How can our career services office work with employers to ensure program access to students with disabilities?
Many employers are aware of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and are interested in employing students with disabilities. Career counselors, cooperative education staff, and internship coordinators can work with employers to make successful placements for students with disabilities. The following suggestions may assist you in working with employers as you place students with disabilities:
- Inform employers that you work with all students on your campus, including students with disabilities.
- Assist employers with procuring materials in alternative formats.
- Provide employers with information on creating accessible web pages and other electronic resources.
- Alert employers to community resources that can assist them and their employees with determining appropriate accommodations.
The career services staff, employer, and student should work together to determine what accommodations are needed and who will provide them for the student. In some cases, it will be necessary for the institution to provide the accommodation. In others, the employer will do so. For example, a student who is deaf may require the provision of a sign language interpreter during an on-campus employment interview. The student may make this request to her career counselor. However, since the employer is conducting interviews for recruiting purposes, it is reasonable that the employer pay for the interpreter.
Career counselors should work with a student to determine the best way to inform the employer of an accommodation request. They should secure written permission from a student before disclosing his disability to a potential employer.
For additional information and resources on working with employers to accommodate student applicants and employees with disabilities, consult the Career Services area of The Student Services Conference Room.