How Can Your Company Implement an Internship for Students with Disabilities?

Young adults with disabilities are looking for work and internship opportunities to enhance their resumes before entering the workforce as the discussion surrounding disability employment continues to expand. Any student’s success on the job can be increased by completing a professional internship! What internship opportunities may your business provide for students with disabilities?

Examining the state and local programs in your area for students with disabilities is an excellent place to start. The vocational rehabilitation office, a state-funded division of services that helps people with disabilities pursue meaningful occupations, could be able to put you in touch with the appropriate people or employment organizations in your neighborhood. Now would be the ideal time for your business to start the discussion on a local level since many states have begun to encourage case managers and social workers to assist young adults with disabilities find internship opportunities before they jump into employment. To find your state vocational rehabilitation office, click here.

How Can Your Company Implement an Internship for Students with Disabilities?

Could your company consider collaborating with an internship program designed for students with disabilities? There are quite a few prestigious programs out there. One example is The Emerging Leaders Internship Program for College Students with Disabilities, coordinated by the National Business & Disability Council (NBDC) at The Viscardi Center. This program is highly competitive and puts the student and the business through screening to ensure this opportunity is the best fit for both parties. This could be a great program to utilize at your business for several reasons. Not only are you able to have a qualified student collaborate with your organization through the internship, their screening process cuts down on your HR managers time. Many well-known companies utilize this program including Verizon, MetLife, KPMG, JetBlue Airways and more! You can learn more about collaborating with The Emerging Leaders Internship Program online.

The Project on Science, Technology and Disability helps connect students and businesses through internships to improve the entry and advancement of individual with disabilities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Their internship program is called Entry Point. Again, they also screen students and businesses to make sure the internship is the best fit. All they ask of employers is to make reasonable accommodations (not sure what that means? Read this previous Blogging4Jobs post) and provide a site coordinator for your company. That’s not a lot of requirements to manage when you’ll be collaborating with a student in your field that has a high GPA! You can learn more about the Entry Point Program online.

The implementation of an internship program at your company for students with disabilities will benefit all parties. Not only will the student receive a fruitful job opportunity prior to graduation, but you’ll also learn new perspectives and insights. Spend a time urging your HR Manager to consider fresh approaches to working with students with impairments. It’s simpler than you might think to join forces with an existing program!

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Hannah Weiss

Hannah Weiss, a public relations professional from Minneapolis, Minnesota has worked in the nonprofit sector since 2011. She enjoys collaborating with others and spreading the word about organizations that are making a difference in the community by providing equality for persons with disabilities. Hannah currently manages public relations for Opportunity Services OppServ, a nonprofit that helps disabled adults find employment. Connect with Hannah.


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