University Student Transition to Career: Career Workshop for Students with a Disability in Australia

By Kirsten Read.

Published by The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Students with a disability often experience a conflict between disclosing their disability to a potential employer, and fear of discrimination in the application and interview process. Generalised career workshops within the university have not covered this information and these workshops aim to "fill the gap" for students with a disability transitioning into the workplace.
"My Career Success" is a workshop for students at the University of South Australia and provides students with: knowledge about their rights and responsibilities around disclosure; an opportunity for them to develop a "personal disclosure plan" for how and when they might disclose their disability in the job seeking and application process; an opportunity to ask questions to an experienced panel of people from organisations outside the university, from both commercial and government sectors; and resume and job seeking advice. From evaluations, students have reported they gained both the confidence and information to develop and use their own personal disclosure plan. This paper will discuss relevant literature, the rationale behind "My Career Success" workshops at the University of South Australia, workshop content, and student evaluation and feedback.

Keywords: University, Careers, Students, Disability, Disclosure, Career development, Transition

The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp.23-32. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 287.732KB).

Kirsten Read

Disability Adviser, Learning and Teaching Unit, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia

I currently work as a disability adviser with the University of South Australia. I originally trained as an occupational therapist and worked with children with disabilities, then moved on to the university sector and now work with tertiary students who have a disability or medical condition that impacts on their studies. I provide information and advice to students and staff aimed at reducung disability related barriers to study. I develop individual student access plans which involve the use of specialised services, technology, and reasonable adjustments to curriculum.