Monday, June 18 , 2018, 9:34 am | Fair 63º


Independent Living Resource Center Seeks Employers to Mentor Students with Disabilities

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. The Independent Living Resource Center of Santa Barbara is organizing several events to highlight the benefits to employers of a diversified workforce while involving youth with disabilities in the real world of work.

ILRC community organizer Jacob Lesner-Buxton is heading up a month-long project to pair five to 10 students with disabilities with five to 10 employers for a two-hour "job shadowing" experience. ILRC staff will match students with employers as well as coordinate the job-shadowing experience.

One employer who agreed to have a student with a disability job shadow during her workday to raise awareness about employment for people with disabilities is Santa Barbara Mayor Pro Tempore Cathy Murillo.

According to Lesner-Buxton, ILRC is extremely pleased to have the support of the mayor pro tempore on this project since unemployment in the disability community hovers around 70 percent nationally.

The U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy established the October tribute to raise awareness about employing people with disabilities and to celebrate their many and varied contributions to America’s workforce.

ODEP Assistant Secretary Kathleen Martinez wrote that this year’s campaign theme centers on three words — "Expect, Employ, Empower” — to urge communities to have higher expectations for our youth with disabilities and clearly conveying that an integrated and inclusive workplace benefits everyone.

For more information and to participate in ILRCs job shadowing program, contact Lesner-Buxton at [email protected].

— Kristyn Barker is an administrative assistant for the Independent Living Resource Center.


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