Serving Veterans Think Tank: A Promising Practice in Improving Civilian Career Outcomes for Veterans with Disabilities

DO-IT Factsheet #463
http://www.washington.edu/doit/Stem/articles?463

The Think Tank: Serving Veterans with Disabilities [1] was hosted on March 26, 2008 by the DO-IT [2] (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) Center at the University of Washington in Seattle as part of The Alliance for Students with Disabilities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (AccessSTEM) [3] project.

The purpose of the Think Tank was to identify ways existing programs can collaborate to improve veterans' access to post-deployment training, education, and careers. Participants were from organizations such as local colleges, federal programs, non-profit agencies, and job placement organizations. Participants identified the following unique needs of veterans, especially those with disabilities, that could be addressed to improve outcomes:

Participants decided to develop an online community of practice where they could collaborate to offer the following:

The Think Tank is a promising practice that can be replicated by others. It brought together key players and began an ongoing and active community to improve veterans' access to post-deployment training, education, and careers. Since the Think Tank meeting, an online community of practice was established to discuss challenges, solutions, and resources for veterans with disabilities pursuing higher education and careers (to join this group, send an email message to doit@u.washington.edu). In addition, several campus trainings have occurred at various locations, and a large Capacity-Building Institute, focused on veterans with disabilities and their access to computing careers, was conducted in Seattle, Washington.

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