The University of Guelph Launches WorkAbility Program: Empowering Students with Disabilities for Career Success

Posted on Thursday, October 26th, 2023

 A new work experience program for students with disabilities. Experiential Learning logo appears in the corner."

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month and Experiential Learning at UofG is excited to announce our new work experience program for students with disabilities, WorkAbility. The program is set to begin later this fall. 

Participants will be given access to tailored resources, opportunities, and guidance to navigate the employment process and transition to the workplace.  

"I am excited to work with our WorkAbility core committee in the Experiential Learning Hub and Student Accessibility Services to provide this opportunity for students with disabilities to navigate the job search process and gain work experience during their academic studies in a supportive environment. There are many existing resources available to students, and we plan to curate these so we can focus on transitioning them to the workplace and gaining work experience. This program will remove barriers to participation in work-integrated learning for students with disabilities and support our employer partners’ inclusive hiring practices. "
—Elaine Fenner, Director, Experiential Learning

The program will provide a minimum of 20 students with a paid summer work experience. Students will secure their work experience through a competitive process with the support of a new WorkAbility Employment Pathways Facilitator (EPF). 

The WorkAbility EPF will provide students enrolled in the program with individual training and support for writing resumes and cover letters, interviewing, setting learning goals, knowing how and when to disclose disabilities, navigating how to ask for accommodation, searching and applying for jobs, exploring career possibilities, and identifying their strengths and skills. 

Interested parties should contact Lily Abediny, Associate Director, Co-operative and Career Education, for more information. 

The Workability pilot program is funded by the David C. Onley Initiative 2.0 and the Province of Ontario.