COSD offers many opportunities to connect with higher education professionals, other employers and college students with disabilities. Support of COSD can be accomplished through monetary or in-kind donations. COSD provides corporate sponsors with a customized value-added benefit in return for their corporate support through a number of products, services and events.
To learn more, please contact Alan Muir, Executive Director at 865-974-7148 and
Alan D. Muir
Founding Executive Director of COSD
After joining the University of Tennessee (UT) in 1998, Alan Muir recognized the disconnect between post-secondary offices of disability services and career services at universities across the country.
With Dr. Bob Greenberg, then Director of Career Services at UT, he conducted research to document this anecdotal gap for the first time.
Subsequently, Mr. Muir co-founded Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities (COSD), and became Executive Director.
Under his leadership, COSD experienced significant growth, bringing together member entities including universities, employers, and U.S. Government agencies to focus on career employment of college graduates with disabilities.
Since 2005, COSD is funded solely through corporate and foundation relationships developed by Mr. Muir.
He has presented at universities, employers and many conferences nationwide.
Mr. Muir’s previous experience was as a Vice-President with Chase Manhattan Bank for 16 years.
Mr. Muir’s outside involvement in disability and employment issues includes current memberships in Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), Tennessee AHEAD, National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) and Southern Association of Colleges and Employers (SoACE).
In 2011, Mr. Muir received the Fred Strache Award for Leadership from the California State University Northridge (CSUN) Center on Disabilities at the 26th Annual Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference.
Mr. Muir also was the recipient of the 2004 AAPD / Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award, a distinguished and highly competitive national honor.
Community service involvement includes membership on the Board of Directors of the Disability Law and Advocacy Center in Nashville, TN and with the Delta Airlines’ National Advisory Board on Disability.
He and his wife Laura live in Knoxville.
Dr. Robert M. Greenberg
Co-Founder of COSD
Bob Greenberg retired from over 20 years of service as Career Services Director at The University of Tennessee. For the final five years of that term he was also Assistance Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.
Bob earned a Bachelor’s degree at Carleton College in Northfield Minnesota and received a Master’s in College Student Personnel Administration and a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Indiana University in Bloomington. During the period in which he earned his graduate degrees Bob spent two years in the U.S. Peace Corps in Iran and 20 months as a USAID Research Associate at Kabul University in Afghanistan.
Bob directed the two-year Indiana College Level Manpower Study, funded by the Lilly Endowment after completion of his doctorate. He then became Associate Director of Business Placement at Indiana University, Director of Career Development at The University of Cincinnati, and arrived at The University of Tennessee in 1984. Bob was an officer of a number of career services organizations and associations. During his career he appointed and took part in a team that raised funds and developed the first college level resume database system. He won the College Placement Council Chevron Award for producing the first nationwide videoconferences related to career services. He oversaw the development of a series of handouts title “What Can I Do With This Major?” that are now on-line resources at over 400 colleges and universities nationwide. Bob was involved in working with Alan Muir as co-founders of COSD. He views his experience with this organization as one of the highlights of his career.
Growth of COSD has been exponential in more than 15 years through identifying individuals at higher educationinstitutions and corporations with a commitment to the issue of career employment for college students and recent graduates with disabilities. Those professionals bring their expertise and resources to bear on the issues at hand and continue to be an integral part of the work of COSD.
Along with the continued growth, COSD has introduced a number of exciting tools to assist professionals in higher education and employers, including webcasts and resources developed in response to changes in Federal regulations, such as Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
The FULL ACCESS Student Summit continues to grow, as it is becoming known as an excellent opportunity for employers to meet with students and recent graduates with disabilities.
COSD Career Gateway will be undergoing some exciting changes in the near future as we attempt to make the user experience more interactive and productive.
COSD Products and Services
As part of the continuing efforts of COSD to assist higher education professionals prepare college students with disabilities and to encourage employers to recruit those same qualified candidates, there are six product and service areas that are highlighted in this section.
Annual National Conference
This professional conference brings together approximately 100 representatives of higher education and employers to discuss the latest trends and best practices in the area of career employment and college students with disabilities. It is the only conference that welcomes professionals in Career Services and Disability Services from Higher Education and professionals from major national employers in such specialties as Human Resources, College Recruiting, Diversity, Disability / Special Populations and AffirmativeAction/ Equal Opportunity. The Conference highlights prominent national speakers in the area of disability and diversity, interactive sessions discussing specific issues from the perspectives of the three constituencies attending, student testimonials and specific disability topic presentations. The Conference isa prime forum for networking with rare opportunities for employers and higher education professionals to network with each other. The Conference also features recognition of cutting-edge best practices through our Annual Robert Greenberg Award For Innovation, a highly competitive national honor. The Conference is held in different cities around the country each year and will be celebrating its 15th anniversary in Philadelphia in November 2014. Previous Conference cities include Cincinnati, Houston, Washington DC, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Dallas, Boston, Morristown NJ, Los Angeles and Chicago. For more information on specific past Conferences, please see the Conferences section of this website.
COSD Employer Community
Beginning as a partnership between Cisco Systems and COSD, the COSD Employer Community is an employer-only forum that brings together corporate representatives in a type of “think tank” to discuss specific issues they are facing in developing a new recruitment strategy or refining an existing strategy to achieve Disability Inclusive Diversity.
In the first few meetings, we had a frank interactive discussion about a wide-range of topics including college recruiting, returning veterans with disabilities, mentoring, internships and employee resource groups focusing on disability.
Most recently, the Employer Community is focused on the effects of the changes to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and how this change impacts recruitment and outreach strategies.
The format is a facilitated discussion and it is a unique opportunity to hear from employers across a wide number of industry sectors sharing their ideas and best practices.
All employers are welcome as everyone is at different stages of the learning curve and all ideas and experiences are welcomed in the discussion.
FULL ACCESS: COSD Student Summit for Career Exploration
FULL ACCESS Student Summits are regional educational and networking events for student with disabilities and employers to become more comfortable with one another.
The purpose of FULL ACCESS is to bring together up to sixty college students or recent alumni with disabilities and ten select employers for a two half-day networking and education summit. The students are those who are attending or have attended colleges and universities in a specific regional or state area. The primary goals of the Summit are to have college students and recent alumni with disabilities to be comfortable when talking with employers and for employers to have first-hand experience with people with disabilities to help keep this population in the forefront of their minds when developing Diversity recruitment plans. It should be noted that FULL ACCESS is not a career fair andis not an opportunity for onsite interviews with individual students. However, after the Summit, interviews are encouraged and may be scheduled.
Despite the billing of not being a hiring event, the FULL ACCESS Student Summit has had great success in identifying full-time and internship opportunities and offers to many candidates have been made. For more information and specific details on the upcoming FULL ACCESS Student Summits, please click here.
COSD Career Gateway™
COSD Career Gateway is the first nationwide online job posting and college student resume database specifically and only focused on college students and recent graduates with disabilities. It is a primary tool foremployers to reach this population. Students use Career Gateway as a tool for identifying employment opportunities and employers who are committed to including disability as part of their diversity efforts.
For employers, COSD Career Gateway is a vital pipeline for their future workforce. For students, COSD Career Gateway is the closest link with employers specifically seeking them. There is no charge for students to register or for employers to post available jobs, internships and/or co-op opportunities. On the front page of the COSD Website, there are two entry buttons, one for students and one for employers. Clicking on those buttons will take you directly to the Career Gateway site.
Please stay tuned for major changes to improve the user experience.
Customized Consulting for Higher Education and Employers
Higher Education Campus Collaboration Program:
Focused on the most basic premise of COSD, which is the collaboration between Disability Services and Career Services offices on campuses across the country.
With a closer collaboration, more students with disabilities will likely take advantage of the services offered in their campus career center and receive the training and exposure to the career development process that all other students receive.
Additionally, these students will be more visible to employers when they come to campus to recruit through the Career Services office.
COSD provides training and consulting on the development or enhancement of that collaborative working relationship for the benefit of college students and recent graduates with disabilities.
Additionally, COSD provides timely information on changes to employment regulations, such as Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and how that directly affects higher education and students with disabilities interested in working for private sector employers that are Federal government contractors.
Customized Corporate Disability Initiative:
In this changing regulatory environment, with recent implementation of the new Section 503 (of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requirements), employers who are Federal Contractors are seeking guidance from trusted resources with expertise.
Over 15 years ago, COSD discovered the gap and created the link to college students and recent graduates with disabilities for employers seeking these candidates.
EIN SOF Communications, a woman-owned business and GSA Federal Contractor has more than 25 years of experience in strategic marketing, communications and employment consultation with the disability community for large corporate clients, government entities and national disability organizations.
One of the primary mandates of Section 503 is documented outreach to the disability community to build relationships with organizations with expertise and scope to help Federal Contractors move toward or improve compliance with the 7% aspirational goal of people with disabilities in the workforce.
This powerful combination of COSD and EIN SOF strengthens the company’s competitive edge, good will and effectiveness - despite the continued difficult economic outlook.
As companies seek information to enhance and reinforce their diversity initiatives to include disability, COSD and EIN SOF offer a customized, comprehensive and compelling program to engage college graduates with disabilities and leverage leadership to enhance your brand in the marketplace.
Our goal is to assist select corporations across a variety of sectors to access qualified and talented candidates with disabilities, to build and maintain a sustainable talent pipeline, fortify Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), develop cross-ERG support and leverage that internal success to yield a significant return on investment.
This unique approach is valuable for recruiters, hiring managers, staffing, diversity & marketing professionals to help create an even more welcoming environment for prospective and current employees and to reinforce your company as an "Employer of Choice."
By developing tools to create a more highly inclusive workplace, current and prospective employees may feel more comfortable to Self-ID in “pre-offer and post-offer” phases and possibly disclose a disability during employment to request prospective productivity tools and assistance needed to empower them to succeed.
As a result, these employees are much more likely to be retained and better positioned for greater opportunities with career advancement – and that benefits the bottom line.
Another advantage is that these employees serve as corporate internal subject-matter experts, and external ambassadors in the workplace, marketplace and community.
For more information on the menu of consulting options and training, please go to this site.
N-the-Know Live Broadcasts and Archived Webinar Series
N-the-Know is an online educational series designed for Disability Services and Career Services professionals on college campuses, as well as service providing agencies working with college students with disabilities. In 2009 - 2010, the series consists of seven broadcasts of one-hour presentations on specific aspects of career employment for college graduates with disabilities. Alan Muir, Executive Director of COSD and Sarah Helm, Coordinator of the Disability Careers Office at the University of Tennessee Knoxville are the presenters. The Second Season of N-the-Know is underway for 2011 - 2012 and it consists of four new live broadcasts that will also be archived and available in a package to be viewed on-demand. For more information on N-the-Know, visit our Training Videos section.