Students with Disabilities

Career & Experiential Learning is committed to offering inclusive and accessible services to all SMU students. Students with a disability can access services for more than the allotted number of sessions per year if required. 

Please let us know of any accommodations you might need in accessing our services. More services for students with a disability are offered through the Fred Smithers Centre for Student Accessibility.

Student Employment Initiative Program (SEI)

 

 

SEI for Students

The Student Employment Initiative (SEI) Program is organized with Saint Mary's University Career & Experiential Learning and The Fred Smithers Centre of Support for Students with Disabilities. The SEI Program is an employment program to assist students with disabilities in securing employment contracts with employers, gain volunteer experience, and develop their professional skills and competencies. This program is offered year-round for part-time and full-time work placements

Student Pathways:

Depending on your level of employment experience before entering SEI Program, you will be placed initially in either the Experiential Pathway, where you will be able to volunteer with a local organization to expand your skills and competencies, or Employment Pathway where you will work closely with SEI staff to find meaningful work opportunities. Both pathways include a Professional Development component which includes SEI Student exclusive workshops. 

Are you Eligible?

  • Undergraduate student at SMU from any academic background
  • Registered with the Fred Smithers Centre for Support for Students with Disabilities
  • Nova Scotia permanent resident or student

Why Participate in the Student Employment Initiative?

  1. Improve your network and develop the professional skills needed in a competitive workforce.
  2. Gain relevant experience in your field of interest through volunteer placement and employment.
  3. Develop your skills and competencies through employment, workshops, and volunteerism.
  4. Receive an official certificate upon graduation from the program

How to Apply:

  1. Login to Career360° under ‘Student’ using your s# and password at career360.smu.ca
  2. Click the Student Employment Initiative Program tab in the maroon menu on the left of your screen. This is the sixth (6) tab from the top.

Want more information? Email SEI Program Lead at sei@smu.ca!

 

SEI Wage Subsidy

The Student Employment Initiative Wage Subsidy Program (SEI) is an employment and experiential program designed to assist and support Saint Mary's University students with disabilities to secure employment and volunteer experiences. SEI works closely with employers to help them understand the benefits of hiring diverse candidates and offers assistance in creating a supportive and equitable workplace for students with disabilities. This collaborative initiative is supported by two Saint Mary's University departments, Career & Experiential Learning and the Fred Smithers Centre of Support for Students with Disabilities. As a joint effort, students and employers receive professional career guidance and expert advice on accessibility standards and best practices in the workplace. 

Students in the SEI program come from all academic disciplines and have varying volunteer and workplace experiences. Each student works one on one with staff in Career and Experiential Learning to plan and prepare for their career readiness during and after their studies. Career & Experiential Learning and the Fred Smithers Centre of Support for Students with Disabilities recognize that intentionality around hiring a diverse workforce can be a challenge for many employers. Working with SEI staff, employers can plan, prepare and be confident in their ability to offer an open and welcoming work environment for students with disabilities.

This funding is received from The Nova Scotia Provincial Governments Post-Secondary Accessibility Services (PSAS), a division of the Department of Labour and Advanced Education.

Benefits of Participation:

  • Receive a wage subsidy of 50% of your new employee's hourly wages, with a required minimum wage of $14.00 per hour (charitable organizations are eligible for more subsidy if they can demonstrate financial need)
  • SEI will cover any additional accommodations the student requires per their disability (i.e., software, office furniture, etc.)
  • Great opportunity to create meaningful job opportunities for qualified students and support the Saint Mary's University community.  

Employer Eligibility & Responsibilities:

  • Must be a registered business or charitable organization with the Registry of Joint Stocks, Canada Revenue Agency and are up to date with source deductions
  • Confirmation of no layoffs to hiring an SEI student
  • Orientation and training for the SEI student 
  • Determine a fixed rate of pay
  • Accommodate a Mid-Point Evaluation
  • Responsible for all employee-related costs (EI, CPP, etc.)
  • Responsible for all necessary invoicing and paperwork for the wage subsidy

For more information about hiring a candidate through the Saint Mary’s University Student Employment Initiative Wage Subsidy Program contact at sei@smu.ca!

Resources for Students & Employers

Interested in joining the SEI Program? Read our

Thinking about disclosing your disability but not sure if it is right for you? Read our SEI Student Program Guide!

Accommodation and Disclosure - Enter the Workplace with Confidence guide book!

Decided to disclose but you are not sure what to say? Read and use our Disclosure Script Worksheet 2022.

Are you an employer or student starting an SEI Work Term? Review our SEI Student Checklist or SEI Employer Work Term Checklist.

Are you an employer looking for more information and education on best practices when working with persons with disabilities? Read and utilize the Employer Toolkit.

Are you an employer interested in learning more about the SEI Program? Check out our SEI Student Eligibility Letter.