Working Together For Your Success
The information on this webpage is also available via this disability-accessible PDF.
In collaboration with the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD), the Career Development Center (CDC) assists currently enrolled degree seeking FAU students and registered alumni who have various disabilities by providing career planning services and guidance pertaining to their specific disability related issues.
Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) at FAU
The CDC assists FAU students in preparing their resumes, and conducting mock interviews with all WRP applicants.
The WRP is a recruitment and referral program that connects federal and private sector employers nationwide with highly motivated FAU students and recent graduates with disabilities who are eager to prove their abilities in the workplace through summer or permanent jobs. The program is managed by 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). Since the program's expansion in 1995, over 6,000 students and recent graduates have received temporary and permanent employment opportunities through the WRP (source: wrp.gov). For additional information and the WRP instructional videos that will help you navigate the job search process, please click here.
Students that accept an internship position through this program may be eligible to register the experience for college credit via FAU’s Cooperative Education/Internship Program.
Things to Think About
As a student with a disability there are important factors for you to consider as you search for internships or employment or apply to graduate school. You may have questions about your rights, disclosure, accommodations and which laws might apply to you. Here are some resources to guide your career:
Your Legal Rights
As a student with a disability you may have concerns about experiencing discrimination within your job search or career and what to do should it arise. The following are resources to help you understand your rights if you encounter discrimination on an application, in a job interview or in the work place:
Campus Career Resources & Events
Get involved in student groups on campus. The Owls Supporting Diversity Club is a student run organization for students with disabilities and allies. Other meaningful experiences outside the classroom can be found through the office for Student Involvement and Leadership (SIL).
Professional associations are groups of people who work in a specific industry or field of study. You can attend meetings, special events or get to know professionals in some of the following organizations:
Professional Contacts and Associations
Meeting with other students or professionals who have successfully made the transition from student to professional is a great way to gain useful information and network. The following are resources focused on mentorship programs:
Additional Information and Links for Students with Disabilities
Below are resources to help you in the career exploration and preparation process. This list is in no means exhaustive but will hopefully help you as you develop and achieve your career goals.
Get Experience! Internship and Volunteer Sites
50% of employers expect students to have 2 or more internships by graduation and graduate schools like applicants who have conducted research. Don’t know where to begin? The Career Development Center can help you get started.
Disclosing a Disability
The information in this section is also available via this disability-accessible PDF.
Issues to Consider about Disclosure
Suggested Disclosure Script
Disclosure Timing Options: Pros and Cons
Disclose on Your Resume or Cover Letter
Pros: You're being honest and can have some peace of mind. Let the employer decide if disability is an issue.
Cons: Might disqualify you before you can present your qualifications. You might have a harder time finding work.
Disclose When an Employer Calls for an Interview
Pros: Honesty. Provides you with peace of mind. Reduces the element of surprise before you meet in person. The employer may feel more comfortable being told in advance of a potential interview.
Cons: You might not be considered as seriously. Your performance abilities may be doubted before you've had a chance to discuss them.
Disclose During the Interview
Pros: Honesty. Demonstrates your confidence and poise. Allows you to explain briefly and positively in person. Discrimination is less likely face-to-face.
Cons: The surprise factor may make the employer uncomfortable. Employer may be distracted during the interview or doubt your ability to perform. Puts the responsibility on you to avoid over-explaining your disability, and to mention it at an effective time. (TIP: Bring up your disability at a natural time—when you're discussing job qualifications and duties. Be concise and focus on the positives—how well you can do the position.)
Disclose After The Interview But Before You Start a Position
Pros If accommodations are needed, the employer will have a chance to arrange them before you arrive.
Cons: Employer may distrust you for waiting to disclose.
Disclose After You Start a Position
Pros: You get a chance to prove yourself on the job before disclosure, and discuss it with coworkers if you choose. (NOTE: If your disability doesn't impact job performance, but your employment situation somehow changes after disclosure, you may have legal recourse.)
Cons: The longer you put off disclosure, the harder it becomes. It may be difficult to reestablish trust afterward. The employer might accuse you of falsifying your qualifications. Coworkers may treat you differently and the office climate could become poor.
Disclose After a Job-Related Problem Cause by Disability
Pros: You've had a chance to prove yourself on the job before disclosure.
Cons: Employer might accuse you of falsifying your qualifications. If you disclose now (rather than never), the employer may think you're unable to perform the essential job duties. Relationships with your coworkers or supervisor may be hurt if they feel you haven't been honest.
Disclosing a Disability was adapted from CLA Career Services at the University of Minnesota: http://www.clacareer.umn.edu/interviews/disability.html
Discloser Timing Information was adapted from Aase and Smith, Disability Services, University of Minnesota: https://diversity.umn.edu/disability/