Note: Here's a terrific article about the
Half a dozen students, some in Syracuse University T-shirts, sat around a conference table joking about appropriate job interview outfits. No bathing suits, pajamas or Halloween costumes. Added their instructor, not joking: “No tank tops.”
Then Brianna Shults, leading the workshop with a kindhearted but no-nonsense approach, launched into the Q. and A. section. “So if I identify my interview outfit, should I wear it to bed the night before so I’m all dressed and ready?”
“No!” the group responded in unison.
“And before you put your clothes on, what’s the most important step?”
“Shower!” a few called out.
Ms. Shults, an internship and employment coordinator, closed the conversation with a sartorial tip that experience has taught her needs mentioning: “No dirty clothes!”
Why not? Meghan Muscatello piped in: “Because then you’d be smelly.” The room erupted in laughter. “And if you have a cat or a dog, make sure you leave it hanging so they don’t get it all hairy.”
This might sound like a typical lesson in the age of anything-goes office wear, but these millennials aren’t so typical. Ms. Muscatello and her peers belong to a pioneering group of students with significant intellectual disabilities who are enrolled in Syracuse’s InclusiveU.
The students — about 60 are expected this fall — have various degrees of disability, often with related developmental disorders. One communicates through a picture board and an iPad; a helper supports her arm as she taps out words. Another, a movie buff who wrote a play for his theater class, has Asperger’s syndrome. A sports enthusiast who interned this past spring with the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team has Down syndrome...