Wilberforce, Central State join program to support students with disabilities

Central State University President Dr. Jack Thomas, Director of Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Kevin Miller, and Wilberforce University President Dr. Elfred Anthony Pinkard sign a partnership agreement Tuesday.
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Central State University President Dr. Jack Thomas, Director of Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Kevin Miller, and Wilberforce University President Dr. Elfred Anthony Pinkard sign a partnership agreement Tuesday.

Students with disabilities at Wilberforce and Central State universities will soon have better access to resources and opportunities through Ohio’s College2Careers.

The two institutions have become the 16th and 17th Ohio universities partnering with the College2Careers program through Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities and the Ohio Department of Higher Education. The initiative places a dedicated vocational rehabilitation counselor on each campus to help students with disabilities navigate job searches, career counseling and assistive technology.

“This partnership is an important endeavor,” Wilberforce President Elfred Anthony Pinkard said. “To our students that are differently abled, we recognize that you bring a wealth, a talent, a specialness and uniqueness to Wilberforce and to every life you touch.”

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“The world is changing around us, and it is particularly important to ensure that students with disabilities have the services and support to complete their college education, expand their career opportunities and go on to be productive and competitive citizens who make a difference in Ohio and beyond,” Central State University President Jack Thomas said.

Vocational counselor Taleisa Jones has already helped students at both universities with everything from wheelchair access and vehicle hand controls to vocational counseling and job placement.

Lt. Gov. John Husted commended the two universities at a news conference Wednesday.

“It’s eliminating the barriers that stand between that student and academic and career success,” Husted said. “This is more important than ever today, because we have so many career opportunities that are out there that are going unfilled. We’re creating jobs faster than we can fill them. We need everybody who would like to be part of our economy, who would like to have a more hopeful future, to participate.”

Nearly 1,000 students are currently participating in College2Careers across the state.

“We need that to be thousands of students, and we think that their examples will be inspirations for others,” Husted said.

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