A-Z Index

Students With Disabilities

Students with disabilities can face unique challenges in the job and internship process. The information below should help to address some common questions and valuable resources.

Career Planning with a Disability

Make time for career development and planningIt is important to make time now to seek out experiences in college that will help you clarify your abilities and interests; build networking connections and add value to your resume.

Build skills now: Understand how disability impacts you across academic and employment settings. Self-advocacy skills, a well thought out plan regarding disclosure and accommodations request (if needed) are important transferable skills for employment that you can gain while in college. Seek out opportunities to develop skills through volunteerism, service, work and/or internships.

Start with your strengths: Look beyond your disability and know your unique strengths, skills, and traits so that you can articulate your value to employers.

Tip: Stop by the Career Services office if you would like help getting started with your career planning process.

Disclosing Your Disability

When to disclose: Deciding when to disclose your disability to an employer or potential employer is a personal decision that will likely vary based on your specific disability and the type of accommodations you need. You are not required to disclose your disability or request accommodations before a job offer is made. Some applicants choose to disclose during the interview process and others wait until after they are offered the job.

View disclosure options for employment:View PDF

How to disclose: How much information you disclose to your employer is up to you. You are not required to give a specific diagnosis only that you need an adjustment due to a medical condition or disability. However, keep in mind that if your disability is not obvious, the employer may request that you provide documentation to establish that there is a need for an accommodation as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Complete elements of your disclosure plan (activity):View PDF

Tip: Staff at Career Services can help you develop a script for disclosing your disability to employers and practice delivering your disclosure. Contact or call 660.562.1250.

On The Job

About the Law: Qualified individuals with disabilities are protected from employment discrimination through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). To be considered “qualified” you must be able to perform the “essential functions” of the job with or without accommodations.

Tip: For more information on legal issues associated with individuals with disabilities, visit the Job Accommodation Network (JAN).

Accommodations: New professionals with disabilities should carefully think through what is needed to function optimally on the job prior to the hiring process. Reflect on the accommodations you might need and research your options thoroughly before making a request. 

Tip: Stop by Career Services or contact 660.562.1250 to speak to someone about your career development.

Job and Internship Resources

Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students with Disabilities (contact Career Services for additional details)

Career Guide for People With DisabilitiesA large assortment of information and resources for disabled individuals looking for a career.

Resources for Hard-of-Hearing and Deaf in the Workplace: A collection of apps and tools to aid in communication for hard-of-hearing and deaf workers.

Emerging Leaders Internship program: Competitive internship program that places undergraduate and graduate students with disabilities in fulfilling summer internships and provides them with leadership development opportunities.

Job Accommodation Network (JAN): The Job Accommodation Network is a service provided by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). JAN represents the most comprehensive resource for job accommodations available.

National Business & Disability Council: Great online resources for job seekers with disabilities including job and internship postings, local resource directories, webcasts and more.

AAPD Internship program: Each year, the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) hosts two Summer Internship Programs for College Students with Disabilities in Washington, DC, providing paid travel to and from DC, paid fully-accessible housing and living stipends.

Careers & Degrees in Healthcare: A Guide for Students with Disabilities: Learn about disability rights and disclosure, find key resources, and read how the right school and employer can make a huge difference.

Learning Disorders and Law School: Strategies and Resources: A collection of information to help future or current law students with learning disorders advance in their legal education.

Recruit Disability Job Boards: Great online resource to search for jobs and post your resume for hiring employers.

Additional Information

Visit the Northwest Students with Disabilities webpage for information about accommodations and other services.