Student Accessibility Services
The Center for Career and Professional Development is committed to inclusion of all students in achieving their career development goals. The Center has a history of strong collaborative ties to the Center for Student Accessibility and works closely to establish individualized career planning, customized internship and employment advisement, as well as scholarship, fellowship and special opportunity information and referral for students identified with special needs.
As the future employees, graduate school students, or fellowship candidates, students with accessibility needs can often face unique challenges. They must find a way to meet the specific qualifications of their chosen career path, as well as demonstrate transferable skills such as effective written and verbal communication, reliability, decision making, leadership, and problem solving. They must also determine whether or not they will need accommodations to help them succeed in their elected field. Success in any work-based or academic learning experiences whether that be internships, volunteerism, service learning, fellowships, mentoring, research opportunities, or jobs depends on carefully considered planning and preparation with your LEADS counselor at the Center for Student Accessibility and with a career specialist at the Center for Career and Professional Development.
Readiness for an internship or employment search, is defined as being equipped to find, acquire, and retain an appropriate internship or employed position as well as being able to manage the personal and professional transitions to that position. There is an important distinction to be made here in your career planning process.
Like any other set of skills – sports, computer proficiency, playing a musical instrument, etc., practice improves your skills and increases your opportunity for success. Internship and Employment search skills are no different. The more you seek out opportunities to practice, the more your skills will improve. With consistent advisement and support from the Center for Student Accessibility and the Center for Career and Professional Development, participate in the Center’s semester programs/events as referenced in your ICP (as opportunities both to “practice” your skills and to launch your internship/employment search).
Career Center staff are available to discuss ways to build your career readiness skills. Email Careers@csi.cuny.edu or log in to your Careers24/7 account at www.csi.cuny.edu/careers247 to schedule an appointment.
(Video Description) In the first of a three part series on disabilities in the workplace, Lou Orslene of the Job Accommodation Network explains the process of disclosure; notifying your employer (or potential employer) of any medical condition that requires an accommodation in order to succeed. Learn more about disclosure as well as hear Lou's advice on when and to whom you should disclose. Video provided by Candid Career. See more Candid Career Videos here!
When applying for internships, employment, graduate schools or any other special opportunity programs, disclosure of a disability or needs for accessibility services is – first and foremost – your choice. It is a personal decision and one that you should undertake only after meeting with your advisor from the Center for Student Accessibility and discussing the benefits and possible drawbacks of doing so. Remember you are not legally bound to disclose and your decision to disclose should be based on what will help you advance in both your personal, academic, and career goals.
The following questions/guidelines should serve to prepare you for discussion with your counselor/advisor at the Center for Student Accessibility.
- How comfortable you are discussing your disability and how detailed you would like to be in that discussion?
- If your disability is a visible one, how prepared are you to clarify misconceptions potential employers/recruiters may hold regarding your abilities?
- Have you examined the job/internship description and are you prepared to speak of how your strengths make you qualified for the position?
- Have you done your research and are you prepared to discuss any accommodations you may require as an intern or employee including any costs to both you and the employer?
If you do decide to disclose, how prepared are you to respond to what might be some uncomfortable questions such as
- “Can you be a dependable employee?”
- “Can you complete the jobs given to you as effectively as another potential employee?”
- “What can you contribute to this company?”
If you decide to disclose, have you scheduled an appointment with your advisor at the Center for Student Accessibility to practice your responses to some potentially challenging questions?
If you chose not to disclose your disability, have you researched the company and the job description thoroughly so you can be sure you are able to complete the tasks required by the position?
In the case of non-disclosure, are you aware that you are not entitled to receive the accommodations you may need and, if you cannot perform the duties required by the position description, you can legally be let go from the position.
Timing of disclosure really relies upon your comfort level and in depth advisement of this issue with your advisor from the Center for Student Accessibility. The following guidelines are designed to help prepare you for a one to one advisement session.
(Video Description) In the second a three-part series, Lou Orslene of the Job Accommodation Network teaches us how to locate progressive and diversity inclusive companies in our job search. Lou also gives us tips on how to tell if any company is inclusive, such as whether or not they highlight people with disabilities in their marketing materials. Video provided by Candid Career. See more Candid Career Videos here!
We all possess strengths that make us highly qualified to work in a position. It is important to identify what qualities set you apart from others and focus on how these specific qualities will make you more qualified for this position than other potential candidates. Unfortunately, as an individual with a disability, you may come across employers who have preconceived stereotypes. Being aware of these stereotypes will enable you to combat them and present examples of your abilities in your résumé, cover letter, and interview. These potential barriers to employment as well as résumé and cover letter development, presentation skills and interview preparation should always be discussed with your CUNY LEADS counselor and/or career specialist at the Center for Career and Professional Development.
Landing an Internship or Job
(Video Description) In the final part of our three-part series on disabilities in the workplace, Lou Orslene of the Job Accommodation Network helps us put all the pieces together for the ultimate goal: landing a job! Ultimately, Lou encourages anyone with a disability or impairment to feel empowered when they begin their job search. The resiliency, creativity, and flexibility they use day-to-day will be a major selling point for any hiring manager! Video provided by Candid Career. See more Candid Career Videos here!
As the future employees, graduate school students, or scholarship/fellowship candidates, students with accessibility needs can often face unique challenges. They must find a way to meet the specific qualifications of their chosen career path, as well as demonstrate transferable skills such as effective written and verbal communication, reliability, decision making, leadership, and problem solving. They must also determine whether or not they will need accommodations to help them succeed in their elected field. Success in any work-based or academic learning experiences whether that be internships, volunteerism, service learning , fellowships, mentoring, research opportunities, or jobs depends on carefully considered planning and preparation with your LEADS counselor at the Center for Student Accessibility and with a career specialist at the Center for Career and Professional Development to develop an Individualized Career Plan (ICP).
Scholarships and Fellowships
There are many scholarship and fellowship opportunities offered to students who have a documented disability or can prove physical, family, or psychological hardships in their lives. The application process for scholarships and fellowships demands a great deal of time and effort and usually requires students working with a faculty member or the designated Fellowship and Scholarship Coordinator for the institution. The CSI Scholarship Program is open to all full-time CSI students who have achieved at least a 3.25 GPA and students with accessibility needs who meet the eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply. Applications become available during the fall semester, and the annual deadline occurs on the last business day of February. Students may inquire about the application at the Institutional Advancement & External Affairs Office, 1A-401C. The City University of New York also offers scholarship opportunities and all students are welcome to apply. For students registered with their campus Center for Student Accessibility, there is the CUNY Matthew Goldstein Scholarship, which has an annual deadline in June and provides tuition waivers for unmet state financial aid (TAP). These awards, along with the CSI Scholarship Program application, and a multitude of additional external scholarships, can be viewed by visiting our scholarships page and accessing CSI’s Fellowship and Scholarship Database online, which contains a section specifically for students with disabilities. Students are also advised to view all award categories that pertain to them and carefully consider the eligibility criteria for each award. Within the database, students may also review free scholarship search websites and advice for building candidacy
Applying for graduate programs follows a process similar to scholarship and fellowship applications and often includes writing a statement of purpose, obtaining letters of recommendation, and completing an interview with an admissions recruiter. However, for students with special needs, additional forms and information may also be part of the application process, such as accommodation requests, equipment, and material. Students should consult with graduate admissions personnel at the school they wish to attend to ensure they have secured all necessary documentation and that the institution is in compliance with ADA guidelines. Students may also want to evaluate whether or not the institution provides a supportive environment that promotes and celebrates diversity. For information regarding graduate programs at the College of Staten Island, contact the Office of Recruitment and Admissions, located in 2A-103, at 718.982.2019 or visit our graduate admissions site
For graduate programs within CUNY, students may visit: https://www.cuny.edu/admissions/graduate-studies/explore/.
All students should exercise caution when searching for programs outside of CUNY (including CSI), because some websites contain programs from schools that have paid premiums to be featured on the website. These websites may not provide accurate information about the school’s ranking and reputation. Students are encouraged to use Peterson’s Graduate and Professional Programs Guide, a trusted and reliable resource for graduate school information. Students may visit the CSI Library for access to this guide, which may only be used within the library facility.
For comprehensive information regarding graduate study and personal statement writing, students may click on the following link for more information:
For assistance in applying for scholarships, fellowships, and graduate school, please visit the Office of Institutional Advancement & External Affairs, Building 1A, Room 401, and ask to meet with the Fellowship and Scholarship Advisor or visit our scholarships page
AbilityLinks- “AbilityLinks is a nationwide, web-based community where qualified job seekers with
disabilities and inclusive employers meet and gain access to valuable networking opportunities. Job seekers who want to connect to employers by voluntarily self-identifying having a disability use AbilityLinks to post resumes and apply for jobs. No information about disability type is asked.” https://www.abilitylinks.org/
ACCESS-VR- Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCESS-VR) offers comprehensive vocational rehabilitation to working age adults with disabilities, including: skills assessment, education, skills development and job placement. http://www.trilogyir.com/
American Foundation for the Blind CareerConnect- “The American Foundation for the Blind removes barriers, creates solutions, and expands possibilities so people with vision loss can achieve their full potential.” http://www.afb.org/info/living-with-vision-loss/for-job-seekers/12
Asperger Syndrome Training & Employment Partnership (ASTEP)- “The Asperger Syndrome Training & Employment Partnership (ASTEP) promotes the inclusion of individuals with Asperger Syndrome and similar autism spectrum profiles in competitive employment through: Awareness and training campaigns aimed at Fortune 1000 companies; Establishing relationships between high quality support programs for adults with Asperger’s throughout the US and national employers; And, developing Corporate Partners to implement integrated employment programs for adults with Asperger Syndrome.” http://asperger-employment.org/employment-resources/
Birch Family Services- Birch Family Services is a team of more than 3,000 teachers, therapists, social workers, psychologists, nurses, residence counselors, administrators, board members, and family members working together: To provide the finest education, habilitation, and residential services to people with autism and other developmental disabilities. To help their families overcome the lifelong obstacles they face in raising children with disabilities. http://www.birchfamilyservices.org/index.html
Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities (COSD) – “COSD offers many opportunities to connect with higher education professionals, other employers and college students with disabilities.” http://www.cosdonline.org/
DIsabledperson.com- “We boast over 40,000 active jobs with hundreds of new jobs posted every day from all across the U.S. posted by companies who are looking to hire people with disabilities.” https://www.disabledperson.com/
EmpAcc- “EmpAcc is a one-stop employment service for all persons with disabilities who wish to access assistance in preparing for, obtaining and maintaining competitive employment.” http://www.disabilityaccess.org/employment-access.html
Enable America- “Enable America’s objective is to increase employment among people with disabilities in the United States.” http://www.enableamerica.org/
Entrypoint- Entry Point is the signature program of the AAAS Project on Science, Technology, and Disability. 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 outstanding internship and co-op opportunities. http://ehrweb01.aaas.org/entrypoint/
Federal Jobs for People with Disabilities- “The Federal Government is actively recruiting and hiring persons with disabilities. We offer a variety of exciting jobs, competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and opportunities for career advancement. http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/disability-employment/
GettingHired.com- “Providing a safe and secure environment is top of mind and our employer partners have a vested interest in hiring the most talented individuals for their companies. We seek to work with companies who are making a concerted effort to hire people with disabilities and are constantly looking to improve their program through best hiring training programs for a variety of teams.” http://www.gettinghired.com/
Hire Disability Solutions- “The mission of Hire Disability Solutions is to give all that want a chance to succeed, the opportunity to succeed. Hire Disability Solutions was founded in response to the increasing demand for services for individuals with disabilities. Additionally, we aim to promote inclusion into the mainstream employment world.” http://hireds.com/
Institute for Career Development- ICD has been helping people transform their lives through career development and employment for almost 100 years. We specialize in serving New Yorkers with barriers to employment gain economic independence through career planning and evaluation and career school programs. http://www.icdnyc.org/
Lime Connect- ”Lime Connect is leading the way as the premier resource for top talent in the disability space by attracting, preparing and connecting highly accomplished individuals with disabilities for careers with the world’s leading corporations.” http://limeconnect.com/
The National Business Disability Council– “The National Business & Disability Council (NBDC) at The Viscardi Center is an employer organization and comprehensive resource for disability best practices.” https://www.viscardicenter.org/nbdc/job-seekers/
The Office of Personnel Management- OPM works in several broad categories to recruit, retain and honor a world-class workforce. http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/disability-employment/
Project Hired- “Project HIRED, a 501(c)3, not-for-profit organization, maintains a single vision: to be a significant force for the employment of individuals with disabilities until the need no longer exists. http://projecthired.org/
Work Force Recruitment Program- “The Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) is a recruitment and referral program that connects federal sector employers nationwide with highly motivated college students and recent graduates with disabilities who are eager to prove their abilities in the workplace through summer or permanent jobs. The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the U.S. Department of Defense's Office of Diversity Management & Equal Opportunity (ODMEO) manage the program, which continues to be successful with the participation of many other federal agencies and sub-agencies. Since the program's expansion in 1995, over 6,000 students and recent graduates have received temporary and permanent employment opportunities through the WRP.” https://wrp.gov/
Websites Committed to Helping Individuals with Disabilities Gain Employment and/or Internships:
Freddie Mac Internship Program (Autistic Self-Advocacy Network)- “At Freddie Mac, you’ll have a rewarding career as you play a role in helping the nation recover from the housing and economic crisis, and implementing the President’s Making Home Affordable program.” http://www.freddiemac.com/careers/campus/pdf/phase_1_intern_program.pdf
The National Business Disability Council Emerging Leaders Program- “Studies have proven that volunteering or participating in an internship are the best predictors of future success in the workplace. The Emerging Leaders Summer Internship Program for College Students with Disabilities gives college students with disabilities the opportunity to jumpstart their career path and gain a competitive edge.” https://www.viscardicenter.org/nbdc/emerging-leaders-students
The National Center for Learning Disabilities- “The mission of NCLD is to improve the lives of the one in five children and adults nationwide with learning and attention issues—by empowering parents and young adults, transforming schools and advocating for equal rights and opportunities. We’re working to create a society in which every individual possesses the academic, social and emotional skills needed to succeed in school, at work and in life. http://www.ncld.org/employment/
The United States International Council on Disabilities Youth in Development Internship Program- “The United States International Council on Disabilities is a federation of US-based non-governmental organizations, federal agencies and individuals committed to advocacy and action on behalf of the global disability rights agenda.” http://www.usicd.org/template/page.cfm?id=257
Smithsonian Internship for People with Disabilities- “This program provides paid internship opportunities annually at the Smithsonian for people with disabilities.”http://www.smithsonianofi.com/internship-opportunities/access-to-opportunities-smithsonian-internship-program-for-people-with-disabilities/