Jason Kopco, a third-year in finance, and Megan Amling, a fourth-year in world literature, attend a press conference announcing Ohio College2Careers at the Ohio Statehouse Oct. 24. Credit: Thomas Jeffrey | For The Lantern

Ohio State is adding career resources for people with disabilities with the implementation of a new program and staff member.

Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities and the Ohio Department of Higher Education announced the arrival of Ohio College2Careers, a program that will staff 15 Ohio universities, including Ohio State, with a full-time vocational rehabilitation counselor Thursday at the Ohio Statehouse. 

Students with disabilities who attend Ohio State now have the opportunity to work with a counselor who will assist them with career resources such as accommodations, assistive technology and employer-fitting, Kari Grafton, a senior vocational rehabilitation counselor with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities at Ohio State, said.

Jason Kopco, a third-year in finance and participant in the program who is in remission from Crohn’s disease and has had three eye surgeries that limit his motor skills, said he is excited for the future career opportunities that Ohio College2Careers can provide to students with disabilities. 

“I’m really excited. I think that career services bringing more personalized attention to people with disabilities can really benefit someone,” Kopco said. “Disabilities may cause someone not to communicate properly or not do as well in an interview or at a career fair. I think this program will accommodate to their needs, and then they can express what they need and want to their future employers.”

University President Michael V. Drake said in a statement that he believes Ohio College2Careers will provide all Ohio State students with both successful academic and professional experiences.

“Ohio College2Careers connects students with resources that enrich their academic experience and builds bridges to lasting professional success,” Drake said. “We are proud to partner with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities to support this important program and expand pathways to an accessible and excellent college education for all.”

Grafton said she wants to help students with disabilities achieve professional success.

“My main goal is to help any student with a disability or a diagnosis reach their full potential,” she said. 

Grafton said students can set up a meeting with her to get involved in the program.