Starkloff teaches ease and benefit of Employing Social Workers with Disabilities

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As part of the UMSL School of Social Work event, Supporting our Workplaces: DisAbilities and Workplace Ethics, 40 social workers from the community gathered to learn from Starkloff Adult Career Services Coordinator Jason Hartsfield. This event took place Friday, October 19th.

Jason’s presentation, Employing Social Workers with Disabilities utilized a combination of Starkloff Consulting Services training techniques, the social work Code of Ethics and his own personal experiences. He did this to successfully make an argument for the ethical obligations of social workers to create a more welcoming and inclusive profession for social workers with disabilities.

“Social workers personally familiar with the disability experience bring tremendous value to the organization,” Jason argued. “We need to ensure that our own profession represents what we expect of other employers.”

“Jason’s presentation was both thought provoking and inspired us to think beyond the essential abilities of job descriptions; to be more accommodating in our hiring practices,” said Dr. Sharon Johnson, Dean of the UMSL School of Social Work.

Aimee Wehmeier, CEO of Paraquad, also presented and shared her personal story of the challenges she faced when finding employment. Later, Aimee and Jason were joined by Brenda Wendling, Director of Adult Services for the Society for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and Lynn Winterberg, Director of Supported Employment at Life Skills, for a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Shirley Porterfield.

Starkloff Disability Institute would like to thank Dr. Johnson and the wonderful UMSL School of Social Work faculty and staff for the invitation, and for the inspiring program.

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