Career Resources for Students with Disabilities

Career exploration and advancement are closely tied to one’s intersections of identity. The best Northeastern resource for career-related topics will be the Office of Employer Engagement and Career Design. Reach out to them for support in coaching groups and the Career Studio, which can provide one-on-one support to questions and tailored resources. They also offer many different coaching labs, which you can RSVP for here or on NUworks.
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Northeastern Resources

Many offices at Northeastern will help you with identity related resources. NU PLACE has partnered with the following offices to provide support for students and alumni with underrepresented racial, cultural, and/or ethnic identities to develop and achieve your career goals:

Check out the main Career Resources page for more resources.


  • AbilityLinks – A web-based community where job seekers with disabilities and inclusive employers meet and gain access to valuable networking opportunities.
  • Ability Jobs – Dedicated to the employment of people with disabilities by providing a dedicated system for finding employment.
  • Bender Consulting Services – Bender Consulting Services partners with corporations and federal agencies to recruit, screen, and hire individuals with disabilities for career opportunities in a variety of competitive fields.
  • Careers and DisABLED Magazine – In addition to a magazine, the site includes job postings, lists of companies that are actively recruiting, and a database where you can post your resume.
  • ContainIQ – An article on resources for people with disabilities to break into software engineering.
  • EEOC Lead – Information on initiatives to increase the number of employees with disabilities in the federal workforce. Discusses the Schedule A hiring process.
  • Getting Hired – Job search and networking resource for people with disabilities.
  • Hire Disability Solutions – Search for jobs online including a variety of training and consulting services.
  • Lime – A not-for-profit that connects students with disabilities to scholarships, internships, and full-time employment with their corporate partners.
  • Mentra – Platform for neurodivergent students to create a profile that captures their unique talents and match with employers that value neurodiversity.
  • National Business and Disability Council – Includes a section for job seekers to post a resume and search job listings as well as information on career events, internships, and job search tips.
  • National Organization on Disability – Resources including a yearly list of leading disability employers.
  • ResumeBuilder – A resume and employment guide for people with disabilities.
  • Workability – Job board that connects inclusive employers with neurodiverse and disabled talent.
  • Workplace Diversity – Job search and news for all aspects of diversity.
  • Workforce Recruitment Program – Recruitment and referral program that connects federal sector employers to college students and recent graduates with disabilities.
  • Work Without Limits – Online job board specifically for job seekers with disabilities in Massachusetts, and for the employers who seek to hire them.
  • Job Assistance Guide for People with Disabilities – Learn about training programs and related resources.
  • Do not let your disability define you! Focus on your strengths, your skills for the position, and what you can offer to the employer
  • Seek out employers with disability-friendly policies and employee support networks. See the “Additional Resources” section at the end of this guide for listings of organizations that connect job seekers with disabilities to employers.
  • Remember, you must be qualified to perform essential functions of the position.
  • Prepare a professional resume and cover letter, showcasing your ability to do the job. Check out the Employer Engagement and Career Design They offer resources on every aspect of the job search process, from interviewing and networking to resumes and cover letters. Carefully review their guides.
  • Prepare for the interview by researching the employer and interviewers, practice answering typical interview questions, and articulating your abilities.
  • Review a short series of videos prepared by the Department of Labor on Soft Skills for the Workplace
  • Read the Basics of Schedule A Hiring Authority for Individuals with Disabilities.
  • The ADA (1990) is a civil rights law designed to make American society more accessible to people with disabilities. Title 1 of the act requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide reasonable accommodations to job applicants and employees with disabilities. It prohibits discrimination in recruitment, hiring, promotions, training, pay, social activities, and other privileges of employment.
  • See more information regarding Job Applicants and the ADA. There are samples of questions that can and cannot be asked during various stages of the interview and offer process.
  • The ADA prohibits employers from asking questions that are likely to reveal the existence of a disability before making a job offer (i.e., the pre-offer period). This prohibition covers written questionnaires and inquiries made during interviews, as well as medical examinations. However, such questions and medical examinations are permitted after extending a job offer but before the individual begins work (i.e., the post-offer period)
  • If asked a prohibited question during the interview, try to stay positive and focus on the intent (Can you do the job?)
  • Example: If you are asked: “Do you have a disability,” or “What is your medical condition?” You can say something like: “I assure you that I am capable of performing this job. I would like to address any concerns that you have about the duties that I would be expected to perform……

Disclosure is divulging or giving out personal information about a disability. The decision of whether to disclose is entirely up to you – there are no requirements to do so. The staff in the Employer Engagement and Career Design are available to discuss the pros and cons, depending on your situation.
Your decision may be impacted by whether your disability is visible or nonvisible, whether you need accommodations to perform your best, etc.

Why disclose?

  • You must disclose to benefit from the protections afforded by the ADA
  • If you need workplace or interview accommodations
  • Many companies are actively seeking employees with disabilities to add to their talent pool
  • It is perfectly fine not to disclose if you wish to keep your disability private, and you do not anticipate the need for job-related accommodations

When to disclose?

  • There is no universal right time. Depending on your situation, you may choose to disclose:
  • In an application or cover letter
  • Before an interview (If a modification to the interview process is needed)
  • At the interview
  • Before any medical or drug testing
  • After you have the job offer
  • Anytime during employment
  • Never
  • Most employers appreciate accommodation discussions during the interview process. It shows confidence and acceptance of who you are, and most likely, the employer will respect your candidness about your needs to perform effectively in the role. It is also important to request accommodations before your work performance is impacted.

How to disclose?

  • If you have made the decision to disclose, spend some time preparing a script. Be brief, positive, and focus on your ability to do the job. Succinctly mention your condition and what types of job accommodations would allow you to meet the job requirements. For example, you may say something like:
    • I have hearing loss, and to be highly effective in this position as a Lab Assistant, it would be helpful to receive visual notifications of lab test completions.
      I can provide information on the inexpensive equipment modification that was used at my previous internship. By receiving visual notification, rather than relying on an audible buzzer, I was able to perform highly effectively in a high-volume lab environment.

Who to Disclose To?

  • You only need to disclose on a “need to know” basis. Your supervisor and the Human Resources department would be involved in preparing accommodations for you to perform your job effectively.

Federal law requires that an employer “provide reasonable accommodations to an employee or job applicant unless doing so would cause significant difficulty or expense for the employer.”

The Job Accommodation Network(JAN) is a great resource that provides information on the ADA, disclosure and options for accommodations by disability type.  It is a free service provided by the US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).

  • Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) – Opportunity for students with disabilities to job shadow in a career of their interest.
  • AAPD Internship Programs – A competitive internship program for college students with disabilities. Applications are due in January for summer positions.
  • Abilities Fund – First nationwide, non-profit community developers and financial institutions focused solely on expanding entrepreneurial opportunities, including access to capital, for people with disabilities.
  • Careers Beyond Disability – Transitioning individuals into a self-empowerment career that takes into consideration their past, present ability, and future. It provides business coaching to start your own business or help to find a franchise business in which to buy into and run.
  • National Association for the Self-Employed – Nation’s leading resource for the self-employed and micro-business providing a broad range of benefits and support to help the smallest businesses succeed.
  • Small Business Administration – Independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist, and protect the interests of small business concerns in order to provide free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of the nation.

2023 Disability In The Workplace Toolkit

Article on Neurodiversity in the Modern Workplace

Indeed for Employers: Best Practices for Hiring With Neurodiversity in Mind

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