Since 1994, the Start on Success (SOS) program – developed and seeded by NOD in a dozen cities – has been changing the odds dramatically for students with disabilities. SOS student interns split their day between paid positions at major community businesses and classroom instruction leading to a diploma. Interns are matched to jobs that take full advantage of their skills, interests, and longer-term career goals, with worksite supervisors providing regular guidance and mentorship.
Results have been impressive for the 4,000+ students served. Once students are introduced to the world of work through SOS, they go on to postsecondary education or employment at a rate of 75 to 85 percent – nearly triple the rate for all students with disabilities.
In NOD’s last Harris Survey of employers, nearly four in ten reported difficulty finding qualified candidates with disabilities. Starting in a pilot site, the National Organization on Disability will help you develop a program to recruit and retain job candidates with disabilities and develop the relationships needed to build an ongoing pipeline of talent. The engagement begins with an assessment of the site – including job descriptions, policies, hiring practices, work processes and site accessibility and accommodation requirements.