Disability Job Fair Highlights Students’ Abilities

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TAYLOR -- A college in Lackawanna County hosted a job fair Wednesday, specifically targeted for individuals and students who may have felt in the past that their opportunities for employment were limited.

Allied Services hosted their fourth annual Disability Employment and College Fair Wednesday afternoon in Lackawanna County, opening their doors to dozens of vendors and hundreds of students seeking employment.

According to those at Allied, the fair isn't about disabilities at all, learning or physical. However, it is focused on accomplishing a dream, and focusing on abilities.

"Hopefully there's colleges I can look forward to, and different opportunities I can look into when I'm going for nursing," said Amina Durant, a student at Scranton High School.

Students who currently attend learning support or life skills classes at local high schools were invited to the fair, many of whom aim to be college-bound.

ForĀ others who are opting to enter the workforce, some vendors included sheltered workplaces for people with disabilities.

Those workplaces, including one at Allied Services, are facing a new state regulation that requires employees to spend less time working, and more time out in the community.

"With community integration, it's something we have not had to deal with in the past that now we will be taking individuals out and having community experiences as part of the new regulations that are coming forward," said Robert Ames, an employee of Allied Services.

Ames does not think the new regulation will limit the amount of work opportunities which is something that is welcome news to the fair's visitors.

"I think it's really good, I think the opportunity that they're giving everyone, especially people with special needs and stuff, I think it's really important, because they really wouldn't be able to get these sort of opportunities many other places," said Joe McLaughlin, a student at Scranton High School.

Allied Services offered new opportunities to close to 400 students this year.