WorkAbility Program Comes to UC Davis
The UC Davis Department of Campus Recreation is proud to support the WorkAbility program. WorkAbility began December 2013 at the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC). WorkAbility is an internationally recognized organization that has helped place more than 3 million disabled people in career development programs. The UC Davis WorkAbility program will provide unique professional and social development opportunities for both disabled young adults and ARC student staff, who will work side by side together.
Why We’re Excited About WorkAbility
One of the primary goals of the program is to facilitate connections between populations that might not otherwise interact, with equal benefits for both sides. It aims to promote an all-inclusive environment that allows participants to work with people who may not be just like them. In addition, by learning to work with differently abled peers, ARC student staff will be better equipped to serve differently abled patrons. The special needs participants will also learn job skills that prepare them for unassisted employment opportunities in the future. Yet program facilitators emphasize that the most important benefit is the opportunity for both populations of young adults to enjoy increased interaction and new friendships with a different group of peers. As such, this program aligns with one of Campus Recreation’s values of inclusivity.
What to Expect
The disabled young adults taking part in the program are local residents between the ages of 18 and 22 who participate in other specialized programs within Yolo County services and the Davis Unified School District. During the WorkAbility training at the ARC, job coaches from Yolo County and Davis Unified School District will accompany the special needs participants, who will wear co-branded yellow uniforms similar to the ones the ARC student staff members wear. The ARC is serving as the pilot location for WorkAbility, but we hope to expand the program to additional units of our department and, ultimately, to campus as a whole. The program is expected to be ongoing, and the department has high hopes for positive results both in the short- and long-term.
Heather Gastellum, Associate Director