Disability Career Resources
The Career Design Lab (CDL) is here to help you navigate your career planning and job search process. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a number of resources to help you learn about employment and disability. It is important to know there are laws that ensure non-discrimination and equal opportunity in employment. Many businesses and organizations are committed to employing people with disabilities and offer opportunities such as internships, mentoring programs and scholarships.
It’s important to understand your rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate against applicants with disabilities. It also protects employees, requiring equal access to opportunity in workplaces and academic institutions. If you are qualified to perform the work and have a disability, the ADA protects your right to find work, with or without reasonable accommodation.
The ADA dictates that job applicants have no obligation to disclose their disability (and prohibits employers from asking about it). If your disability could impact job performance or necessitate accommodations, disclosing your disability would help your employer to understand your needs and abilities. Only disclose your disability on a need-to-know basis; this minimizes the potential for discrimination to play a factor in your employment.
The Department of Labor (DOL) has many suggestions regarding when and how to disclose any disabilities you may have. It’s important to disclose your disabilities if you require accommodations to fulfill job duties, and employers are only obligated to provide accommodations if you adequately inform them about the related disability. Employers are usually appreciative of suggestions you may have about accommodations you may need.
If you feel that you’ve been discriminated against due to your disabilities, whether during the application process or while on the job, you should contact the nearest office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and refer to the Disability Discrimination page on its website. The EEOC office may suggest mediation, and if the complaint isn’t resolved, they may file a claim against the employer for violating ADA regulations.
Your career coach is available to help you with all aspects of your career planning process. In addition, there are many resources available to help you:
abilityJOBS — Find jobs, career fairs and resources.
American Association for the Advancement of Science — Through a program called Entry Point, they identify and recruit students with apparent and non-apparent disabilities who are majoring in science, engineering, mathematics, computer science and some fields of business for internship and co-op opportunities. Students are screened and referred to program partners, who seek specific skills and majors for placement in a summer internship or co-op.
Disabled Person — They work with employers who have a strong desire to hire qualified applicants with diverse backgrounds. Apply today for a great opportunity to work for a company that is committed to hiring individuals with disabilities.
Disability Job Exchange — America’s Job Exchange offers an alternative portal for job seekers with disabilities called Disability Job Exchange. They also have a team of advisors willing to provide resume and career advice.
Federal Jobs Net — Helps disabled individuals and veterans find federal government employment. The site is also a good resource for hiring options and information.
GettingHired — Provides job opportunities and resources to students with disabilities. Their job portal features more than 100,000 active listings for positions from architects to x-ray techs.
Great With Disability — Their mission is to ensure that having a disability or long-term health condition doesn’t prevent anyone from having the career they want. Not only does it want disabled individuals to realize their career ambitions, it also wants employers to benefit from the unique talents and strengths that disabled individuals bring to an organization.
Jobs and Education for People with Disabilities — Learn about employment resources, how to find a government job and prepare for a job interview. Information is provided on employment laws and how to file a workplace harassment or discrimination complaint.
Mental Health America — Offers internship opportunities
Microsoft Global Diversity and Inclusion Program — Inclusive hiring for people with disabilities at Microsoft.
Our Ability Connect — An individual digital-profile service that gives employers the ability to reach out to people with disabilities by searching, connecting directly with people in their system and posting employment opportunities in order to recruit the best candidates for open positions.
Project HIRED — Guides job seekers with disabilities to find and sustain meaningful employment through an array of services designed to promote self-sufficiency and independence, remove barriers, create opportunities and help participants build successful careers.
The American Association of People with Disabilities — This organization provides a Congressional Internship Program for college students with disabilities. It is open to undergraduate and graduate students, in addition to recent graduates. Applications are due in February.
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) — Can help with questions about workplace accommodations, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related disability legislation.
The National Business and Disability Counsel (NBDC) — A resource for employers and job seekers in integrating into the workplace that hosts Emerging Leaders, a highly competitive program that places undergraduate and graduate students with disabilities in fulfilling summer internships and provides them with leadership development opportunities.
The Sierra Group — One-stop shop for disability training, recruiting and other career needs.
The Spectrum Careers — Autism employment, webinars and employment resources.
USA Jobs — If you're an individual with a disability, you can apply and compete for any job for which you are eligible and meet the qualifications, but you also may be eligible for a special hiring authority. The Federal Government hires each person using a hiring authority (the term comes from the federal regulation that describes it). Federal agencies can use the Schedule A Hiring Authority to hire an individual with a disability.
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) — The Fact Sheet for Job Applicants and the Americans with Disabilities Act provides information regarding your rights.
Workforce Recruitment Program — The WRP is a recruitment and referral program that connects federal and private-sector employers nationwide with highly motivated college students and recent graduates with disabilities for summer or permanent jobs.
To learn more about preparing for your career journey, be sure to check out the great resources in the Career Design Lab Course you will find on your Canvas/Courseworks dashboard.