Internship and Employment Planning amidst COVID-19

As we are planning for our return to campus later this month, we have reached out to internship and employer partners to determine if they are able to host interns/student employees (and created a few new partnerships!). We have found that a lot of our partners are closed or not able to have interns or volunteers at this time (and some will not allow interns until a vaccine is available).

Families and students – please let us know your comfortability and any restrictions you may have with interning/working this upcoming semester should something be available. Students would be expected to follow any protocols/procedures put in place by the work site.

We will do our best to place students in work experiences as we understand this is an important component of the program and appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate these difficult times. In addition to interning, students are able to gain career development hours through activities such as:

  • Career Advising Meetings
  • Career Research and Exploration (maybe virtual informational interviews, career videos, etc. as well??)
  • Resume and Cover Letter Development/Updates
  • Job Search and Practice Applications
  • Career Fair Preparation and Attendance
  • Creating accounts for and exploring job search engines (e.g. Handshake, AlumniFire, LinkedIn, etc.)
  • Interview Preparation and Practice
  • Soft Skills Activities (e.g. teamwork, communication, networking, problem-solving, professionalism, etc.)
  • Online Trainings – Microsoft, LinkedIn, OMJ
  • Buckeye OnPACE Career Modules
  • OMJ Practice Interview Center
  • Getting involved in OSU virtual career opportunities

Please reach out to Ashlee Leslie (Ashlee.Leslie@osumc.edu) or Patty Conkey (Patty.Conkey@osumc.edu) regarding questions, your comfortability with returning to work and/or any restrictions you may have.

Ian Danielsen, Longwood University – Programs for Students With Disabilities

 

Portrait of Ian Danielsen, Assistant Professor at Longwood University. Ian is wearing a blue button up shirt with an orange tie and a plaid blazer.

Ian Danielsen, Assistant Professor at Longwood University

Ian Danielsen, assistant professor of social work, discusses programs designed to help those with disabilities get the education they need in the Academic Minute Podcast for Inside Higher Ed.

Assistant Professor Ian Danielsen earned his Master of Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1992. He then worked for the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice for nearly ten years in an intensive treatment program for sexually reactive youths.  He then worked for almost four years as a Clinician for a private agency providing residential treatment services for sexually reactive adolescent boys in foster care.

He began serving as the Director of the Greater Richmond SCAN Children’s Advocacy Center in June of 2006. Serving also as an adjunct faculty instructor for the VCU School of Social Work from 2009 to 2016, Ian has coordinated several important projects including earning Accreditation from the National Children’s Alliance, forming new multidisciplinary child abuse teams, and engaging in statewide legislative advocacy efforts.

Ian was honored to be a 2011 recipient of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award and a 2012 awardee of the Commonwealth of Virginia Governor’s Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect. He also serves on the Virginia Bar Association’s Commission on the Needs of Children. He was also named an honoree of the “Unsung Hero” award for victim advocacy in April 2020 by the Virginia Office of the Attorney General.

Ian accepted a faculty position in Longwood University’s Social Work Program in 2016.  Shortly thereafter, he joined a steering committee to form “The Longwood LIFE” Program, a post-secondary education program at Longwood for young adults who have intellectual disabilities.

Discussing Programs for Students With Disabilities

 

Transcript of the Academic Minute Podcast with Ian Danielsen

Increasingly across the U.S., colleges and universities are establishing programs for young adult students with intellectual disabilities and students on the Autism spectrum. In Virginia alone, there are at least three such post-secondary programs active in state universities, with some collaboration among them. 

While programs vary in style, structure, and cost, they are all rooted in a value system of inclusion and accessibility.  The growth of programs nationally reflects a collective recognition that the vast and deep resources of universities can be of great benefit students with intellectual disabilities, both academically and vocationally.

Colleges and universities are often seen as microcosms of larger society; they represent a training ground for students to practice skills for future independent living.  It therefore follows that if students with disabilities gain access to this setting of supported semi-independent living, then their competencies for greater independence will grow as well.

Some university programs include students with disabilities in pre-existing non-degree courses, on a sort of “audit” basis, tailoring the students’ course loads to their academic and career interests. Others provide more individualized instruction, offering courses in social skills, daily living skills, and skills for development of healthy relationships, as well as tailor-made coursework in economics, physical education, music, and theatre.

We have studied the ways in which our program has benefited students and found genuine growth in their life skills and vocational readiness. My research focus is in the benefits to other university students, faculty, staff, and parents, as we have seen time and time again that inclusion enhances and lifts the culture of the university as a whole, our mutually beneficial experiences supporting the personal and professional growth of us all.

SOURCE: https://academicminute.org/2020/07/ian-danielsen-longwood-university-programs-for-students-with-disabilities/

Internship Feature: OSU Student Health Services Physical Therapy Department

When TOPS approached Pam Bork (Senior Physical Therapist for OSU Student Health Services) about creating an internship for students in the TOPS Program, she welcomed us with open arms and was eager to make it work. She met us with a smile on her face, gave us a tour of the facility and office spaces, and we collaborated to come up with various tasks students can work on to build their employment skills in her department.

Depending on a student’s interest, some of the things they can learn in the Physical Therapy department include:

  • Office Support – greeting incoming patients, answering the phone, making copies, checking the mail and writing appointment reminder cards
  • Healthcare and Physical Therapy – cleaning and resetting gym equipment and patient rooms, stocking and ordering therapy supplies, sit in on therapy appointments to learn about different types of therapy and assist
  • Research – do online research regarding things like health and wellness, different types of injuries, why people need physical therapy, and physical therapy exercises that help patients get better
Student (Connor) in black and white polo shirt sitting on a green exercise ball. Connor is sitting next to Pam, his internship supervisor, and learning about different types of therapy.

TOPS student, Connor Silverman, learning about therapy exercises from his internship supervisor, Pam Bork.

If there is something a student wants to learn more about, Pam is happy to help them towards that goal. She takes the time to get to know each student and understand how they learn best to help them be successful and as independent as possible – one of our students, Connor, loved that Pam talked with him about Ohio State football and that she had a checklist of tasks for him to utilize each shift. Thank you to Pam and her team for creating such an inclusive and supportive environment for TOPS students.

Employer Spotlight: Patient Transportation Embraces All

Photo of Shelly Martin, Ben Walter and John Roese behind a patient transportation cart holding a red "Inclusiveness" sign

Shelly Martin (Assistant Director of Patient Transportation), Ben Walter (General Services Assistant) and John Roese (Supervisor of Hospital Transport Services); Image Source

An “Inclusive” Look Behind the Scenes

When you ask 23-year-old Ben Walter how he’s doing, you get a cheerful, “Good, very busy!”

Each day, Ben rounds up dozens of wheelchairs, motorized stretchers and gurneys from all parts of The James – and makes sure they’re clean and ready to roll.

Ben is the one and only general services assistant in the Patient Transportation Department at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. He earned this newly created job title after working hard in the TOPS Program at the Nisonger Center, which offers unique study and employment opportunities for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“Ben takes great pride in his work,” says his supervisor, John Roese, Patient Transportation. “He’s full of energy. He loves to talk with people and connect with others.”

Actually, John is a relationship-builder too ─ in the way he partners with Ben and supervises his team.

“John changes the atmosphere in a positive way ─ with his spirituality, adaptability and empathy. He’s an amazing listener, says Shelly Martin, assistant director of Patient Transportation. “We knew he would be adept at helping Ben succeed in this new position.”

Shelly and John embrace the core value of inclusiveness as they manage Ben and the rest of the Patient Transportation team.

“We are committed to inclusion and efforts to support everyone,” Shelly says.

Within the Patient Transportation Department, team members of different ages, abilities, genders and cultural backgrounds work toward the same goal: safe, timely transportation of patients.

Diverse team performs vital work 

The Patient Transportation Department is vital for the smooth operation of the hospital and for providing a pleasant customer service experience.

“It’s very important work that we do,” Shelly says. “Our team members transport patients throughout the entire health system, everywhere except outpatient facilities and OSU East. We know how to get from points A to B efficiently.”

Meanwhile, John supervises the Patient Transportation storekeepers ─ Ben, plus five others. They collect abandoned wheelchairs and equipment, easily walking 10 miles a day through hospital tunnels, crossovers and parking garages. They make sure everything is sanitized, powered up and functioning properly ─ essential work that could easily be taken for granted.

“Our storekeepers do their part to make sure there are no delays in patient care,” John explains. “Sometimes their work goes unnoticed. You just expect wheelchairs and stretchers to magically appear and be there, but you don’t see the behind-the-scenes people who make it happen.”

Naturally, wheelchairs and gurneys are hot commodities around here. So each morning, Ben assesses the equipment supply in the storage room and helps line up wheelchairs at the entrance for people arriving at The James.

Next, he meticulously checks the floors for left-behind equipment, which will be needed throughout the day for transporting patients to surgeries, X-rays and other procedures.

“To help Ben keep track of what he’s doing, his coaches created a special list on a dry erase card,” explains John. “After he collects equipment from one floor, he checks it off, and then hits the next floor, working his way down.”

“It’s a lot of walking,” Ben says with a laugh.

Being differently abled doesn’t stop people from working in Patient Transportation.

“Everyone deserves a chance. We’ll work a strategy to make people successful ─ through accommodations or resources,” John says. “Ben and I talk throughout the day. I make sure his needs are met, and we work hard to get the job done. We’re glad he’s here.”

Break down barriers ─ why not? 

By tackling his job each day, Ben breaks down barriers and brings awareness to others that differently abled people can perform many types of roles.

“Ben shows great courage in just being here,” Shelly says. “At first, people may not understand, but he takes us through the learning process of how we can accept and appreciate people of all intellectual and physical abilities.”

Whenever reasonably possible, Shelly does her best to be inclusive and support her team members dealing with other life issues, too.

“For example, we try to make accommodations for people who have visual challenges due to age. We try to accommodate women after childbirth who face nursing challenges and single parents who need to adjust their schedules to care for children,” Shelly explains. “We even incorporate shoes into our uniform budget so our staff (who walk 7-10 miles a day) can afford shoes.”

When someone has a challenging request or situation, Shelly, John and the rest of the leadership team first ask themselves, “Why not?”

“Let’s figure out how we can do this,” Shelly explains. “And if there’s a good reason we can’t, that’s fine. But before we say no, we always ask, ‘Why not?’”

Being inclusive pays big dividends for everyone.

“When we treat people with respect and fairness, they have that sense of belonging and can be an equal team member,” Shelly says. “They come to work with joy and passion for their work.”

Grateful for the opportunity

As for Ben, he’s thrilled to work in health care. His mother was a physical therapist, and this job helps him proudly follow in her footsteps.

After a long shift of checking floors and gathering up wheelchairs and transportation equipment, Ben feels like he’s making a contribution.

“I feel good because I’m helping people. I help my co-workers because they don’t have to find the gurneys and clean them,” explains Ben.

And by providing wheelchairs, Ben helps our patients, too.

“I make the patients’ days a little easier,” he says. “Patients are dealing with a lot of stress, and sometimes life and death stuff. I know how they feel. And this is how I can help them.”

Quick Facts About Patient Transportation 

  • We have approximately 70 transport staff members (and we’re training more).
  • Our team performs approximately 700 patient transports daily.
  • We have approximately 400 wheelchairs (and can always use more).
  • It’s not unusual for team members to walk 7-10 miles a day, transporting patients and collecting equipment.
  • We’ve tracked down our wheelchairs in parking garages, downtown alleys, at Goodwill and even as far away as West Virginia.

This article is part of a series describing how Ohio State faculty and staff are leading the way by embodying the Buckeye Spirit in everything they do through shared values of empathy, ownership, inclusiveness, determination, innovation and sincerity. 

Article Source: “Patient Transportation Embraces All.” HealthBeat HUB, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, 10 June 2020, advocate.socialchorus.com/ohiostate/ohiostate/sc4#contents/22286919.

Employment Tips during COVID-19

Many of us find ourselves navigating a new normal for work in the midst of COVID-19. Some of us have lost work, some of us do not want to work for the safety of themselves and others (and that is okay!), some of us can work and want to work, and some have been working all along to keep us safe. Here are some tips if you fall into any of those categories:

I lost my job, what next?

If you were furloughed or laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may qualify for Unemployment Benefits or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. You can learn more and apply for benefits at https://unemploymenthelp.ohio.gov/. Under the expanded eligibility, those who were laid off as a direct result of COVID-19 are eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. There is no minimum income requirement for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance like there is for traditional Unemployment Benefits. (“Expanded Eligibility Coronavirus Unemployment Help.” Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, 2020, unemploymenthelp.ohio.gov/expandedeligibility/).

As businesses are starting to open back up, make sure to get in touch with your employer about when it is safe to return to work. There might be new protocols you have to follow to make sure you are keeping yourself and others safe and healthy.

I do not feel comfortable working right now. What can I do from home to keep my skills sharp?

I am willing and ready to work. Where do I start?

First, you will want to make sure your resume and references are up-to-date. The State of Ohio has created a new job search website for those that are searching for work at this time at jobsearch.ohio.gov. You can enter your city or zip code to filter jobs that are available near your home. As businesses are starting to reopen, jobs may begin posting again. Some other online resources to search for jobs include:

I have been working all along.

If you are still working, it might look very different than what you were used to. A lot of businesses have implemented new procedures to ensure the health and safety of their workforce and their customers, visitors or patients. Taking the time to recharge and do a relaxing activity each day may alleviate some of the new stresses you are facing. Some ideas include:

  • Take a walk or hike at your favorite park
  • FaceTime your friends and family
  • Try a new yoga workout on YouTube
  • Read for 30 minutes
  • Paint, color or draw
  • Cook or bake a new recipe
  • Watch your favorite movie or TV show
  • Take a nap
  • Meditate
  • Make a gratitude list

Wherever you are in the world of work right now, we hope these tips will be helpful in navigating your current circumstances. We hope you all stay healthy and safe!

 

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)! The Office of Disability Employment Policy in the Department of Labor puts on this annual campaign, which “celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and educates about the value of a workforce inclusive of their skills and talents” (National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2018, n.d.).

How did NDEAM begin?

NDEAM began in 1945. The campaign was established by President Truman after World War II as many individuals with disabilities returned home and needed work (National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2018, n.d.).

Hiring Individuals with Disabilities

There are countless benefits to hiring individuals with disabilities, such as:

    • Creating “an inclusive and diverse workplace culture” (Lindsay, S., Cagliostro, E., Albarico, M. et al., 2018, p.17)
    • Higher customer loyalty & satisfaction (Lindsay, S., Cagliostro, E., Albarico, M. et al., 2018, p.17)
    • Increased profits & cost-effectiveness (Lindsay, S., Cagliostro, E., Albarico, M. et al., 2018, p.15)
    • Higher retention & less turnover (Lindsay, S., Cagliostro, E., Albarico, M. et al., 2018, p.15)
    • Playing a role in ensuring individuals with disabilities have equal access to the workforce!

Are you an employer wondering how you can engage in NDEAM? Click here.

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Office of Disability Employment Policy

 

Sources:

Lindsay, S., Cagliostro, E., Albarico, M. et al. J Occupational Rehabilitation (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10926-018-9756-z

National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2018. (n.d.). In Office of Disability Employment Policy. Retrieved from https://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/ndeam/

Spiff up your resume!

Looking for a job can be very overwhelming. One thing that job seekers constantly ask themselves is “where do I begin?” A lot of people do not want to leave their current job because they have NO idea where to begin with updating their resumes. A resume is tool that is designed to get you the interview.

Did you know that hiring managers usually take less than 15 seconds to look review your resume? Your resume is the hiring manager’s first impression of you. You want to take the time to make sure it is a good one. Make sure that …

  1. Your current contact information is ALWAYS located at the top of your resume.
  2. Your employment history gives detailed information about your work experience.
  3. Your experience is displayed in chronological format. Include your job title for each position listed, the employers’ names, and the dates you worked. List your accomplishments.
  4. Use a functional resume format that focuses on your functional skill areas.
  5. Highlight your competencies. For example: extensive retail and customer service experience, ability to multi-task and prioritize, enjoy working with and helping others.
  6. Customize your resume for each position by including key words targeted to each.
  7. Use bullet points and concise language to help make it easier to read.

Finally, there are some common mistakes that you can easily avoid!

  • Do make sure you meet basic requirements for the position
  • Do not include false information on your resume
  • Do not include personal or health information
  • Do not use more than 2 fonts
  • Do not use clip art or photos
  • Do not include salary information
  • Do make sure you SPELL CHECK!

For more information, check out the Goodwill Community Foundation’s tips on resume writing.