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Student Meets Employer: A Framework for Engaging Employers & Disclosing a Disability Dr. Veronica Leona Porter Associate Professor and Coordinator, Cooperative.

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Presentation on theme: "Student Meets Employer: A Framework for Engaging Employers & Disclosing a Disability Dr. Veronica Leona Porter Associate Professor and Coordinator, Cooperative."— Presentation transcript:

1 Student Meets Employer: A Framework for Engaging Employers & Disclosing a Disability Dr. Veronica Leona Porter Associate Professor and Coordinator, Cooperative Education - Northeastern University Jeanette Richards M.S., CRC, WorkAbility IV Coordinator - San Diego State University Marci Shaffer, M.S., Disability Specialist - Northeastern University Sara Mahoney, M.A. Equal Employment Specialist - U.S. Department of State Amber Cheek, J.D. Presidential Management Fellow, Office of Disability Employment Policy Session # 8.8

2 Dr. Veronica Leona Porter Associate Professor and Coordinator, Cooperative Education - Northeastern University

3 The Kaye, Jans, Jones Study Hiring and Retaining Workers with Disabilities  Researchers surveyed employers known to be reluctant to comply with disability non-discrimination laws.  They were asked “why they thought that other employers might not hire or retain people with disabilities.”

4 Responses Worried about cost of reasonable accommodations. Don’t know how to handle needs of a worker with a disability on the job. Afraid that they won’t be able to discipline or fire a worker with a disability for poor performance. Can’t ask about applicant’s disability making it hard to assess whether person can do the job. Concerned about extra time for supervision.

5 Responses, continued Afraid of other costs, insurance etc. Afraid worker won’t work up to the same standard of others. Rarely see people with disabilities applying for jobs. Believe that people with disabilities can’t do the basic functions of the jobs they apply for.

6 Responses, continued They discriminate against job applicants with disabilities. They are concerned about attitudes of co-workers toward the person with a disability. They find that applicants with disabilities don’t have the necessary skills and experience. They think of workers with disabilities as “problem employees”. They find that job applicants with disabilities don’t present themselves well in interviews.

7 Strategies for Improvement  More or better training on disability issues.  Central organization wide source for expertise on accommodation issues.  Written guidelines for dealing with disability issues.  External resources for guidance.  Centralized fund for accommodations.  Written company nondiscrimination policy.

8 Employment of People with Disabilities: The Reality High correlation between education and employment Work experience makes a difference Self-Advocacy skills impacts success

9 Jeanette Richards M.S., CRC, WorkAbility IV Coordinator - San Diego State University

10 WorkAbility IV A Cooperative Career Development Program WAIV promotes access and offers enhanced career services that empower student to: Choose, plan and prepare for a career Meet academic and career requirements Secure and retain employment

11 Engaging Employers  Disability Mentoring Days  Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP)  Business Leadership Network  Career Services (employer led panels, workshops, info sessions, etc.)  Schedule A Registry – Dept. of Navy Southwest  Bender Consulting – College Partnership Program  “Add Us In” Grant – California Consortium, Disability-Inclusive Diversity smALL Business “Add Us In” Grant from the U.S. DOL’s ODEP Add Us In initiative  Entry-Point!  Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind

12 Marci Shaffer, M.S., Disability Specialist - Northeastern University

13 NuConnect A Strategic Partnership between the Disability Resource Center, Co-Op Program and Career Services.

14 Wrap Around Experiential Model for Success Strategic Partnership DRC, CS, Co-op Working Group External Partners Employer Advisory Committee Resources

15 Video

16 Sara Mahoney, M.A. Equal Employment Specialist - U.S. Department of State

17 Why Disclose? Advantages Disadvantages Students don’t have to disclose. They should understand that: They can request an accommodation at any time after they’ve been hired, or Choose not to disclose at all.

18 Disclosure in Four Parts When Where To Whom How

19 Disclosure Complications Your Goal: to understand the line between what employers want to know and what they need to know. Avoiding TMI Social Media Disclosure

20 What Employers Need to Know What employers should ask and what they should not ask during the interview and in the on-boarding process. Voluntary unless specifically outlined in written policies and procedures Employers must provide accommodations The interactive process is essential Best practice: asking every applicant if they need accommodations

21 Amber Cheek, J.D. Presidential Management Fellow, Office of Disability Employment Policy

22 The Workforce Recruitment Program The WRP:  Is a free recruitment and referral program  Connects employers with highly motivated postsecondary students and recent graduates with disabilities who are eager to prove their abilities.  Is the largest database of Schedule A eligible candidates in the government (approximately 3,000 students and recent graduates annually).  Can be used to hire both interns and permanent employees.

23 Goals of the WRP Primarily, the WRP seeks to:  Function as a primary pipeline for bringing new talent into the federal government to fill mission critical jobs.  Help college Career Centers and Disability Services Offices address the unique issues involved in assisting candidates with disabilities with finding employment, such as accommodations and the use of the Schedule A Hiring Authority.  Break down attitudinal barriers in the workplace.

24 WRP and Disclosure The WRP is the perfect example of how these issues play out – we see the process through the eyes of students, schools, and recruiters.  Students must:  Disclose that they are a person with a disability in order to register  Speak about any accommodations they need with a recruiter, who adds those details to their write-ups (recruiters are instructed not to disclose specifics of a candidate’s disability in the database).

25 The Problems Given our experience with WRP recruitment, we’ve pinpointed two primary issues in recruitment of students with disabilities: 1. Students don’t understand how to speak about their disability and request accommodations. 2. Recruiters and employers can’t read their minds.

26 Lost in Translation There is a distinct gap between what students try to say, and what recruiters hear and write. Examples: The Good The Bad The Ugly

27 Addressing the Problems Campuses should take steps to ensure that Career Services Offices and Disability Services Offices are working together closely and sharing best practices Students need to learn what their accommodation needs are and how to speak about their disability and the accommodations they need

28 What Students Need to Know Teach your students to speak about their disability with these goals in mind: 1. Understanding the accommodations that meet their needs and will be reasonable; 2. Being able to explain the accommodations they need to do the job concisely, without dwelling on the details of their disability; and 3. Avoiding giving too much information or requesting accommodations that are unreasonable

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37 Resources on Disclosure The Legal Aid Society–Employment Law Center Fact Sheets - Disabilities in the Workplace: An Introduction to State and Federal Laws Disabilities in the Workplace: Reasonable Accommodations The 411 on Disability Disclosure Workbook - youth.info/sites/default/files/The_411_On_Disability_Disclosure_for_A dults.pdfhttp://www.ncwd- youth.info/sites/default/files/The_411_On_Disability_Disclosure_for_A dults.pdf Article: The Art of Disclosing Your Disability Presented by Richard Pimentel Illinois ADA Project FAQ: Disability Disclosure Under the ADA - _.pdf _.pdf

38 Resources on Disclosure National Service Inclusion Project - Look for July 25: Disability and Disclosure Materials. Excellent PowerPoint and archived webinar. University of Wisconsin River Falls Career Services Disability Disclosure Handout - df df University of Montana Career Services Disability Disclosure Handout -


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