“People with disabilities continue to face discrimination in the workplace, and it is imperative that the Los Angeles community continues its efforts to diversify the workforce,” said Megan Eigenbrod, a disability management counselor at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). “Adept business professionals with disabilities may better understand the needs of clients with disabilities and can serve as leaders.”

(Photo Courtesy of Megan Eigenbrod)

(Photo Courtesy of Megan Eigenbrod)

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job seekers with physical limitations are less likely to be hired in a business-related vocation, regardless of their levels of education. Eigenbrod said it is a societal trend that CSUN is determined to correct.

“Our mission is to decrease the unemployment rate for college graduates with disabilities,” Eigenbrod said. “As of 2012, only one-fourth of college graduates with a disability are employed.”

How is CSUN helping these business majors secure employment?

“In order to prepare business students with disabilities to be competitive in the marketplace, they are encouraged to participate in internships, volunteer work, and CSUN’s Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES).”

How does DRES benefit them?

“DRES assists business students with disabilities through peer academic coaching and career counseling. We also organize events designed to strengthen their professional network and improve their job-search skills.”

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What makes the business industry an ideal career path?

“By law, businesses and corporations are required to have knowledge of the rights of people with disabilities in the workplace. Once students gain business skills with a company, they are more likely to be successful as a future business owner and have the ability to create a workflow and schedule that works best for them.”

How will the roles of people with disabilities within the business field change by 2022?

“People with disabilities should expect to work less traditional hours, communicate virtually with team members or clients, hold more than one job simultaneously, and embrace opportunities for entrepreneurship.”

What is your advice to career-minded graduates with disabilities?

“Job seekers with disabilities should be aware of their strengths and limitations. This awareness will demonstrate to future employers that they can self-manage and perform at the same level as candidates without disabilities, even if they do things a little differently.”

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Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to Examiner.com.