Employment

Career Development For College Students with Disabilities

I think that each flagship state university should have an office like the Disability Careers Office (DCO) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. This liason office was formed with state VR funds, then picked up as a permanent fixture of the university when it found success with its students. This office collaborates with Career Services and Disability Services on campus to coach and educate students on disability specific issues they might face in their post graduation job search. A student who seeks help from the DCO might learn about basic ADA rights and responsibilities, how to determine if disclosure of a disability is appropriate during a job search, as well as other basic career development skills. The DCO also works with local employers to help students build networking relationships that can turn into employment or internships down the road. The DCO also sponsors several larger programs on campus like Disability Mentoring Day and the Workforce Recruitment Program.This model has found great success in TN and I believe it could benefit other students with disabilities across the country if developed properly! This is truly a support area in higher education that is needed for a students successful future!

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Idea No. 256