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AUCD: Concurrent Sessions: Employment Works: The Business Case for Employing People with Disabilities


pdf File Career Transition Project AUCD 2016 [download]


Mary Kay Cunningham, Assistant Director
Institute on Disabilities, UCEDD

Other Presenter(s)

MIchelle Fullem, Master's, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, United States;
Megan Grabski, MBA & Elaine Katz, MA, Kessler Foundation, West Orange, NJ;
Celia Feinstein & Anne Marie White, Philadelphia, PA, PA - Institute on Disabilities, UCEDD;
Julia Barol & Tracy Katz, Transition Consultants, Philadelpha, PA;
Kristen Pedersen, MPH, The Arc San Francisco, San Francisco, CA;


This presentation will examine three models for employing people with disabilities. First, Employment Here and Now! aims to provide students and young adults with disabilities participation in authentic internships at Temple University in Philadelphia resulting in participants becoming productive, employed citizens. This business directed education-to-work training model is the first at the University designed to obtain competitive employment for people with diverse disabilities. Second, The University of Pittsburgh is partnerhipg with the Career Transition Project of United Way of SWPA's 21andAble initiative to source, hire and retain young adults with disabilities utilizing an embedded professional placed inside the employer's HR offices. Funded by the Kessler Foundation, this successful model is making impact in hiring, culture, education of employees, and more. Third, the Universal Learning for the Workforce (ULW) is a new framework that applies learning style theory to better match job-seekers with intellectual and developmental disabilities to the right position, improve communication, optimize employee performance and increase employer satisfaction.Educators, employers and self-advocates can learn how to de-code individual learning preferences and apply ULW tools and strategies to eliminate hiring barriers and optimize on-the-job success.

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