Students and alumni with physical, medical, psychiatric, and learning disabilities (whether or not they have been diagnosed) bring significant strengths to the workplace. However, they often face challenges with finding and securing work at a supportive and accommodating organization. Students and alumni will find below, a variety of on-campus and external resources to help them through their search for a meaningful co-op and career along with information about disability employment rights. This page was inspired by the resources developed by the Hiatt Career Center at Brandeis.
Support at Wentworth
CO-OPS + CAREERS is committed to supporting students and alumni with disabilities. This includes the steps of securing and completing co-op and in launching their careers. Folks with disabilities may have questions about disclosing their disability to an employer, or about how to ask for a reasonable accommodation. Your CO-OP + CAREER Advisor is available by appointment to guide you through these concerns, support your co-op and job search, and help you seek expertise outside of Wentworth when needed. CO-OPS + CAREERS can also act as a liaison between the candidate and the employer.
Talk with us about
- Highlighting your strengths and abilities on your resume and cover letter.
- If you should disclose your disability to your employer.
- When and how to disclose your disability.
- Understanding and requesting reasonable workplace accommodations.
- Addressing workplace and interview harassment and discrimination.
Additionally, to support neurodiverse students through co-op, we partner with Massachusetts General Hospital’s Aspire Program. Any student who believes they will struggle to obtain or perhaps keep a co-op due to anxiety, stress, social challenges, or communication issues is welcome to request participation in the program. A diagnosis is not required to participate.
The main on-campus resource for students with disabilities is the Center for Wellness. Check out the Center for Wellness’s Accessibility Services Page to find information about requesting campus accommodations and the ongoing support available to you. Academic support, including advising and tutoring, is available through the Center for Academic Excellence. Medical support services are available through Student Health Services.
We recommend students get involved with on-campus clubs and organizations relevant to their interests and major to build community and develop professionally. A listing of Wentworth’s student organizations, including up-to-date meeting times and contact information, can be found on Leopard Spot.
Employment Rights and Support
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
This federal civil rights law prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in my many areas, including as employees and job seekers under Title 1. Under this law employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to all individuals with disabilities qualified for the job.
Disability Law Center (DLC)
DLC is a private, nonprofit organization responsible for providing protection and advocacy for the rights of Massachusetts residents with disabilities. They provide legal advocacy on disability issues that promote the fundamental rights of all people with disabilities to participate fully and equally in the social and economic life of Massachusetts.
Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
Consulting organization providing free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. JAN works with individuals with disabilities and employers. Check out their listing of Vocational Rehabilitation agencies to find state-supported services assisting individuals with disabilities find meaningful careers.
Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC)
The MRC helps individuals with disabilities to live and work independently. MRC is responsible for Vocational Rehabilitation, Community Living and eligibility determination for the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) federal benefits programs.
Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)
The only non-regulatory federal agency that promotes policies and coordinates with employers and all levels of government to increase workplace success for people with disabilities.
Social Security Administration Guide to Working While Disabled
Pamphlet from the Social Security Administration answering questions about disability benefits and working while receiving Social Security disability benefits and Social Security Income. Check out the Ticket to Work Program for career support specifically for Social Security disability beneficiaries.
U.S. Department of Labor Disability Resources
Find Federal employment and information regarding benefits, civil rights, community life, education, emergency preparedness, health, housing, technology, and transportation for people with disabilities.
Co-op and Job Search
Since 2001 this recruiting organization connects applicants with disabilities to a network of employers that value disability inclusion.
American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) Summer Internship Program
Find summer work experience and co-op opportunities designed specifically for individuals with disabilities.
Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)
AUCD supports a national network of university-based programs for students with disabilities that sever as a bridge between universities and the community. Find employment opportunities at AUCD and at organizations within their network.
Bender Consulting Services
Recruiting group that supports disability employment through hiring, workplace mentoring, strategic planning, training, and digital accessibility.
Career One Stop
Job Board and training services sponsored by US Dept of Labor.
Disability Equality Index Best Places to Work
Annual listing of companies who prioritize disability inclusion.
This job board connects disabled candidates with leading global companies. Every job is uniquely listed on this career site, by the company, for the sole purpose of finding good, talented individuals with disabilities.
Enable America Job Board
Job board run by Enable America, a nonprofit organization focused on helping people with disabilities find employment and live independently.
This program, from The American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, identifies and recruits students with disabilities who are majoring in science, engineering, mathematics, computer science, and some fields of business for internship and co-op opportunities.
EOP’s Diversity and Inclusion Career Center
Equal Opportunity Publications (EOP) offers a premier diversity online job board connecting employers dedicated to hiring a diversified workforce with qualified job seekers from all career backgrounds.
Recruiting organization helping inclusive employers hire professional individuals and veterans with disabilities.
Hire Disability Solutions
Find available jobs, share your resume with inclusive employers, and access resources.
The Spectrum Careers
Resources and job portal to connect employers interested in recruiting employees on the autism spectrum. Autism Speaks and Rangam Consultants created this program to promote employment in the autism community.
Washington Center Internship Program
This organization helps students find major related work experiences in Washington D.C. and provides guidance and support while you are working. Check out the Washington Center’s Leadership Initiative Scholarship for Students with Disabilities.
Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP)
Connects federal and private-sector employers with college students and recent college graduates with disabilities.
Networking Organizations and Career Development
Learn How to Become
Information about navigating the path to employment as a person with a disability, and about how to evaluate an employer’s standards of accessibility, accommodation, and acceptance.
A global nonprofit supporting university students and professionals with disabilities by preparing, and connecting them to careers, scholarships, internships, The Lime Connect Fellowship Program, The Lime Connect Foundations Program and full time careers with the world’s leading corporations
National Organization on Disability (NOD)
This national organization advocates for Americans with disabilities and works to increase their employment opportunities.
Nonprofit organization that works with employers, entertainment leaders, governors, policy makers, educators, self-advocates, non-profits, faith-based organizations, philanthropists, and the media to fight stigmas and advance opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Check out their national leadership fellowship here.
Work Without Limits
This initiative out of the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) works to increase employment of people with disabilities through collaboration and partnership between a network of employers, educational institutions, employment service providers, and state and federal agencies. Check out their upcoming networking events here.
Support for Veterans with Disabilities
Bonds of Courage
Career fitness and mentoring program offering post-service employment support such as interview preparation, skills translation, and networking advice.
Essential Career Resource for Veterans
Guide to navigating a wide range of issues veterans face when re-entering the job market including job searching, resume writing, networking, interview tips, career advice for injured veterans, etc.
Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV)
Intensive training program offering experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management for veterans with disabilities resulting from their service to our country post 9/11.
Hire Heroes USA
Organization that support veterans, service members, and military spouses in finding meaningful careers, and helps companies hire and retain them.
Hiring our Heroes
This program from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is a nationwide initiative to help veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful employment opportunities.