Supporting Transitions: Making Internships Accessible

Supporting Transitions: Making Internships Accessible

This resource is a short handout from a past workshop about making internships accessible for candidates with autism or developmental disabilities.  For more details, please email Supporting Transitions at stprojectleadermac@gmail.com or stprojectmanagermac@gmail.com

Making your existing internships accessible to applicants with autism or developmental disabilities is easier than you think.  Here are some quick tips and best practices:

 

The Job Description:

    • Review your job description for unnecessary barriers (ie. specific diplomas, lifting 50lbs)
    • Share your finished job description with service organizations to expand your candidate pool

The Interview Process:

    • Remove the mystery – send interview questions and location specifics to the candidate in advance
    • Keep an open mind – particularly with social skills. What skills are needed for this position?

A Supported Work Environment:

    • Train and onboard in the intern’s workspace
    • An organized workspace in a quiet area is ideal (even better without fluorescent lights!)
    • Sensory needs – provide a good quiet area to take a break as an option
    • Establish clear communication about comfort in the workplace from the first day

Visual Supports:

    • Provide an employee handbook (or at least a list of rules)
    • Visuals are helpful – provide handouts of forms and documents that will be used on the job
    • Allow/Prompt the employee to take photos/screenshots when training on tasks

Best Practices:

    • Structure and routine are important
    • Practice patience and understanding, particularly in social settings or around “unwritten rules” in the office
    • Allow the intern to try a task while you are present to ask questions

Communicate frequently and directly!

Broaden Your Candidate Pool by Sharing Your Job Posting with:



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