The University of Maryland announced the opening of a new center that will be dedicated to assisting students with disabilities build a meaningful successful career once their days as a Terp are over.
Maryland governor Larry Hogan has voiced his support for the Center for Transition and Career Innovation (CTCI) with aims to increase employment among individuals with disability and promote self-sufficiency.
“Maryland is committed to improving the lives of people with disabilities, and this new initiative at UMD will help increase employment and promote economic self-sufficiency for young people with disabilities,” Hogan said in a press release.
The center will create a database that helps students find resourceful services that help them find employment and careers. The state will use this data to assist them in drafting policies that will “make it more likely for students with disabilities to transition from school to employment and adult life successfully” according to Richard Luecking, one of the researchers involved in the center.
According to UMD Dean of Education, Jennifer King Rice, “The launch of the UMD Center for Transition and Career Innovation is an opportunity for the state and the University of Maryland to collaborate on identifying and implementing best practices in career and education to improve the lives of youth with disabilities.
“Bringing this important work together under one center provides benefits to the state, the university, the field and most importantly, promotes meaningful work and academic opportunities for youth with disabilities.”
The Maryland Department of Disabilities is also involved in this initiative and it’s clear that they see an opportunity.
According to their secretary, Carol A. Beatty, “The state of Maryland is poised to serve as a national leader in implementing solutions for youth with disabilities that help them achieve a better quality of life.”
Beatty went on to say “For students with disabilities, the transition from school to employment and adult life is a critical time period, which is why career preparation and transition services are a priority for ensuring that youth with disabilities achieve successful employment.”
The Center for Transition and Career Innovation is the University of Maryland College of Education’s latest research center. It joins others that are focused on bettering the educational experience for minority students such as the Maryland Equity Project (MEP) and the Maryland Institute for Minority Achievement and Urban Education (MIMAUE). This is the first of UMD’s centers to deal with students after education, and the first to focus exclusively on people with disabilities.