UI REACH Introduces People with Disabilities to Johnson County’s Workforce

Posted September 30, 2022
UI Reach - partners with employers in Johnson County

Only 19.1% of people with disabilities are working right now. UI REACH has over 200 alumni and 87% are employed!

UI REACH (Realizing Educational and Career Hopes) is a comprehensive transition program for students with intellectual, cognitive and learning disabilities through the University of Iowa College of Education.


20 students graduated from the program in May 2022. 18 alumni are already working and 10 stayed in Johnson County. Students graduate with entry-level skills, advanced credentials, and a connection with the businesses in our community. Since UI REACH is a unique program in the nation, students and families are grateful to our community. They often want to stay connected and give back.


During their first year, students take career-oriented classes and explore career options. Throughout years two through four, they participate in internships while receiving job coaching. Local businesses can host paid or un-paid internships. These internships often lead to hiring students upon graduation.


UI REACH covers the extra work of hiring someone with disabilities that would normally fall on the employer. They offer consultations, job coaching, disability sensitivity training, and advice on setting up the workplace for increased productivity. These services can benefit employers beyond just one intern or hire, setting up infrastructure that can be applied to future employees also.


Learn more about how UI REACH serves the employers in Johnson County in our interview with Brian Campbell and Brett Koenig.

Want to learn what it looks like to have a student intern or hire a program alumni? Connect with Brian and Brett!

Brett Koenig, Job Developer

Brain Campbell, Sr Program Specialist and Alumni Liaison