Career Resources for Students with Disabilities

Contact Us

Office of Career Services
Activities Building West
Room 102
180 Riverway
Boston, MA
617-879-2056
careerservices@wheelock.edu

Current Students, use MyWheelock to make an appointment. (click on Appointments to search the Career Services calendar for an open appointment.)

Alumni, contact Director Kelly Graham at kgraham@wheelock.edu or 617-879-2056

The Career Services Office at Wheelock College is committed to supporting the career exploration and professional success of students with disabilities. This page provides resources and information that will support your journey to meaningful employment. We do, however, encourage you to make an appointment with Career Services to discuss your individual questions and goals.

Use these links to go directly to each section:

Know Your Rights - Your Disability and the Workforce

What is the ADA and who is protected?

"Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. The ADA covers employers with 15 or more employees...")
Source: Facts About the Americans with Disabilities Act

For more information on the ADA and who is protected, please visit the ADA homepage or the U.S. Equal Opportunities Commission .

What is the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and who is protected?

"The Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs conducted by Federal agencies, in programs receiving Federal financial assistance, in Federal employment, and in the employment practices of Federal contractors. The standards for determining employment discrimination under the Rehabilitation Act are the same as those used in title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act."
Source: A Guide to Disability Rights Laws

"Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act prohibits federal executive branch agencies, including the U.S. Postal Service and the Postal Rate Commission, from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities. It requires executive branch agencies to take affirmative action in the hiring, placing and advancing of individuals with disabilities.

"Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act requires contractors who have a contract with the federal government for $10,000 or more, and their subcontractors who have subcontracts satisfying the same criteria, to take affirmative action to employ and to advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities.

Section 504 prohibits recipients of federal financial assistance from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in employment and in their programs and activities."
Source: US Department of Labor

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Frequently Asked Questions

When during the job or internship search, recruitment or hiring process should you disclose a disability?

Choosing whether or not to disclose your disability is a personal decision that will vary based upon your disability and/or the need to request a reasonable accommodation. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of disclosure at each step of the job search, recruitment and hiring process reviewing the job description to consider if accommodations are needed to successfully complete an interview or meet/exceed job requirements. Those with a visible disability or the need to ask for an interview accommodation may need to disclose earlier in the process. Disclosure can happen during the application process, before an interview, during an interview, after a job offer, during employment or never.

For more information on when to disclose a disability, view the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy resource Youth, Disclosure and the Workplace Why, When, What and How.

We highly recommend that you speak with the appropriate field placement office, your faculty advisor, Access and Disability Resources, or Career Services about your disability before applying for an internship/placement or disclosing your disability to a placement/internship site.

For more information on disclosure, read Should I or Shouldn't I, created by the Jobs Access Network.

What do you disclose about your disability during employment or the job/internship search, recruitment or hiring process?

When deciding to disclose your disability, it is helpful to create a script about and practice how you want to disclose information. Some information to consider presenting when disclosing:

  • Provide general information about your disability and why you are disclosing this information. Only disclose disability information relevant to work performance/takes or accommodations needed.
  • How your disability affects your ability to perform job responsibilities and how accommodations maximize your ability to perform job tasks.

To whom do you disclose your disability?

From the resource Youth, Disclosure, and the Workplace Why, When, What and How:

"Disclose your disability on a "need-to-know" basis. Provide further details about your disability as it applies to your work-related accommodations to the individual who has the authority to facilitate your accommodation request. Consider disclosing to the supervisor responsible for the hiring, promoting, and/or firing of employees. This person needs to be informed of your disability-related needs to provide the necessary supports and judge your job performance fairly."

How do I ask for a reasonable accommodation?

An accommodation can be requested any time during the job application process or while employed. When asking for an accommodation is it important that you can explain to an employer the type accommodations that you need and why you need them. For more information on how to request and negotiate accommodations, please view the Employees' Practical Guide to Requesting and Negotiating Reasonable Accommodations Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),created by the Job Accommodation Network (JAN).

What is a reasonable accommodation?

According to the American's with Disabilities Act, a "reasonable accommodation is any modification or adjustment to a job or the work environment that will enable a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the application process or to perform essential job functions. Reasonable accommodation also includes adjustments to assure that a qualified individual with a disability has rights and privileges in employment equal to those of employees without disabilities (Source: ada.gov/archive/q&aeng02.htm)."

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Career Resources

Job Search

Ability Jobs
The Goal of JobAccess and abilityJOBS is to enable a person with a disability to enhance their professional lives by providing a dedicated system for finding employment.

Bender Consulting Services
Bender Consulting Services, Inc. recruits and hires people with disabilities for competitive career opportunities in the public and private sectors.

Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities
COSD's mission is to assist college students and recent graduates with a disability, in gaining the tools and knowledge necessary to secure the career of one's choice.

Careers and the DisABLED Magazine / DisABLED Person, Inc.
Since 1968, Equal Opportunity Publications, Inc. (EOP) has led the way in diversity recruitment with a portfolio of seven national career magazines, a diversity website, online job board, and Career Expos for women, members of minority groups, and people with disabilities.

Disability Equality Index (DEI)
DEI is a national, transparent, annual benchmarking tool (submitted by organizations) that provides an objective score for disability inclusion policies and practices at a variety of companies.

Emerging Leaders
The Emerging Leaders Internship Program for College Students with Disabilities, funded by The UPS Foundation and coordinated by the National Business & Disability Council (NBDC) at The Viscardi Center, is a highly competitive program that places top undergraduate and graduate college students with disabilities in fulfilling internships nationwide that also provide them with meaningful leadership development and networking opportunities.

Getting Hired
Job portal connecting job seekers with organizations nationwide, including many Fortune 500 companies, ready to hire job seekers with disabilities.

Hire Disability Solutions
Provides comprehensive career services to facilitate employment for people with disabilities, veterans, their family members, and others who face challenges in their lives.

National Business and Disability Council
The National Business & Disability Council (NBDC) at The Viscardi Center offers job seekers with disabilities the opportunity to search their database for current job postings with Fortune 1000 companies and government employers.

Lime Connect
A global not for profit organization that's re-branding disability through achievement by attracting, preparing, and connecting high potential university students and alumni who happen to have disabilities for scholarships, internships, The Lime Connect Fellowship Program, and full time careers with corporate.

Work Without Limits
Online job board specifically for job seekers with disabilities seeking to work and advance their careers in Massachusetts, and for the employers who seek to hire them.

Accommodations

Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. Working toward practical solutions that benefit both employer and employee, JAN helps people with disabilities enhance their employability, and shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace.
JAN's trusted consultants offer one-on-one guidance on workplace accommodations, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related legislation, and self-employment and entrepreneurship options for people with disabilities.

Disclosure

Youth, Disclosure, and the Workplace Why, When, What, and How

Educational Resources

NATIONAL

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Association on Higher Education and Disabilities (AHEAD)

American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)

Disability Equality Index (DEI). The DEI is a national, transparent, annual benchmarking tool that scores businesses, on a scale of zero (0) to 100, on their disability inclusion policies and practices.

United States Department of Labor - Disability Resources Links

National Federation of the Blind

Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). As part of the US Department of Labor, ODEP's mission is to develop and influence policies and practices that increase the number and quality of employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Respect Ability. Organization that works with entertainment, policy makers, educators, self-advocates, nonprofits, employers, faith-based organizations, philanthropists, journalists and online media to fight stigmas and advance opportunities for people with disabilities.

The Sierra Group. From school age children to adults Sierra consultants assist individuals in their efforts to gain access to technology and strategies to meet their personal workplace, educational, and independence goals.

REGIONAL

Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission

Massachusetts Commission for the Blind

Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

National Alliance on Mental Health Massachusetts - Education, Employment and Training

Connecticut Bureau of Rehabilitation Services

Maine Vocational Rehabilitation

New Hampshire Vocational Rehabilitation

Rhode Island Vocational Rehabilitation

Vermont Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Search for Other State Vocational Rehabilitation Offices

INTERNSHIPS

AAPD Internship Programs. The AAPD Summer Internship Program has developed the next generation of leaders with disabilities and offered host employers access to a talented, diverse workforce. Each summer, AAPD places college students, graduate students, law students, and recent graduates with all types of disabilities in summer internships with Congressional offices, federal agencies, non-profits, and for-profit organizations in the Washington, DC area.

American Association for Advancement of the Sciences Entry Point. Entry Point! identifies and recruits students with apparent and non-apparent disabilities studying in science, engineering, mathematics, computer science, and some fields of business for internship and co-op opportunities.

AADP National Disability Mentoring Day. Find mentoring day events happening across the United States.

Professional Organizations

American Association of People with Disabilities

American Foundation for the Blind

Association for Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD)

Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities (COSD)

National Alliance on Mental Illness

National Association of the Deaf (NAD)

National Business and Disability Council

National Organization on Disability

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