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Press Release:

MEDIA CONTACT: Christine Dardet
561-297-3029, cdardet@fau.edu

FAU Office for Students with Disabilities and Stand Among Friends Launch Career Placement Program

BOCA RATON, FL (April 24, 2012) – Florida Atlantic University’s Office for Students with Disabilities and Stand Among Friends (SAF), a Boca Raton-based charitable 503(c)3 nonprofit organization, recently launched “CareerAbility,” a professional placement program designed to prepare college students who are approaching graduation to launch a career in their field and help maintain steady, long-term employment.

“More than 100 students with disabilities graduate from FAU each year,” said Nicole Rokos, director of the Office for Students with Disabilities. “Our students are highly motivated to achieve their career goals and have great potential to make a positive impact in the workforce.  By offering students training and job matching, they will be more than ready to launch their careers upon graduation.”

More than 800 FAU students currently are registered with FAU’s Office for Students with Disabilities, where staff provide students with documented disabilities the academic support services and accommodations they need to give them equal access to all the academic programs at FAU.  Students who voluntarily enroll in the “CareerAbility” program, which is being offered at no cost, will participate in a pre-employment training course that covers topics such as interviewing skills and cover letter, resume and thank you note writing.  After completing the pre-employment course, students will participate in a job matching component to focus on marketing themselves via social media and online job searches. A dedicated employment coordinator with corporate contacts and experience with the career placement process will be an integral part of the program, and students may work in tandem with FAU’s Career Development Center to maximize their job placement success. 

Staff from FAU’s Office for Students with Disabilities and Stand Among Friends will also work with employers on what to expect when hiring a person with disabilities.

“Without a program like ‘CareerAbility,’ many of these students have a difficult time finding a job after graduation,” said Shawn Friedkin, founder and president of SAF.  “This program will provide a unique opportunity for students to set themselves apart from the many other recent college graduates competing for professional jobs.  We expect that ‘CareerAbility’ will play a vital role in helping FAU graduates with disabilities start out on the right foot and begin building a meaningful career.”

Friedkin founded SAF in 1997 to enhance the lives of people with disabilities by promoting opportunities for them to live without limits and experience the highest degree of independence and success in their communities. In 2006, SAF opened The Disability Center, a designated Center of Excellence within the State of Florida university system, on FAU’s Boca Raton campus in the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing building.  Current SAF programs help individuals transition to greater independence by teaching work, technology and social skills while emphasizing each person’s talents, interests and education. 

CareerAbility is a grant-funded initiative of The Able Trust, a key leader in providing Floridians with disabilities successful opportunities for employment.  For more information, contact FAU’s Office for Students with Disabilities at 561-297-3880.

-FAU-

About Florida Atlantic University:
Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 29,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit www.fau.edu.

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