Special Feature

Special Feature: Connecting Disability Services with Career Services
by Scott Bellman, DO-IT Program Manager

The Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology (DO-IT) Center (www.washington.edu/doit) at the University of Washington, with grant funding from the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation (www.meaf.org), is running a project to enhance collaborations between postsecondary career services and disability services.

The project, AccessSTEM Careers (www.uw.edu/doit/programs/accessstem-careers), utilizes the publication “Equal Access: Universal Design of Career Services” (www.washington.edu/doit/equal-access-universal-design-career-services) as a checklist and guide for helping postsecondary career centers become more welcoming and accessible to students with disabilities. Project staff also help identify new activities, services, and products that are mutually beneficial to career services and disability services.

The University of Washington’s Career and Internship Center (CIC) utilized the checklist to examine their facility and offerings for accessibility. CIC staff worked with disability services staff to create a resume book for students with disabilities, designed for employers specifically seeking such candidates. The CIC also collaborated with disability services to create two new web pages:

The UW CIC website for students with disabilities:

   https://careers.uw.edu/resources/?ctag%5B%5D=students-with-disabilities

 The UW CIC website for employers seeking candidates with disabilities:

   http://careers.uw.edu/employers/candidates-with-disabilities

At another institution, Bellevue College, the Center for Career Connections partnered with AccessSTEM Careers to host a large a career fair for job seekers with disabilities. Key partners included Bellevue College’s disability services office and the Washington State Business Leadership Network. Over 200 students and job seekers with disabilities attended the event.

AccessSTEM Careers is sharing project information through the DO-IT Knowledge Base, which can be accessed at http://www.washington.edu/doit/knowledge-base. Examples of articles developed during the project include:

•  How can Postsecondary Career Centers Increase their Engagement of Students with Disabilities?

•  The Elevator Pitch Contest: A Promising Practice in Preparing Students with Disabilities for Employment

•  The Career Center Resume Book: A Promising Practice in Promoting Employment for STEM Students with Disabilities

A replication package describing AccessSTEM Careers methods, project activities, highlights, and additional resources is freely available at

www.uw.edu/doit/programs/accessstem-careers/replication-accessstem-careers.

Disability services offices are encouraged to explore these materials and think about ways to further engage the career centers on their campus. Those seeking more information can contact DO-IT at doit@uw.edu or 206-685-3648.