Students With Disabilities

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 27% of American adults have some type of disability, including physical, mental, or emotional impairments.

Students with disabilities may face barriers in their search for internship, co-op, or full-time employment. These can include:

  • Physical barriers, including inaccessible building entrances and hallways, wheelchair ramps, and elevators
  • Negative perceptions or stigmas about people with disabilities among hiring managers (e.g., that they are unable to do the same quality of work as people without disabilities)
  • Barriers to communication, such as lack of screen readers, materials available in Braille, and more
  • Policy barriers, such as requirements to work in person for work that could be done remotely or policies that prevent people from having additional time to complete tasks or take longer breaks

Job-Search Strategies

Look for Disability-Friendly Employers

Look at diversity and inclusion statements on the websites of employers of interest. Does the company seem open to creating an equitable workplace for diverse employees?

Know What Accommodations You Will Need Before Applying

Be able to honestly assess what kinds of accommodations would make it possible or comfortable for you to do a particular job. Do you need a flexible schedule? A remote or mostly-remote job? Knowing your needs can help you decide whether or not a job will work for you.

Get Your Job Search Documents Ready

You will need to prepare a résumé and cover letter for each job you are applying to. Look at our tips and suggestions for creating job search documents that will make a strong impact on employers.

Decide How Much You Want to Disclose 

You are not required to disclose your disability during the job application process. However, know that employers are not required to accommodate disabilities that are not disclosed. 

Learn More: Students With Disabilities


Engineering Career Resources & Employer Relations

College of Engineering

117 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4710

Phone: 814-863-1032