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Students with Disabilities

The following resources are designed to assist you in your career development. If you want to further discuss these, or any other questions you may have about how your disability might influence your career decisions, make an appointment with the career development coordinator for disability, diversity, and veteran initiatives, Tatiana Leavitt Messersmith.

When applying for internships or employment, there are a number of questions to ask in your search for a disability inclusive workplace:

  • How do I know if an employer is truly committed to diversity?
    • DiversityInc compiles an annual list of the Top 50 Companies for diversity, companies make the list based on their talent pipeline, talent development, commitment of leadership, and supplier diversity. Companies on this list are considered to be the most inclusive for employees.
    • Along with this, DiversityInc publishes a list of the Top 10 Companies for people with disabilities, take note of the factors they consider for companies to qualify for the list- use these factors in your own employment search.
    • GettingHired is an online job board that seeks to bridge the gap between job seekers with disabilities and employers looking to hire. As a UT student you have access to their published jobs, webinars, online career fairs, and e-newsletters.
  • Are there any special programs that can assist me in my job search?
    • The Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) is a recruitment and referral program that connects federal sector employers with college students and recent graduates with disabilities. Individuals interview with federal representatives to get their information in an application database for internships and full-time employment. While not a guarantee of employment, the WRP is a great opportunity to get federal interviewing experience and to connect with federal agencies. This program is held annually, taking place in the fall semester and hosted through the Center for Career Development.
    • The Schedule A Hiring Authority is an exception to the traditional federal hiring process, streamlining the hiring process for people with disabilities and in some cases allowing for non-competitive hiring. Watch this video to learn more about the Schedule A Hiring Authority.
    • October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, to celebrate the Center for Career Development assists in organizing an annual Disability Mentoring Day. This day pairs students with preferred employers to spend a day job shadowing and meeting local professionals. Contact Tatiana Leavitt Messersmith in the Center for Career Development if you have a company or position you would like to see!
  • How do I go about receiving accommodations at work?
    • When beginning an internship or full-time job, you may consider whether or not you want to disclose your disability with the employer. This is a very personal decision, and must be considered in light of your own personal circumstances. If you do not require workplace accommodations it is generally not necessary to disclose. But, if you do require workplace accommodations to be successful in the position, you must disclose. It is advised that an individual practice their disclosure with someone ahead of time, if you would like to discuss disclosure and whether it’s an option for you, schedule an appointment with Tatiana Leavitt Messersmith in the Center for Career Development.
    • Part of the disclosure process includes requesting workplace accommodations, similar to academic accommodations you may receive in school. These may look different in the workplace, and as such should be researched prior to the disclosure conversation. AskJan is an accommodation database that provides lists of common workplace accommodations by disability.

 

GettingHired.com is a free employment resource for individuals with disabilities

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