Bridging the Employment Gap for Students with Disabilities

Mar 14, 2014

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As companies expand their diversity initiatives to better include people with disabilities, they look to colleges and universities to source candidates for entry and mid-level positions. Often, however, employers have not been successful identifying students with disabilities and building a pipeline of talent. This is not due to a lack of qualified candidates, but rather a lack of access to students with disabilities.

At many institutions of higher education, the career services office, which assists students in preparing for and obtaining internships and employment and are the first line of contact for employers, lack a strong—or any—connection to the office of disabled student services, which ensures proper accessibility and accommodations on campus for students with disabilities. This disconnect leaves a gap, both for employers seeking to diversify their workforce and for students with disabilities who are not gaining access to the same services and opportunities as their peers without disabilities.

This paper explores the problem of campus employment services for students with disabilities and the impact OFCCP guidelines will have on employers, colleges, universities and students with disabilities. As well, as offer a case study example and recommendations as to what university disability offices, career services offices and employers can do to address this issue.

Bridging the Employment Gap for Students with Disabilities

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