April 13, 2012

CUNY LEADS Prepares Students with Disabilities
For Successful Careers

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Social Services Committee Chair Michele Titus, and Higher Education Committee Chair Deborah Glick today announced $1 million in new funding has been included in the recently-approved state budget to support the City University of New York (CUNY) Linking Employment, Academics and Disability Services (LEADS) program that provides job training and educational services for students with disabilities.

CUNY LEADS is a partnership project between CUNY and Vocational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID) established to facilitate the successful academic and career outcomes for students with disabilities. The project provides services for eligible students which include: career counseling, job seeking skills, job placement assistance, free textbooks, training regarding legal protections for individuals with disabilities, and internship assistance.

"I maintain my commitment to improving the health and well-being of individuals with disabilities," said Silver. "I am pleased to announce funding for this unique partnership which promotes independence and vastly improves the lives of disabled individuals."

"I congratulate this collaboration between the university and the state vocational rehabilitation agency," said Titus. "Together, these educational institutions are providing invaluable services to disabled students."

"In providing these services, CUNY LEADS is improving the career outcomes for New York's students with disabilities," said Glick. "In guiding their academic and professional choices, this program is enhancing the state's diverse workforce."

This program is free of charge for all eligible candidates and available on all CUNY campuses. Each campus has a LEADS counselor who partners with various agencies and businesses to provide the necessary assistance to students.