Veterans Center

What are tips for maximizing the value of a virtual career fair experience?

College students often attend career fairs to prepare for graduation and plan their future in the workforce. Some recruiters set up “virtual job fairs” that take place online rather than in person on a college campus. For students with disabilities, these may provide a way to engage with potential employers without needing to be at a crowded event. But how do they work? Are they beneficial?

What language should I use to talk about people with disabilities?

Refer to a person's disability only if it is relevant to the conversation. Avoid negative descriptions of a person's disability. For example, "a person who uses a wheelchair" is more appropriate than "a person confined to a wheelchair," which is both inaccurate and negative in tone; people who use wheelchairs are not “confined” to them, they are empowered by them with the gift of mobility.

Many people with disabilities prefer language that mentions the person first and then the disability. They consider, for example "A man who is blind" preferable to "a blind man.”

What strategies are companies using to recruit employees with autism spectrum disorder?

A large portion of individuals with ASD are unemployed although many of them are capable of working. Students with ASD often find it difficult to communicate in a traditional interview format. Some companies, both in the US and abroad, have enacted programs to specifically recruit employees with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Examples of these recruitment efforts and programs include:

How can you make your presentation accessible?

It is common to give a presentation at a conference with accompanying visuals. But what if there are individuals in the audience who are blind, have low vision, or are at a great distance from the screen so that they cannot see the visuals clearly or at all? What if there are individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing in the audience and cannot hear your presentation clearly or at all? You can employ presentation practices that ensure that everyone, even those with sensory impairments, can access the content of your presentation.

How can I better understand what it’s like to have a learning disability?

A learning disability is a neurological disorder resulting from a difference in the way a person’s brain (LD) is wired when compared to most people. Someone with a learning disability may have difficulty reading, writing, spelling, reasoning, recalling, or organizing. LDs cannot be cured or fixed. However, with the right support and intervention, people with LDs can succeed in school and go on to successful careers. People with learning disabilities often think outside of the box, seeing solutions to problems that someone else may not see.

Debra's Conference Experience: A Case Study on Challenges Faced by Conference Participants Who Are Deaf

Background

My name is Debra. I am a college student who is deaf. Over the summer, I participated in a Research Experience for Undergraduates summer program where I helped develop an open-source 3D-printed wrist orthosis for individuals who have had a spinal cord injury. I attended and presented the results of this research at a national conference focused on prosthetics and orthotics.

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