4. Use Government
The Department of Labor’s
Vocational Rehabilitation and
Employment Service group is
geared toward helping veterans with
disabilities. It is used by SSM
Healthcare and Cingular.
“We publish our job openings at
local military-transition offices,”
says Yvonne Tisdel, corporate vice
president of human resources and
system diversity at SSM
Healthcare. Tisdel suffered a back
injury while in the military.
“It is likely that people coming
out of the military have a technical
background,” she adds.
Reed serves on the Department of
Labor’s Corporate Executive Advisory
Council’s Circle of Champions and
also serves on the board of the
Georgia Council for Employing
Find Students With Disabilities
There are more than 2. 6 million reasons why organizations such as Career Opportunities for Students
with Disabilities (COSD) and Entry Point! are necessary.
Recent census data shows that there are 2. 6 million
people with disabilities between the ages of 5 and 15.
Organizations such as COSD and Entry Point! are working
to make sure that by the time these children enter college
and then the work force, corporations will be ready for
them and—more importantly—know how to find them.
While 78 percent of The 2006 DiversityInc Top 50
Companies for Diversity® have active programs to
recruit people with disabilities, most Fortune 500 companies don’t—and even those that do report difficulty
finding “qualified” candidates. This is because they don’t
know where to look and they don’t actively start a
pipeline for future employees.
“We know students with disabilities are an
untapped talent pool … Businesses have to understand that being disabled does not mean your intelligence is disabled,” says Virginia Stern, the director of
the American Association for the Advancement of
Science’s (AAAS) Entry Point! internship program.
Students with disabilities often learn about organizations and programs such as Entry Point! and COSD
through career-services offices or disability student
centers, according to Laureen Summers, an Entry
Point! program associate.
Entry Point!, which started in 1996, matches students
with disabilities who have demonstrated high motivation
and achievement in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields in internships in research and
development throughout the United States. Students are
paired up with mentors who provide guidance for future
undergraduate coursework, plans for graduate study, and
often potential employment opportunities.
“The reason employers may say they do not know
where to find them is because of the law (the ADA).
Students with disabilities are attending just about