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Students with Disabilities

The Career Development Center recognizes that today's workforce is more diverse than ever to include persons with disabilities. As a student with a disability, your career development process may include unique challenges and require careful consideration and planning. We also recognize that the self-advocacy and planning skills you develop as part of your disability can be an asset in the workplace.

The Career Development Center is here to help you with your career exploration, planning and execution. We offer career exploration and assessments, career coaching, resume and cover letter workshops, and support if you are applying to graduate or professional schools. Below are resources that will benefit you as you explore your career options and refine your plans for what comes after graduation.

Career Exploration

As a student with a disability, you may find that your additional attention to academic and other commitments require little time for career planning. Devoting time to looking beyond your disability at how your interests and skills lead to next steps is important. This process includes choosing a major and a career path that aligns with interests and skills and understanding how your disability may impact academic and employment settings. Meeting with a career coach can help with narrowing down your choices and help you choose a major that aligns best with you and your unique strengths, skills and traits. Logging into Handshake is the first step; set up your account and make an appointment to begin the career exploration process.

Resumes and Cover Letters

Resumes and cover letters are a great way to showcase and highlight your experiences and transferable skills. Think outside the box to how being comfortable with your disability is a skill that many students may not have. Employers want to see the experiences that make students stand out and are applicable to their industry.

Cover letters are crafted based on your experiences and the individual job or internship you are applying for. You are welcome to have your resume or cover letter reviewed at our Career Studio or you can schedule an appointment with your career coach in Handshake.

Internship and Job Searches

Your first step in your internship or job search is to complete your profile in Handshake and learn how to search Handshake for positions appropriate to your skills and experiences and that are of interest to you. Your LinkedIn Profile is also critical to your job search success. Check out our Career Meetup videos on YouTube for tips on using LinkedIn. Finally, never underestimate the power of your network — friends, family, faculty, staff, and others you meet as a college athlete. 70% of all jobs that people get can be attributed to personal networking. Schedule an appointment with your career coach in Handshake for assistance with your internship or job search.

Handshake includes internships and job postings that are updated daily. As you search for positions, read the qualifications section to ensure you understand the requirements of the position. Many employers, particularly local, state and federal agencies, will include a statement about their commitment to hiring individuals with disabilities.

Getting Hired: Online job board that seeks to bridge the gap between job seekers with disabilities and employers looking to hire.

Bender Consulting: Assists individuals with disabilities in getting hired and recruited for positions within the private and public sector.

Lime Connect: This organization assists student with scholarships, professional development webinars along with information about internships and full-time job opportunities.

Entry Point: Entry Point is a program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science that offers internship opportunities for students with disabilities. Internships will range in discipline from Computer Science, Business to Science and Engineering.

disABLEDperson, Inc.: Great resource for job listings and scholarship information.

Emerging Leaders Summer Internship Program for College Students with Disabilities: Provides students with internship and leadership development opportunities.

The American Association of People with Disabilities: This organization provides a Congressional Internship Program for College Students with Disabilities. It's open to undergraduate and graduate students, in addition to recent grads.

Freshome Tips for Freelancing with a Disability: This article provides helpful tips for those with disabilities to create the right home-environment to optimize productivity and help accommodate for in-home modifications.

VelvetJobs Employment With a Disability Resource Guide: A guide to help those with disabilities find employment, covering topics such as job seeking strategies, acts and government resources, language, groups and associations, and even resources for employers.

Disclosure and Accommodations

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a non-discrminiation law which protects qualified individuals with disabilities. Title I of the the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in recruitment, hiring, promotions, training, pay, social activities, and other privileges of employment.

Disclosing your disability: Deciding when and how much information to disclose regarding your disability to an employer is a personal decision that will likely vary based on your specific disability and what type of accommodations you need. An employer may know that an applicant has a disability because it is obvious or the applicant voluntarily reveals the existence of one. The ADA restricts questions that can be asked about an applicant's disability before a job offer is made.

Accommodations: If an applicant or employee indicates that an accommodation will be necessary in order to perform essential functions of the job, then the employer may ask what accommodation is needed. An applicant or employee with a disability must be able to perform all of the essential functions of the job, even with reasonable accommodations. Reasonable accommodations include any change or modification in the work environment that enables a qualified individual with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities and/or perform the essential functions of a position.

The 411 on Disability Disclosure: A workbook for families, educators, youth service professionals, and adult allies who care about youth with disabilities.

Ada.gov: A selection of technical assistance documents that provide an overview of the rights and responsibilities under the ADA and the Department's implementing regulations.

US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: A selection of technical assistance by EEOC who is responsible for enforcing non-discrimination laws within employment.

Job Accommodation Network: The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues.

National Collaborative on Workplace and Disability: The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) assists state and local workforce development systems to better serve all youth, including youth with disabilities and other disconnected youth.

Fiscal Tiger Job and Employment Resources for People with Cognitive Disabilities: This resource includes tips on how to request accommodations at work and describes the best organizations and jobs for those with cognitive disabilities.