Employment Supports Affinity Group
AFFINITY GROUP FACILITATOR
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Welcome to the Think College Employment Supports Affinity Group!
The Employment Supports Affinity Group is designed for employment-support professionals in college programs for students with intellectual disability. This is an open-access special interest group for individuals who want to contribute to a discussion on ways to facilitate meaningful employment opportunities for students with ID in postsecondary education environments.
The purpose of the affinity group is to support members through:
- Equipping employment-support professionals with an online community offering discussions on issues, strategies, and results related to employment for students with ID in higher education programs
- Facilitating meaningful dialogue among employment stakeholders that emphasizes improving employment-related education, opportunities, and outcomes for students with ID
- Connecting with other employment-support professionals to brainstorm solutions, share resources, and build collaborative relationships
NOTES FROM PAST MEETINGS
March 30, 2021:
Summary: The group provided updates on program status. Some are operating remotely, and others are operating in a combination of remote and in-person. Some students are engaged in virtual internships and as well as in the community. Career placements are also occurring in-person and remotely. In regard to the return to “new normal,” members reported that they would like to see continue. Hybrid classes, virtual job coaching in some capacity, and the use and development of technology skills were mentioned. Guest presenters Meghan Smithgall and Sarah Bernard joined to share information on Inclusivity, a professional network transforming the way candidates with disabilities, mental health conditions, and chronic illness connect with inclusive employers. Their employment database helps individuals with disabilities find jobs with employers that are creating more educated, accommodating, and accessible workplaces. See additional notes.
November 3, 2020:
Summary: The group debriefed on fall semester activities. Members shared whether students were engaged remotely or in hybrid programs. Student enrollment stayed steady, and some programs even saw an increase. Students are continuing to be placed in jobs and internships. Members reported what they are struggling with, which include trouble connecting to students from previous year, ability to prioritize employment rather than an internship, and students taking a gap year. See additional notes.
August 19, 2020:
Summary: First meeting of the group, with introductions and discussion on possible topics for future meetings and communication strategies for the group to utilize.
Join the Conversation!
The Employment Supports Affinity Group maintains a Slack channel to support on-going communication among its members. Click HERE to join the channel!