Students usually find it fairly difficult to find internships. It is not that easy because there are a lot of people competing with each other over limited slots. Companies will definitely choose the most competitive ones. Another reason could be because there aren't enough companies that accept student interns to accommodate every student attempting to get an internship. For students who are disabled, it could be a tad bit more challenging for them. However, their disability should not get in their way and make them get discouraged. There are laws that give disabled students every right that a non-disabled student does. You can help these students find and land an internship. So here are some guidelines how to get one.
- Familiarize yourself with the ADA. It is the Americans with Disabilities Act. It will provide you the information you can use to teach companies or employers. This will also show them that they must not discriminate towards disabled students, particularly the one you are helping to get an internship. An online copy can be found at http://www.ada.gov/pubs/ada.htm.
- Find out the skills and interests of the student you are helping. Ask him also his preference in which department he wishes to be part of. If for example he is skilled and majoring in computers, you may contact the IT department of whichever company. If the student you are helping has a company in mind, contact them. They might be more than happy to give this student an internship once you show them that they can benefit from him. There also might be companies that really don't discriminate at all and would love to hire people with disabilities. Get hold of any connections you might have, as well. This way, the student you are helping could have several choices.
- Inform the company what disability your applicant has. Informing them is important so that they may make the necessary adjustments and provide your applicant with the accommodations or tools he will need. Although it is not a necessity to give out that kind of information, but it will help the employer trust you and the student you are assisting.
- Find out the companies that are readily available to hire students who have disabilities. You may have some connections who know about this or you may research it. You may also inquire from the treatment agency in your state that has already done their research and interview with companies that do hire these people.
- Ready the student you are helping to land an internship in either of the companies you have contacted. Inform him that he may receive a position that is beneath his capabilities. This way, he can prove that he can do anything no matter how heavy or light the load he will be given. Once he has demonstrated his capability of doing great at a lighter job, tell him that he might be given more tasks to do.
Always encourage every student to never give up finding an internship. There will always be a company that will hire them. It might not be easy, but that is not a reason to be discouraged.