Ohio University Eastern’s associate professor of instruction Michael Schor was featured on an Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) podcast sharing his story on how OOD helped him get to where he is today.
“I think people all have special parts of their past and things in which they’re interested in that could be aborted or blocked by a disability or change in circumstances,” Schor reflected. “Whatever kinds of things people are going through, it’s important not to lose valuable parts of themselves and to have that full richness in life by removing barriers.”
Schor, who teaches finance courses and is the president of Ohio University’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors, participated with OOD about 15 years ago after a surgical accident left him struggling to complete work tasks like before. After taking time to reflect on his accomplishments from then until today, he reached out to his former OOD vocational rehabilitation counselor, Melinda Wingard, to update her on the success he has found since receiving rehabilitation.
In the podcast, Schor explains how the effects of the accident impacted his work, and how he acknowledged he needed help to get back to where he was before. He goes on to talk about how he actively reached out to OOD to get himself back on track and how the resources that Wingard offered him, helped advance him throughout his career.
“Melinda’s role was so meaningful to me because she really listened and kind of coached me to thinking of ideas without being overbearing, and that enthusiasm says, ‘Oh I believe in you, you’re good,’” Schor said.
Not only has Schor been impacted and found success from OOD, but thousands of college students across the state of Ohio, including those at Ohio University, also have the opportunity to find success in their careers through OOD.
As part of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s budget, Ohio College2Careers (Ohio C2C), an OOD program, immerses a full-time, dedicated vocational rehabilitation counselor in the disability services offices at 15 public colleges and universities, including Ohio University, to ensure that students with disabilities have the support they need to complete their degree and/or credential, earn higher wages, and meet the demands of the labor market.
“We are pleased to have OOD as a partner and collaborator across the state,” Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education Randy Gardner said. “The efforts of Director (Kevin) Miller and his staff play a critical role in making higher education more accessible for all students.”
Counselors work with students with disabilities to provide services such as career counseling, assistive technology, resume and interview preparation, placement services for internships and permanent employment, and other supports. The program also provides students with disabilities access to OOD’s network of employer partners through two career development specialists who facilitate placement in paid internships and permanent employment opportunities.
“Thanks to the University community’s warm response to the OOD podcast, I can go beyond the standard encouragement I give to students to request accommodations as needed to support their success in classes,” Schor added. “It is good for our whole society when barriers to career success are overcome.”
OOD’s podcast is available here. Transcripts and MP3 files are available at ood.ohio.gov/podcast.