2000 Conference Proceedings

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Mary Ann Glicksman Computer Access Center ¥ 6234 West 87th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90045
(310) 338-1597 ¥ email cac@cac.org ¥ web site http://www.cac.org 

Christina H. Kimm, Ph.D.

Charter School of Education
Division of Special Education, California State University Los Angeles
5252 State University Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90032
(323) 343-4416 ¥ email ckimm@calstatela.edu


Vision and Goal:

To enhance employment outcomes of people with disabilities from multicultural/multilingual backgrounds

To enhance employability in jobs that use computer technology, that can lead to higher salaries and career paths rather than traditional low-end, functional jobs.

California State University Los Angeles' (CSULA) Academy on Transition Studies and the Computer Access Center (CAC), a community-based nonprofit, have joined resources on a three-year project with the aid of a grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. Project i.e provides training and support in pursuit of jobs that will give its students entry to employment opportunities in line with their personal goals.

Current Population Survey data shows that about 73 percent of people with disabilities are not working. Harris Polls done in 1980 and 1994 show that there has been an increase in the proportion of people with disabilities without jobs who want to work. The survey also discovered that there has been no increase in earnings of people with disabilities who are working. In fact, the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research found in the 90's that even though employment among people with all degrees of disability grew by more than a million, many jobs were "low end" jobs with minimum wage and no benefits.

Barriers are many and complicated: 1990 Harris Poll documented substantial barriers of which we are all aware: discrimination, transportation, accessibility, lack of personal assistance, need for special equipment, and loss of government benefits.

We add to the list a lack of education and training. A large number of people with disabilities, especially developmental disabilities, have low levels of education, and as adults have difficulty following classes at adult schools, community classes or colleges.

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Components/ Project Design:

Project i.e. addresses the issues of training, personal assistance and special equipment to enhance employability for its students with disabilities from the Los Angeles Empowerment Zone. The Empowerment Zone a federal program, was established to respond to issues of high poverty and lack of capital investment in its communities. It seeks to generate reinvestment and job creation within the communities of Pacoima, Downtown Los Angeles, Boyle Heights, South Central Los Angeles, Watts, Firestone and Willowbrook.

Computers are ubiquitous in our society. Businesses from corporate America to the corner dry cleaner depend on them. However many people with disabilities are not able to compete for these jobs because training is not available, or not suitable because of cognitive or physical issues.

Project i.e. has been created to address some of these issues.

Project i.e. is designed in three phases that overlap during the time period of one year. Three sets of ten students will participate, one set per year.

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Objective 1. Recruiting participants with disabilities from urban Empowerment Zones

Objective 2. Employability Training

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