Tag Archives: disabilities

Self-Employment as a Transition Tool: Meet JennyLuDesigns

One employment approach for young adults with disabilities should include exploring self-employment.  Tapping into strengths and talents, desires and interests, self-employment may be the niche for many people who otherwise might experience difficulty in securing competitive employment.

Meet Jenny Unrein and her stepmother, Wendi, who together have created JennyLu Designs featuring their artwork. The work is sold online and at art shows and conferences.  Jenny and Wendi organize “fun raisers” for various causes, including cancer and Williams Syndrome.

JennyLU Designs is a new business featuring artwork of Jenny and Wendi Unrein. Jenny has Williams Syndrome and is an artist who loves vibrant colors and passionate expressions.[from the JennyLuDesigns facebook page]

Visit JennyLU Designs here.

Podcast: College Admission and Special Ed Students

Education Talk Radio on Blog Talk Radio has an archived show from August, 2013 on how a college in New York and public school districts collaborate on transitioning special education students to college.

COLLEGE ADMISSION & SPECIAL ED STUDENTS 08/01 by educationtalkradiotoo | Education Podcasts.

U.S. Government Hiring More People with Disabilities: Still Not Meeting Goals

Posted in the Baltimore Sun (February 8, 2014)

While more people with disabilities are being hired by the U.S. Government, under the call by President Obama to for more diversity and inclusion in the federal government, the goals for employment are still not being met. Employer attitudes are a significant barrier to reaching the goals.

More individuals with disabilities worked for the federal government in 2012 than any time since at least as far back as 1980, the Office of Personnel Management reported recently, and the percentage of workers with disabilities hired each year continues to grow.

Advocates call the progress commendable, but say more can be done to bring down the nearly 12 percent unemployment rate for disabled workers.

The OPM reported that individuals with disabilities accounted for nearly 12 percent of the federal workforce, or about 220,000 people in 2012, up from 7 percent in 1980.

Obama issued an executive order in 2010 directing government agencies to redouble their efforts to recruit, hire and retain individuals with disabilities. That year, disabled workers made up about 10 percent of the federal workforce.

….Mark Perriello, president of the American Association of People with Disabilities, said agencies need to train hiring managers about how to interview individuals with impairments and dispel misconceptions about bringing them on staff.

One misconception, Perriello said, is that disabled workers need expensive accommodations in order to work. He said the average cost to accommodate a person with a disability is $35.

Read the article here.

Number of Students with Emotional Issues is Increasing

Working on Transition with youth with disabilities involves addressing interests and preferences, desires, dreams and hopes.  Youth need to be able to be in a frame of mind to plan for the future and set goals.  But students with emotional and mental health barriers often succomb to the pressure of planning for the future along with the demands of finishing high school.  How do we help these students address their personal needs to be able to graduate from high school and plan for their future?

An article in the San Jose Mercury News (February 6, 2014) addresses the rising numbers of teens with mental health issues and highlights how some schools have implemented supports that have helped teens.  Here are some excerpts:

A popular and accomplished Los Altos High student received a parent’s text message at school last year, to come home to talk about her grades. The student and star athlete had earned all A’s — except one D. She asked to be excused from English class to go to the bathroom, but she never returned. She had collapsed, suffering a disabling emotional breakdown.

The student, who didn’t want to be identified because of the stigma of mental illness, is not alone. Across the Bay Area, educators are seeing more and more students suffering from depression, anxiety and social phobia. The acuity of mental illness among students has sharpened, they say, and it’s striking ever younger children, though many quietly bear the stress for years before snapping.

….The increasing stress isn’t just afflicting children of Silicon Valley’s affluent and educated, who attend top schools among driven, college-bound peers. Though not yet reflected in lagging and incomplete national statistics, the trend appears to cut across social class, income level, ethnicity and academic ability.

….San Ramon Valley schools added a counselor at every secondary school this academic year to deal with mental health. And a Morgan Hill school beefed up therapists for depression among fourth- and fifth-graders. Two years ago, the San Mateo Union district created two classes for students with social phobias. It runs two more classes for those with anxiety or depression, in addition to two classes for students with more complicated emotional problems. They’re all full, Dirkmaat said.

What’s behind the rise is uncertain. Theories include economic distress, dysfunctional families, absent and preoccupied busy parents, technology obsession, social media and extraordinary pressure on kids to excel.

Read the entire article here.