After high school or college, people with disabilities want to be able to enter the job market in a field of employment that they are passionate about. People with disabilities are not a monolith and want to participate in a range of employment options.
Similar to people without disabilities, having opportunities to get paid while interning can be a major benefit. Interns should be valued, because what they bring to the workplace is a benefit to the entire organization or business.
Some people with disabilities need to have opportunities to grow after they finish school, and an internship is a great way to find out where one needs improvement. Disabled people are more often living in poverty or are in situations where they have to survive on public assistance, because of low wages. In some circumstances, people with disabilities are judged based on production or the idea that people with disabilities cannot be as talented as people without disabilities. A paid internship program would not only give people an opportunity to grow, but they would also be getting paid during the process.
Assistive Technology and Accessibility Training
People with certain disabilities require assistive technology to help them do their job. Assistive technology is required under the Americans with Disabilities Act as a reasonable accommodation. Assistive technology can include hearing aids and devices, screen readers, and technology to assist people who have motor skills disabilities.
Disability basics and accessibility generally improves the workplace experience of all employees, not just employees with disabilities. Inclusivity lifts morale of employees. Every employee learning about accessibility can help interactions within and outside of the working environment.
Accessibility consultants, who understand the Americans with Disabilities Act and reasonable accommodations can make the process of accessibility training seamless.
Customized Employment is the process of developing a position for an individual with a significant disability that meets the needs of a business. Customized employment uses a positive approach to identifying a in individuals' interests, talents, skills and needs related to employment to develop a plan to assist the individual in preparing for and obtaining competitive integrated, matching the individual with the needs of an employer and providing supports on the job. Customized employment is an opportunity to many people with significant disabilities to work and contribute to the workforce in meaningful ways.
People with disabilities should have opportunities to develop a mentor mentee relationship. Young people with disabilities are often not able to connect with other intersectional disabled people in their field of work. Mentorship programs can be opportunities for people with disabilities to interact with people in their work field, while also being able to connect with another person with a disability.
Disabled people are much more comfortable when they interact with other disabled people about issues relating to professional growth and personal wellbeing.
It is crucial that mentors also represent a cross section of the disability community. This means that we must have intersectional mentors, who represent a wide range of disability and careers.