For Young People with Disabilities


Preparation of this video was funded by the Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor, Award No. OD-26453-14-75-4-36. This video does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the funding agency, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

The Onondaga Pathways to Careers (OPC) demonstration project provides an opportunity for young people with disabilities to enroll at Onondaga Community College (OCC), earn an industry-recognized credential, and acquire a job that pays a living wage in the local workforce. OCC is partnering with Syracuse University (SU), the Syracuse City School District (SCSD), the public workforce system, disability service agencies, and regional employers in high growth industries to prepare youths and young adults with disabilities for skilled careers.

To be eligible to participate in the OPC project, you must:

  • Have a high school diploma or its equivalent;
  • Have a documented disability that substantially limits a major life activity; and
  • Be 24 years of age or younger (when beginning the program)

Eligible students can enroll in the following programs that lead to in demand positions paying living wages in and around Syracuse:

  • Advanced Manufacturing Certificate
  • Computer Information Systems, A.A.S.
  • Computer Forensics, A.S.
  • Computer Science, A.S.
  • Electrical Technology, A.A.S
  • Electronic Media Communications, A.A.S.
  • Health Information Technology, A.A.S.
  • Hospitality Management, A.A.S
  • Mechanical Technology, A.A.S.

OPC offers:

  • Summer orientation programs to prepare students and family for the student’s first semester at OCC
  • Comprehensive disability service supports, accommodations, and adaptive technology
  • Academic advising, tutoring, study skill and self-advocacy development
  • Financial aid, literacy and benefits counseling
  • Individualized career planning, resume and interview preparation, service learning, job shadowing, leadership development, and internship opportunities
  • Early registration (after the first semester), and on-campus living options

In addition, individualized support from OPC staff helps students connect with services and resources to experience success.