Tag Archives: employment

Visionary Employers “See the Light”: Disability Hiring

An increasing number of employers are beginning to “see the light” with regards to hiring people with disabilities.

Carol Glazer, President of the National Organization on Disability, has posted an article in the Huffington Post,  Retailers Can Learn From Each Other When it Comes to Disability Hiring, where she highlights the benefits of hiring people with disabilities and how some employers are stepping up.

In a race for talent, companies are now realizing that people with disabilities are a largely untapped pool that, as a result, has seen unemployment rates remain stubbornly high when compared to the general population. So when an employer the size of Starbucks plants a flag and says it is going to make this a priority, others are likely to follow.

Galzer provides examples of how retail giants like Starbucks and Walgreens have created initiatives to hire people with disabilities, whose talents bring extraordinary contributions to the workforce. Continue reading

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Optimistic Outlook for Job Seekers with Disabilities

According to information in The Huffington Post, the employment situation is looking bright for people with disabilities. The focus was information from Think Beyond the Label, an outreach organization that provides resources to people with disabilities and businesses to better inform everyone of the employment possibilities.

Think Beyond the Label conducted a survey of hundreds of people with disabilities in December, 2014 on job searching.

Think Beyond the Label found that job seekers look for jobs like anyone else–90% use LinkedIn as a job search tool–but desire more targeted outreach and disability-specific job tools to help them find meaningful work. Nine out of 10 respondents say they would use a targeted job board, while three-quarters say they want to network with employers that are actively looking to hire people with disabilities.

Job seekers with disabilities can and want to work.

Businesses should take note. People with disabilities are looking to connect with you. This is the largest and most heterogeneous minority group in the U.S., with a population that ranges in age from birth to late retiree. Baby boomers, often the senior-most people in a company’s workforce, are more likely to incur disability as they age.

Food for thought.  To read more about this survey, seeking jobs, and recruiting people with disabilities, go to these sites:

Huffington Post

Think Beyond the Label survey information

Think Beyond the Label website

New Report: “From Hard Times to Better Times: College Majors, Unemployment, and Earnings”

black-mortarboard-hiThe Washington Post reports that a Georgetown University report demonstrates a correlation between college majors and employment rates.  The report, From Hard Times to Better Times, which is based on research of unemployment rates of recent college graduates in 2011-2012, also demonstrates that college graduates fare better with obtaining employment than those with high school diplomas and no college.

….although the unemployment rate for recent college graduates stood at 7.5 percent in 2012, not all majors gave students an equal chance of finding work. Just 5.1 percent of elementary education majors, 4.8 percent of nursing majors and 4.5 percent of chemistry majors were unemployed after graduating, to take a few specific fields.

The good news for young college graduates is that regardless of their major, they have a much better chance of finding work than their peers who didn’t go to college. Nearly 18 percent of young workers with only a high school diploma were unemployed.

There is an upward employment trend that is reversing the rate of employment for college graduates vs. experienced workers, according to the report.

Recent college graduates are even doing better than experienced workers who only have a diploma, 9.9 percent of whom were out of work.

That’s a change from three decades ago, [Anthony] Carnevale [one of the authors of the report] said, when an experienced worker with a diploma was better off than a young worker with a college degree. That change reflects the increasing importance of technology in the economy and the shift from manufacturing to service.

Read the article here.

Read the Georgetown University report here.

 

“Linking Learning to Life”: Strengthening Transition Skills

A Pennsylvania School District has implemented a program that helps students develop employment and independent living skills.  Partnered with local businesses, the district High School has created an on site classroom that provides simulated experiences and career coaching.

Learning to Life (LLtL) is a two-tier secondary transition designed to aid students in making the progression from the classroom to post-school life. Activities are based on the individual’s needs, ranging from those with mild disabilities to students with more significant needs who require extensive support, and consider his or her strengths, preferences and interests.

“The majority of our services were previously contracted with outside providers,” said DiMarino-Linnen. “They tended to be ‘one size fits all’ and students were oriented to a community that was not their own.”

To address the concerns, LLtL considers the various paths students will take in the months and years after high school. For some, the focus is on independent living; for others, post-secondary competitive employment, trade school or college. Planning begins no later than the first IEP when the student turns 14, with a team which can involve the individual, parents, general and special education personnel and an agency representative. Issues such as course selection and the extended school year (ESY) program are addressed.

Read the article here.

New Transition Center to Provide Transition Opportunities for High School Students with Disabilities

Three national organizations will merge together to create the National Technical Assistance Center on Improving Transition to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students with Disabilities.  The national program will be housed at UNC Charlotte and will launch January 1, 2015.

The center will be housed in a suite of offices within the university’s College of Education.

Made possible through a $12.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs, the new center will absorb two other national organizations: the National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities, based at Clemson University; and the National Post-School Outcomes Center at the University of Oregon.

All three universities – in addition to Western Michigan University, the University of Kansas and TransCen Inc., an organization that provides assistance for students with disabilities – will combine research efforts under one roof.

The center will work within special education and vocational rehabilitation systems at the state level to improve the transition process for high school students with disabilities entering college or the workplace.

“Next Steps”: Support for Families of Students with Disabilities

A Chicago district has developed a “Next Steps” team to aid families of students with disabilities in helping to prepare their student for adulthood.

“Next Steps” is a District 202 Vocational Education Team that assists parents and caregivers with planning, transitioning and advocating for their children with disabilities.

The Next Steps team aims to improve delivery of services to families of students with disabilities; increase family awareness of disability options and resources; and link families in need to agencies that can support them with issues related to transition.

Read more here.

Washington Non-Profit Provides Transition Services to Community

A non-profit organization in Washington is filling a Transition niche for students with intellectual disabilities that also benefits the wider community.

Making the transition from school to the workplace can be hard for anyone. But for individuals living with intellectual disabilities, the shift can be especially difficult. To help ease the transition from student to employee, Morningside, a local non-profit specializing in disability services, provides three different programs designed to help special education students find the career path that’s right for them – before they even graduate.

Read about the three programs, Transition Program, Project Search and Work Experience Project here.

Ohio Program Provides Bridge to Employment

An Ohio organization has created a 6 week program called “Bridges” that provides a sampling of employment experiences for young people with developmental disabilities.

The Scioto County Board of Developmental Disabilities (SCBDD) Bridges program held a graduation ceremony for 10 participants of the six-week program on July 25 at the Vocation Station.

Bridges assists under-served areas of the state in developing employment services for youth with developmental disabilities as they transition from school to employment. The students participate in job shadowing, job coaching and a variety of educational opportunities to help them achieve their employment goals.

The overall goal of the project is to enhance career exploration options and increase employment outcomes by developing a collaborative network of services that will assist students in achieving their employment goals.

Read the article here.

Unified Sports Program Provides Skills for Life

A new program in Utah, the Unified Sports Program, is helping students with intellectual disabilities develop skills that will lead to better employment and and independent living (Deseret News, May 3, 2014).

Special Olympics Utah and the Utah High School Activities Association partnered to initiate the [Unified Sports] program in Utah this year, assisting schools in ensuring that students with disabilities have access to extracurricular sports — a recommendation from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights in January 2013.

Intellectually disabled students are apparently five times as likely to be employed after high school if they have actively participated in Special Olympics activities, said Special Olympics CEO Amy Hansen, who called it a “landmark opportunity” for the students. She said the disabled participants also live an average of five years longer when they’ve had the interactive experience.

“It helps them learn life skills that empower them throughout their lives,” Hansen said.

Read the article here.

Work Study Transition Program for Students with Disabilities

Howard County Public School System in Maryland has a work study  program that provides opportunities for students with disabilities at all levels who are certificate-bound.

At 19, Craig Knill has a varied work experience. Over the past four years, he has worked for libraries, at bookstores as a custodian and as a clerical worker in the offices of the Howard County Council.

It’s all part of a work-study transition program through the Howard County Public School System and numerous community partners that helps prepare students such as Knill, a senior at Glenelg High School, for life after school.

The work-study transition program is for students with disabilities, from the mild to the profound, whether they’re bound for a diploma or a certificate of completion, said Dawson Robertson, program head for work study and lead transition coordinator for the Howard County Public School System.

“This is providing students with disabilities the opportunity to transition to adult life, about lifting barriers,” he said.