Students with Disabilities
The University Career Center and the Center for Accommodations and Support Services (CASS) work together to offer you this page full of helpful resources. We encourage you to explore the links and documents.
- Make time for career development and planning. Students with disabilities are typically a year to two years behind their peers in relation to progress in career development. Because of their added attention to coursework and other commitments, students with disabilities may feel that they do not have the time to engage in career development activities. This can make a student feel like they have little control over their own career development. It is important that you make time to seek out experiences in college that will help you clarify your career interests.
- Build skills now. Understand how disability impacts you across academic and employment settings. Self-advocacy skills, requesting accommodations and being comfortable with your disabilities are important transferable skills for employment that you will learn in college.
- Start with your strengths! Look beyond your disability and know your unique strengths, skills and traits so that you can articulate your value to employers.
- When to disclose: Deciding when to disclose your disability to an employer or potential employer is a personal decision that will likely vary based on your specific disability and what type of accommodations you need. You are not required to disclose your disability or request an accommodation before a job offer is made. Some applicants choose to disclose during the interview process and others wait until after they are offered the job.
- How to disclose: How much information you disclose to your employer is up to you. You are not required to give a specific diagnosis only that you need an adjustment due to a medical condition or disability. However, keep in mind that if your disability is not obvious, the employer may request that you provide documentation to establish that there is a need for an accommodation as required by the ADA.
- About the law: Individuals with disabilities are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Keep in mind, to be a qualified candidate; you must be able to perform the “essential functions” of the job with or without accommodations.
- Essential Job Functions: Despite disability, employees must be able to perform essential job functions. This can include: meeting deadlines, planning and organizing tasks, and producing a quality product.
- Accommodations: New professionals with disabilities should carefully think through what is needed to function optimally on the job prior to the hiring process.
- Visible Disabilities: Individuals visible disabilities will need to initiate discussions about reasonable accommodations prior to or during the hiring process.
- Invisible Disabilities: Individuals with invisible disabilities have the option to initiate discussions about reasonable accommodations after the hiring process.
- Cost of Accommodations: Most accommodations cost less than $500. Employers can receive tax incentives for accommodation costs. Need help? Call 915-747-5640 to make an appointment with the University Career Center.