Campus: CSU Northridge -- November 19, 2004
CSUN Teams With State to Find Disabled Students Jobs
Cal State Northridge's Center on Disabilities has teamed with the state's
Department of Rehabilitation for an innovative program that finds jobs for the
university's disabled students.
In just the past two years, job placement specialists in CSUN's WorkAbility IV
(WAIV) program have been able to find full-time positions for 28 people, and boast
of an 80 percent success rate in all of their job placement services.
"The program's main goals are to help students form productive employment
relationships with local and national businesses, and to assist companies in
finding the right person for the job--not just a body filling a job," said senior
job placement specialist Greg Miraglia, who added that the program is free to
Miraglia said that by hiring a student with a disability, business owners qualify
for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit program. The program offers employers who hire
students registered with the Department of Rehabilitation a 25 to 40 percent tax
credit of up to $6,000, depending on the student's period of employment.
Job placement specialist Isabelle Martin said some employers express concern about
the cost of hiring a person with a disability. In response, he points to a 2003
survey of employers that found that reasonable accommodations for people with
disabilities generally cost less than $500. In fact, 73 percent of employers
reported that their employees did not require special accommodations at all,
Hiring and retaining employees with the appropriate skills can be an expensive
challenge in today's job market, and Martin acknowledged some employers may be
leery of hiring a student, especially one who is disabled.
"Hiring an intern can be one way to remedy the situation," she said. "Internships
provide employers both a great opportunity to lower their hiring costs as well as
an opportunity to evaluate the employee's potential for hiring. It also gives
employers a chance to demystify any stereotypes about job accommodations and brings
an awareness to the company."
Resource specialist Erica Almeda said WAIV makes sure that the students it refers
come well prepared for a job setting.
"Not only are they ready with the academic skill set needed for the position, but
their proficiencies in various computer software applications pertinent to the job
are assessed. This makes certain that the students are highly qualified for the
positions to which they apply," she said.
For more information about the WorkAbility IV program, call CSUN's Disabilities
Resources Office at (818) 677-0118, e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Web site
Contact: Carmen Ramos Chandler, (818) 677-2130,