In today’s workforce it’s crucial to have not only the appropriate degree or certification but also relevant experience. This is often difficult for most people but the difficulty is compounded if one has a developmental disability. Often, employers see the disability first rather than the person.
In order to help rectify this the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) launched its summer internship program in 2012. The AAPD, founded by Justin Dart, the father of the ADA, is a “a convener, connector and catalyst for change, increasing the political and economic power of people with disabilities.” The internship is open to all persons with disabilities throughout the country. To qualify, one has to be an undergraduate student, graduate student, law student, or recent graduate from a United States college or university.
The application process is as follows. One needs to answer three essay questions, obtain two letters of recommendation, and have three references. If accepted into the program, the applicant will participate in a 10-week paid summer internship in Washington DC. Participants are provided with a living stipend as well as housing accommodations and transportation to and from Washington DC. Applicants who would also need reasonable accommodations such as aide care should contact the AAPD by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 202-521-4316.
Applications for the 2018 summer internship program opened in September and are available here. The deadline is November 6. AAPD advises that all those interested in the internship should join the mailing list at AAPD.com to get all the updates on the program.