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University supports students with disabilities through new initiative

Published: December 2, 2019 Author: Staff reports

Ohio University joined public colleges and universities in Ohio to support students with disabilities as they complete their education and prepare to enter the job market through a partnership with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities and the Ohio Department of Higher Education.

Launched in October, the Ohio College2Careers program places a full-time, dedicated vocational rehabilitation counselor in the disability services offices at 15 public colleges and universities.

"Ohio University has made a strong commitment to provide an accessible educational environment that supports all students as they pursue their academic goals,” said President M. Duane Nellis. “We have recently partnered with OOD to offer the Ohio College2Careers program on our campus. This extra level of support will help students with disabilities navigate their college experience as they prepare for a satisfying and successful professional future.”

Ohio College2Careers will ensure students with disabilities have the support they need to complete their degree and/or credential, earn higher wages, and meet the demands of tomorrow’s labor market. A full-time dedicated OOD vocational rehabilitation counselor can provide career counseling and purchase additional services and supports that help students with disabilities to stay in school, successfully complete their degree and obtain employment after graduation.

“This initiative not only allows us to offer additional supports to students with disabilities but also connects participants to an expansive network of employer partners,” said Kevin Miller, director of OOD. “Working within public colleges and universities means individuals with disabilities have a greater opportunity of success as they transition from academic life to a career.”

“We are grateful for the opportunity to provide new resources to OHIO students through OOD’s expanded services to break down barriers to their employment,” said Carey Busch, assistant dean for accessibility.

Busch noted that OOD services will complement the services already provided by Student Accessibility Services, as well as the Career and Leadership Development Center.  

Ohio College2Careers Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Hanna Jadwisienczak is available to support Ohio University students in cooperation with Student Accessibility Services.  

“The transition from college into careers can be challenging for students and we want to ensure that students with disabilities receive the support they need to successfully transition into careers after college, and that students are able to transfer accommodations, or advocate for themselves, as they explore opportunities and prepare to move into their careers,” Jadwisienczak said.

Though Jadwisienczak serves only students on the Athens campus, any individual with a disability may be eligible for OOD services and can find contact information at https://oodworks.com/contact.html. Students may contact Jadwisienczak directly via email at hanna.jadwisienczak@ood.ohio.gov or by phone at 740-592-4411. They can also request a referral from their accessibility coordinator, or find more information and complete OOD’s online application at www.OODWorks.com.