedures have been developed to measure your child ’s level of performance in relation to selected careers and occupations such as work samples, on-the-job observation, simulated work stations, manual dexterity tests, career interest inventories, and aptitude tests.
Vocational interests can be determined through the use of career interest inventories and interviews with students, parents, and previous teachers. Prior experiences, hobbies, and career exploration activities are helpful in determining the student’s interest in particular career fields.
For students with more significant disabilities, for whom traditional vocational tests are not valid or who are unable to communicate; functional assessments may be more appropriate.
Vocational aptitudes (such as manual dexterity, eye/hand coordination, fine motor skills, and general intelligence) are examined in order to blend a student’s career interest and vocational strengths and limitations.