By: Luke Byram
January is National Mentoring Month. While mentoring relationships benefit all youth, they may have a particularly positive impact on youth who face barriers to education and employment—such as youth with disabilities and especially those who may have intersecting identities.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), disability mentoring occurs when a person with a disability provides advice and support to another person, usually someone with a similar disability. Mentoring can be short-term in nature, such as a single-day job shadowing opportunity or career exploration experience, which could occur on National Job Shadow Day on February 2, 2023 or on National Mentoring Day on October 27, 2023. Mentoring could also reflect a more robust ongoing relationship between a mentor and youth with regularly scheduled meetings focused on supporting the youth in planning and achieving their goals. The relationship often focuses on a specific task, such as living independently, recovering from a traumatic event, obtaining employment or transitioning into the workforce. The mentor serves as a role model and provides information and guidance specific to the mentee’s experiences and identified needs.
Continue reading “Disability Mentoring: Benefits for Youth with Intersecting Identities“
By Abeer Sikder
The U.S. Department of Education estimates that between 30-60% of youth involved in the juvenile justice system have a disability. This means that of the 36,000 youth in juvenile facilities in 2019, around 10,000 to 22,000 of them were likely to have a disability. With so many incarcerated youth and young adults with disabilities, the juvenile justice system should be prepared to provide the accommodations and supports necessary for youth and young adults with disabilities in its care to access educational and workforce training opportunities.
Continue reading “Transition Services for Justice-Involved Youth & Young Adults with Disabilities”
This is the final installment of the Inclusive Community College Career Pathways blog series. Read the previous blogs here.
Systems of Support that Work Together
Colleges can collaborate with disability services, career services and community rehabilitation professionals to create customized supports that help students with disabilities find employment after finishing school. These supports include self-advocacy instruction, mentorship opportunities and tailored training and assistance. Together, customized supports help students develop skills to direct their own careers.
Continue reading “Inclusive Community College Career Pathways: Career Services”
This is the fifth of six installments in the series, “Inclusive Community College Career Pathways.” It discusses how the U.S. Department of Labor Pathways to Careers demonstration grants developed and provided work-based learning (WBL) experiences to prepare students with disabilities to join the workforce.
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This is the fourth of six installments in the series, “Inclusive Community College Career Pathways.” The last blog discussed the use of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles to make instructional content more accessible to students with disabilities.
In adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic, educational institutions have had to think critically about how to meet the unique and complex needs of students with disabilities. This means providing existing services, including accommodations and academic supports, and addressing additional challenges caused by the pandemic, such as technology access and mental distress.
Continue reading “Inclusive Community College Career Pathways: COVID-19”
This is the third of six installments in the series, “Inclusive Community College Career Pathways.” Our previous blog discusses strategies for increasing the accessibility of community colleges through college preparation programs and campus improvements.
Students learn in a variety of ways. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an educational framework that acknowledges and embraces this diversity and “guides the design of learning goals, materials, methods and assessments…with the diversity of learners in mind.” For example, a presentation that includes spoken, written, graphic and hands-on components aligns with UDL principles and allows students with a range of learning styles to engage with the material.
Continue reading “Inclusive Community College Career Pathways: Universal Design for Learning”
This is the second of six installments in this series. Read the previous blog here. The next blog will discuss Universal Design for Learning.
How can students with disabilities better access a community college education? This is a question that Onondaga Community College and Pellissippi State Community College sought to address as part of their demonstration model grants from the U.S. Department of Labor. While accessibility can take many forms, the projects approached the issue from two key angles: (1) providing college “bridge” programs to prepare students with disabilities for success in community college, and (2) conducting audits and renovations to improve campus accessibility.
Continue reading “Inclusive Community College Career Pathways: Access”
Community college can be a path to employment
Preparing individuals with disabilities for the workforce helps states advance their disability employment goals. Community colleges play a critical role in connecting individuals with disabilities to in-demand careers. In 2017, 24.3% of people with disabilities who had completed some college (including earning an associate’s degree) were employed, compared to 16.7% of people with disabilities who had only a high school diploma.
Continue reading “Blog Series: Inclusive Community College Career Pathways”