Disability and Employment Event for SMC Students

A Disability and Employment event took place in the SMC InterCultral Center last spring and was open to all students on campus. We had a small but engaged studen turnout with about 10 student attendees in total. Two guest speakers from Kaiser came to discuss the work Kaiser is doing in this area and Paula Conrad from the SMC Career & Professional Development Services office gave a presentation as well. The purpose of the event was to bring together individuals who could give information and advice to college students about the current job landscape for individuals with disabilities and to offer some tips and information to support students with their job or internship search. 

The Kaiser representatives spoke about the Kaiser multicultural business group called KPability, whose mission is to lead the development of a new mindset for and about persons with disabilities and to be a resource for employees, managers, and advocates. Kaiser also has an Integrated Disability Management (IDM) team that facilitates job accommodations once on the job. The SMC Career and Professional Development representative offered specific tips and tools for creating a resume and cover letter, talked about resources on campus for help on editing these documents and shared upcoming workshops students can attend for support in job and internship searches. Graduate student Mary Preschutti, who is also a graduate intern in the SMC Student Disability Services office and an individual with a disability, offered advice to the attendees about how to handle disclosure during a job or internship interview process and talked through some scenarios on when the appropriate or recommended time is to disclose a disability to potential employers. The event closed with two SMC undergraduate students who have disabilities sharing their experience with their job search, how they handled disclosure of their disability and what tips they have.

Students were provided time for questions and were given resources to connect with for support on job opportunities and internships specific to students with disabilities. Several students were able to connect with Kaiser after the event to talk about potential internship opportunities.