Center on Disability and Inclusion Awarded $1.7M to Support Employment for Individuals with Disabilities

Syracuse University School of Education’s Center on Disability and Inclusion has been awarded a five-year, $1.7 million New York State Education Department (NYSED) Core Rehabilitation Services contract to support individuals with disabilities interested in obtaining, maintaining, or advancing in employment.

Students meet with prospective employers
InclusiveU students meet prospective employers at the spring 2023 “reverse job fair” in downtown Syracuse.

The contract is administered through NYSED’s Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) program.

The agreement will enable CDI to continue and enhance two initiatives it already offers to students, youth, and adults with disabilities. Firstly, CDI provides no-cost Pre-employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) for students with disabilities in Central New York aged 14 to 21, including career and college exploration and training on workplace readiness and self-advocacy. Currently, CDI serves more than 300 students through Pre-ETS each year.

In addition to Pre-ETS services, the contract also includes services that will provide increased support to InclusiveU students participating in the initiative’s internship program, traditionally done in a student’s senior year.

InclusiveU brings students with intellectual disability to Syracuse University for a full college experience, including inclusive living, inclusive coursework, and career exploration and development. The additional employment support services will enable job coaching mentors to be used directly by students at their internship sites and work experience training to support career development prior to graduation. Each year, approximately 15 InclusiveU students complete an internship.

“The Center on Disability and Inclusion and InclusiveU are excited about the expansion of supports and resources we are able to offer students and individuals with disabilities with the ACCES-VR contract,” says InclusiveU Director Brianna M. Shults. “We are looking forward to partnering with ACCES-VR in a renewed way to continue strengthening and improving employment outcomes for people with disabilities on campus and in our community.”