Posted On: February 28, 2018
Sixteen representatives from nine area colleges and universities gathered on Friday, February 23, to discuss how to improve employment outcomes for their students with disabilities.
“Nationwide, 54 percent of college graduates with disabilities are unemployed, compared to 14 percent of their nondisabled counterparts,” Lori Becker, COO reports . “We need to better prepare college graduates for the world of work and for the employers who want to welcome them.”
The group included individuals from disability support, career services and veterans’ affairs offices. Discussion topics included engaging faculty, providing accommodations, working with parents, mentoring and connecting students to internship opportunities.
“The meeting was a wonderful opportunity for post-secondary professionals and Starkloff staff to talk about creating a bridge to independence by talking about the role that all of us can play in supporting competitive employment for people with disabilities,” said attendee Sneha Kothari Kiss, from the St. Louis Community College Access Office. “At times, this bridge may appear slippery, but it need not be forever when we all work together to create a clear path.”
Regina Wade Johnson, Fontbonne University’s Academic and Disabilities Resources Coordinator, added, “It was a pleasure attending Starkloff’s breakfast this morning. The discussion was motivating, inspiring as well as promising.”
“We are excited to engage with these professionals who are molding the next generation of workers,” Susan Menhard, Starkloff Career Academy Program Director says. “Our goal is to support their work, empower their students, and add tools that are valuable and easy for both them and students to access.”