Issues On The Employment Of Students With Disabilities In Inclusive Higher Education


The article investigates the problems of professional diagnostics and employment of graduates with health limitations in system of inclusive higher education. Specifics of the professional diagnostics of students with health limitations is justified, including low self-esteem, increased anxiety, low formation of skills of social interaction of diagnosed students with health limitations; existence of persistent bias and stereotypes about future employment; low level of life activity. Kinds and methods of professional diagnostics are defined, main rules of its conduction, difficulties of conduction of professional diagnostics of people with health limitations. Main directions of employment assistance for students with health limitations are offered, such as analysis of need for employment of graduates with health limitations, conduction of monitoring of regional labor market (quoted jobs), planning and conducting events on assistance in employment of students with health limitations. Developed and tested is the methodic of monitoring of regional labor market (quoted jobs), including solutions to such tasks as: research into regional labor market and evaluation of condition of labor market for people with health limitations; creation of conditions for enlargement of opportunities for rational employment of graduates with health limitations with their needs taken into consideration; formation of data bank of vacancies for graduates with health limitations, formation of data bank of students and graduates with health limitations, data banks of partnership organizations that provide assistance in employment of people with health limitations, development of social partnerships with the goal of employment of graduates with health limitations.

Keywords: Professional orientationemploymentstudents with health limitationsinclusive higher educationregional labor marketquoted jobs


By 2020 in Russian Federation 25 million highly productive and effective work places are planned to be created. Federal and regional authorities take part in solving this problem, as well as business community representatives, social and political organizations, institutions of professional education system.

Herewith, in Russian economy facts of refusal for employment of graduates are common. Employers are unhappy with quality of preparation of former students and present a whole complex of requirements: existence of work or professional experience, ability to work in teams, developed special competencies, etc. In such conditions, even for well-educated graduates’ employment is not guaranteed. Many of them have to start working, while still studying in the university, often in harm for quality of education, which is vital for successful enrollment to a job. However, lack of knowledge on real situation on labor market, being unable to analyze and use its dynamics in organizing own work activity, having no idea about employment services causes serious troubles in looking for a job for university graduates. The problem is especially actual for graduates with health limitations. According to statistics, one in six refuse for job employment Russian employers give is motivated by health condition (Maximova & Klimok, 2016).

Main path for solution to that problem today is inclusive higher education, which is an approach to organization of educational process, during which all the students, not depending on their physical, mental or other features, study with their peers in universities, while their special educational needs are considered and necessary support is provided, including help in employment sphere (Ramazanova & Khamadeeva, 2017).

Problem Statement

In the system of higher education, universities may and should aid with employment for their graduates with health limitations (HIA). First of all this assistance should be helping future graduate to define his professional choice, evaluate chances for professional self-realization and degree of professional suitability, which means set of psychological and psychophysical features of a person necessary and enough for him to reach, on condition of having special knowledge and skills, effectiveness of work recognized by society; the notion of professional suitability also includes satisfaction, felt by a person in the process of work itself and evaluation of its results (Kiuppis, 2014; Morozova, 2015). Among factors of professional suitability are also valuable for performing according professional activity skills and positive professional motivation. In modern psychological practice there are enough methods on early diagnostics of both skills and motivation.

This activity is especially important when working with students with health limitations, because as a result of successful professional realization, maximum levels of independence (including financial) of people with HIA is reached, which is an integral part of inclusive education realization. Existence of several questions and problems with realization of such activity in the system of inclusive education needs to be mentioned (Ipatova & Shakirova, 2015):

  • prevalence of dependency behavior among people with HIA, part of whom are more aimed at receiving benefits, than getting a profession and economic activity;

  • less awareness of people with HIA on professions;

  • more difficult retraining of people with HIA who made a wrong choice of profession.

Existence of problems makes a question of rights realization of people with HIA on professional orientation quite difficult to solve, and for people with HIA this right has a bigger importance, than for those without (Huber, Oswald, Webb, & Avila-John, 2016).

Research Questions

Difficulty of organization of professional orientation and employment of people with HIA in the system of inclusive education requires solution to the following tasks (Akimenko, 2015):

  • professional diagnosis of people with HIA for the goal of evaluation of their skills, inclinations, abilities, health conditions and personal qualities when choosing future career;

  • research into regional labor market and evaluation of labor market condition for people with HIA;

  • creation of conditions that allow enlargement of range of possibilities for rational employment of graduates with HIA with their needs and individual programs of rehabilitation considered;

  • development of social partnership of universities, employers, public organizations with the aim of employing graduates with HIA.

Purpose of the Study

Considering all the mentioned problems of employment of students with HIA in the system of inclusive higher education, goals of this research are:

  • development of the system of professional diagnosis with the goal of preparing students with HIA to employment, next step of socialization, linked to full revealing and using in practice skills gained during education;

  • formation of set of events on assistance with employment for students with HIA.

Research Methods

Professional diagnosis of students with HIA

Professional diagnosis of students with HIA in the system of inclusive higher education has its own specifics (Killoran, Woronko, & Zaretsky, 2014):

  • lowered self-evaluation of diagnosed, increased anxiety, since existence of disease is considered by such a category of students as an identity defect, defect of their own “I”;

  • need for consideration of health condition of diagnosed, that is in the process of choosing profession;

  • lack of skills of social interaction of students with HIA;

  • existence of stable precautions and stereotypes about future education;

  • low level of life activity (energetic provision of mental processes), outcome of which is increased tiredness. Considering this, when holding a professional diagnosis, it is recommended to use short, easy to use and at the same time informative diagnostic express methods.

  • existence of so-called “phenomenon of learned inability”, which means orientation on help of associates together with unwillingness or incapability to count on own strength and develop own resources;

  • deviation of psychological age in any direction from the one, stated in the passport;

  • notable among significant number of people with HIA lowered motivation and level of desires.

Moreover, people with HIA tend to have lower level of stress resistance, especially those with poor vision. According to research data (Maximova & Klimok, 2016) more than half of people with poor vision express in the everyday life psychological instability, are easily exposed to stress… same condition is common for one in three citizens with 2nd or 3rd disability groups.

It is natural that in the situation of critical psycho-emotional condition, prior to holding a proforientational consulting, execution of psychological guidance, psychocorrection is needed. This means that in system of inclusive higher education it is necessary to use diagnostic-consulting approach, idea of which — cooperation in choosing and changing vocation in accordance to medical restrictions and recommendations, wishes, inclinations, capabilities, available vacancies and career prospective (Zinevich, Degtyareva, & Degtyareva, 2016). Necessary part of supporting the one consulted — informing on positive examples of overcoming and development, active involvement in social life of people with similar health limitations, description of real opportunities of employment and socialization, correction of vocational choice, forming adequate vocational expectations, adequate professional self-determination.

While executing professional orientation, it is important to understand that it is a part of social adaptation of people with HIA, resulting in development of skills of adaptation in standard socio-cultural situations, establish effective communication connections with surrounding world, enriched opportunities of integration into everyday life. Students with HIA must know that they are capable of becoming participants of active social life and professional activity, reach economic independency (Cameron, 2016).

Professional diagnosis and consultation of people with HIA significantly differs from dependency on nosology, that is why an individualistic approach to every consulted, including use of professional specialists (e.g. signers) or special equipment (Thomas, 2012).

It is necessary that instead of an approach that is based on “vulnerability”, during professional diagnosis and professional consultation an approach based on development of social self-sustainment of people with HIA will be used, including events on creating conditions of their adaptation in “normal” social and economic structure (Almarghani & Mijatovic, 2017). For students that are in the process of life and professional self-determination, formation of friendly environment, creation of family especially sharp is the problem of sociocultural identification and integration, solution to which is destined to be effective system of psycho-pedagogical assistance.

Important condition of effectiveness of professional diagnosis is its systematic approach. It is important to perform diagnosis on the whole period of studying at university, starting from preliminary diagnosis of individually-personal features of freshmen, tracking features of socially psychological adaptation, motivation for education, cognitive sphere, psychic wellbeing. On higher courses diagnosis and consulting is performed on questions connected with professional self-determination, personal development, formation of positive “I-conception”, psychological health condition, features of interpersonal relations (Trentin & Benigno, 2013). As a result of psycho-diagnostic researches an opportunity raises to understand causes of the problems, occurring during studying activities or behavior of students, to choose effective means and methods of educating and upbringing, provide students with HIA with up-to-date help in overcoming de-adaptation. In the process of psychological consulting there is a need to form in students with HIA skills of self-cognition, self-analysis, use of their psychological features and opportunities for successful education and development; provide psychological help and assistance for the students that are currently in condition of stress, conflict or deep emotional experience.

Events on employment of students with HIA

Employment of students with HIA in the system of inclusive higher education includes a set of directions (Mitrofanova & Mitrofanova, 2018):

  • Analysis of needs for employment of students/graduates with HIA, that is performed through collecting, processing and analyzing information on desired employment of students with HIA and real of graduates with HIA.

  • Planning of events on assistance in employment of graduates with HIA are performed by university in accordance with governmental centers of employment, noncommercial organizations, public organizations of disabled and companies. Main events planned on assistance with employment of graduates with HIA are following: presentations and meetings of employees with students with students with HIA from higher courses, individual consultations of students and graduates on questions of employment, master-classes and trainings. Employment on quota jobs and specially equipped for disabled work places is effective. As part of planned events, it is necessary to think of preparing graduates for employment, next step of socialization, linked to full revealing and using in practice competencies gained during education: reception of self-presentation skills, competent writing of resume, social and psychological adaptation collective.

Monitoring of labor market (quota jobs)

One of the directions of assistance for employment of graduates and students with HIA is monitoring regional labor market (quota jobs).

Monitoring the labor market is a research that is held with a goal of collecting and analyzing information on supply/demand ratio of labor force for certain positions, on level of remuneration, systems of material and non-materialistic incentives used by employers.

The aim of monitoring the regional labor market (quota jobs) is finding a solution to a problem of employment of graduates with HIA that have finished their studies on programs of higher education in a university.

In order to achieve that goal, solution is needed for the following tasks:

  • research into regional market and evaluation of condition of market of work places for disabled and people with HIA;

  • creation of conditions that allow enlargement of opportunities of rational employment of graduates with limitations and HIA, concerning their needs and individual rehabilitation programs;

  • creation of data bank of vacancies for graduates that are in the category of disabled and people with HIA;

  • formation of data bank of students and graduates that are in the category of disabled and people with HIA, data bases of partner organizations that provide assistance (with employers, recruitment organizations, employment centers) with employment of disabled and people with HIA;

  • development of social partnership with the goal of employment of graduates with disabilities and HIA.

Main principles of monitoring regional labor market (quota jobs) are:

  • trustworthiness (information used for monitoring must be highly trustworthy);

  • variety of information sources on needs of the labor market;

  • actuality (information must be regularly updated);

  • constancy (monitoring should be performed on a regular basis with certain periods);

  • unity (monitoring should be performed based on unified forms, bases and rules);

  • availability (information on results of the monitoring needs to be available for work for university workers).

Methodic of monitoring of regional labor market (quota jobs) includes several steps:

  • Collecting information on condition of regional labor market for people with HIA based on data of vacancies on:

  • Website of Federal service of labor and employment, its territory offices in regions and employment centers;

  • Materials from GIS “Federal registry of disabled”;

  • Regional base of vacancies (including quota jobs);

  • Rostrud platform “Work in Russia” ( (special section for citizens with disabilities or HIA);

  • Sites of public organizations for disabled (All-Russia society of disabled, All-Russia society of deaf, All-Russia society of blind), Regional public organization of disabled “Perspektiva”, site “Work for disabled”;

  • Sites specializing in employment (Superjob, HeadHunter, etc.);

  • Sites of regional organizations.

Methods offered were tried in 2017 during labor market research carried out in Moscow region. In the monitoring, following main results were received.

Overall, there are 120 thousand people with disabilities of working age in Moscow region, 35 thousand of whom are working.

In 2017, employment centers of the region had 2190 applications of disabled, 1095 of them are employed.

Data bank of vacancies of Moscow region offers people with low mobility various types of activity. Employers seek for employees on permanent basis, people are required both with higher professional education and with basic general education (9-11 classes).

Currently, there are more than 1622 vacancies in the data bank for people with health limitations. New employees are awaited by both big enterprises and small private companies. Salary that is offered to seekers varies from 13 to 35 thousand rubles.

Among enterprises, ready to employ people with disabilities, are such big companies as LLC “Lerua Merlen”, branches JSC “Moscovskiy zavod “Kristall”, CJSC “Vodokanal”, JSC “Moskovskaya oblastnaya energosetevaya compania”, MUP “Edinaya dispetcherskaya sluzhba”, LLC “Aeroexpress”, OJSC “Sberbank Rossii”, JSC “PepsiCo Holdings” and many others.

Most important tool of employing disabled is quota jobs — additional measure of support of disabled from government, which reflects in offering them work places on enterprises. According to the law of Moscow region from 25 April 2008 №53/2008-OZ “On quota jobs”, quota should be offered by organizations with the number of employees exceeding 35. According to data from Ministry of social development of the region, currently 4470 regional organizations should provide quota jobs. But information is provided only by 3955, 500 evade from this duty.

Mechanism of quoting is simple. Employers in the process of looking for and hiring employees save a few (in relation to full number of employees) work places for disabled employment. And if there are no vacancies — create new jobs, informing employment service about that. Quota is measured in percentage from number of employees. In Moscow region, the figure is 1-2%.

Only public organizations are free of creating quota jobs, as are the organizations established by them.

Organizations that have less than 35 staff members are free to choose on their own, if they want to hire disabled people for vacant job places or not.


Monitoring of regional labor market (quota jobs) allows us to make following conclusions on employment of people with HIA:

  • According to official statistics, quota stated for the region is not fulfilled.

  • Number of vacancies for disabled and people with HIA (including quota jobs) exceeds number of those, who want to get employed, but these vacancies remain free, since most of them do not correspond with the needs, considering existing qualification and education level.

  • Most of the vacancies applied for disabled and people with HIA are connected to physical work.

  • Regional labor market researched is characterized by low number of work places for disabled university graduates.

  • University activity on assistance with employment and post-degree life of graduates with HIA is needed to be activated on following directions:

  • Execution of constant monitoring of quota jobs;

  • Organization of proforientational work with pupils and parents, considering also the data from monitoring the labor market - vacancies offered in the region. Orientation of future enrollees on directions of preparation that are in demand.

  • Signing deals with employers on organization of internships for students with disabilities.

Organization of cooperation between universities and employment services on post-degree assistance of graduates with HIA and possibilities of their retraining considering needs of labor market.


Successful solution to the task of employment of students with HIA is one of the urgent tasks that Russia faces on the way to development of inclusion in the system of higher education.

Realization of proposed, by authors of this study, methodic recommendations in the sphere of professional diagnosis and assistance with employment of students with HIA allows to solve following problems:

  • Creation of conditions that allow enrichment of opportunities for rational employment of graduates with HIA, considering their needs and individual rehabilitation programs;

  • Satisfaction of the needs of students with HIA for professional orientation and employment in accordance with their needs and interests;

Raise in the quality of life of people with HIA and their competitiveness on the labor market.


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20 March 2019

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Mitrofanova, E., & Grishaeva, S. (2019). Issues On The Employment Of Students With Disabilities In Inclusive Higher Education. In V. Mantulenko (Ed.), Global Challenges and Prospects of the Modern Economic Development, vol 57. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 1697-1705). Future Academy.