Our Mission IMPACTability fights for equal access to employment opportunities for college students with disabilities. We empower students to break through workforce barriers and open doors with our career readiness and mentoring programs.
Our Values Champion Diversity, Equity and Inclusion We recognize the value that college students with disabilities add to the diversity of the workplace. We strive to identify and eliminate barriers that prevent full participation by creating inclusive learning environments where college students with disabilities feel respected, supported, valued, and able to fully participate in their education and career preparation.
Empower Our Students to Self-Advocate We encourage college students with disabilities to become self-advocates who know their strengths, advocate for themselves, decide what they want to do now and in the future, and take charge of their career goals. Foster Professional Growth Opportunities We provide mentoring partnerships and career readiness training that enables college students with disabilities to refine their resumes, project a professional image, gain interview experience, and attain jobs and internships.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Statement Diversity Diversity means representing people’s diverse identities and differences (national origin, language, race, disability, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, veteran status, and family structure) while respecting differences. Diversity brings in new ideas and lived experiences which ensures that multiple perspectives are represented and valued. Read more
Equity Equity means identifying and eliminating barriers that prevent underserved groups, such as college students with disabilities, from achieving their full potential and goals. Equity ensures that everyone has what they need to be successful. We strive to promote fairness in everything we do. Read more
Inclusion Inclusion is the degree to which diverse individuals fully participate and have a sense of belonging. We create inclusive learning environments where college students with disabilities feel respected, supported, valued, and able to fully engage in their education and career preparation.We ensure a culture of belonging by recognizing the talents and skills of all people. We build relationships and trust with college students with disabilities. Read more
Accessibility Accessibility means designing and delivering programs and services so that all people, including people with disabilities, can fully and independently use them. We believe in equal access to information and resources. Read more
Advocacy IMPACTability’svolunteers mentor and empower college students with disabilities to become self-advocates who know their strengths, advocate for themselves, decide what they want to do now and in the future, and take charge of their career goals.
Our Inclusion Promise At IMPACTability, we welcome people of all abilities, identities, generations, and cultural backgrounds. We are a diverse and inclusive community of committed disability advocates. We see you! We care about you! We value you!
Read More Content Diversity Read more IMPACTability pursues our mission at the City University of New York (CUNY) because of its diversity:
CUNY students range generationally in age from 18-50+.
Over 10,000 students with disabilities attend CUNY.
CUNY Enrollment is 30.2% Hispanic, 25.2% Black, 23.1% White, 21.2% Asian/Pacific Islander, and 0.3% American Indian/Alaskan Native.
35percentofCUNYstudentswerebornoutside of theUS mainland.
Over50percent of CUNY students reportanannualhouseholdincomeoflessthan$30,000.
IMPACTabilityintegrates Diversity into our CareerReady! program in two ways. First, we bring students from multiple generations, identities, and campuses into one united cohort. Structured mentoring connects students with experienced professionals as mentors. This results in impactful cross-generational mentorship. All generations bring their lived experiences and lessons learned through successes, failures, and real-world realities. Second, we bridge disability communities by supporting students with visible and invisible disabilities.
Equity Read more A top barrier that college students with disabilities face when transitioning into the workforce is the lack of employment opportunities. Research shows a higher unemployment rate compared to nondisabled peers. Although 60% of undergraduate students obtain a job after graduation, only 25% of undergraduate students with disabilities obtain a job after graduating from a 4-year institution. This is often due to a lack of student confidence, soft-skills, mentorship, and work experience; employer perceptions of students with disabilities; and limited understanding of reasonable accommodation resources.
IMPACTability incorporates Equity in three ways. First, our online courses highlight disability hiring programs and internship resources. A Human Resources survey found that internships made it six times more likely that a person with a disability is hired. We build partnerships with federal and corporate disability professionals to promote internships for our students. Second, after learning about the budget constraints that students face when it comes to professional attire, we partnered with www.bottomlesscloset.org which providescomplimentary outfits, accessories, and training. Third, our Board of Directors has committed over $7,000 in competitive scholarships to 24 CUNY students with disabilities to assist with educational support.
Inclusion Read more CareerReady! reduces isolation and increases social connections. College students with disabilities often do not fully participate in college life. Many never considered joining clubs or attending career fairs, which are leadership and networking opportunities. During our program, self-confidence grows as students engage in activities that peers without disabilities routinely experience.
Inclusion is showcasedin three ways. First, our Disability Advocacy Know Your Rights! session focuses on the ADA, disclosure at interviews and crafting an accommodations script. After our CareerReady! program, students are invited to volunteer on our Advisory Council’s Next Gen Committee, which offers a seat at the table, networking opportunities, and the chance to recommend creative programming ideas. Third, IMPACTability is excited to sponsor College Students with Disabilities Advocacy Montheach October to recognize student and community advocates.
Accessibility Read more IMPACTability made the innovative decision to pivot to myQuest, a Learning Management System (LMS). As a volunteer-led nonprofit, an LMS is avaluable collaboration tool for our education committee, students, mentors, and college staff. Measuring accountability and engagement arekey, as we are not located on campus. Our LMS keeps students on track, enhances the Zoom experience, and allows them to work at their own pace. Accessible LMS features include exchanging peer feedback and successes through community posts; tapping into a central resource library; submitting deliverables through a convenient portal; and accessing dynamic materials during and after the program.