WXXI AM News

Improving Job Opportunities For College Students With Disabilities

Oct 1, 2014

RIT is being credited by the National Organization on Disability as being a good example of a university that has successfully bridged the employment gap for students with disabilities.

The private, non-profit group promotes the full participation of people with disabilities in all aspects of life.  Advocates for people with disabilities say that nationally there is a 46 percent unemployment rate for college grads that have a disability.

The president of the National Organization on Disability, Carol Glazer, says one thing that American businesses could do a better job on in general, is making sure that things like their websites, and their job descriptions are more inclusive.

“It’s everything from how you portray yourself  as a company and does that encourage people to come forward and disclose their disabilities when they have them, all the way to how you might be inadvertently screening people out just by the way you phrase your job descriptions.”

Glazer cited RIT as a university that has worked to better coordinate and deliver career services to students with disabilities.

Also at an event in Rochester  Wednesday was Alan Muir, who is executive director of a group called Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities. He said that a recent requirement that companies who have federal contracts have a target of  hiring seven percent of employees with a disability has really helped open up opportunities.

“That has been a great incentive for employers to be able to go and look at different sources that they had not considered before and looking for students with disabilities.”

Glazer and Muir made their comments on Connections with Evan Dawson on WXXI.