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Resources for Students with Disabilities

boston college career center

As a student with hearing or visual impairments, or who has cognitive, physical, or psychological disabilities, you may face a series of unique challenges during your job search.  It is necessary to find an employer that provides a supportive workplace with reasonable accommodations for your individual disability.

You may also wonder if and when you should disclose the specifics of your disability to an employer, what rights you have in the workplace, and how to request reasonable accommodations.  The Boston College Career Center provides resources to help you with your job search and connect you to additional resources.

If you have any additional questions, please schedule an appointment through EagleLink to meet with a Career Advisor.


 


A variety of resources are available to support students with disabilities as they search for jobs and advance their careers.
 

Equal Opportunity Publications | Browse upcoming job fairs and get career guidance

Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities | Explore profiles of featured employers, employees, and students, and access a membership directory

ETS Guidelines for Students with Disabilities | Resources for students regarding ETS accommodations for test taking (GRE, TOEFL etc.)

Independent Living Research Utilization Job Announcements | Search for job opportunities across the country

Job Accommodation Network | This consulting firm provides information on job accommodation, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and employment opportunities.

Americans with Disabilities Act | A guide for people with disabilities seeking employment

Bender Consulting Services | Recruitment and hiring services for professionals living with disabilities

disABLEDperson | A job board for people with "disABILITIES", which lists hundreds of new jobs every day posted by companies who are looking to hire people with disabilities.

Lime | “Lime Connect is leading the way as the premier resource for top talent in the disability space by attracting, preparing and connecting highly accomplished individuals with disabilities for careers with the world’s leading corporations”

Work without limits | “a statewide network of engaged employers and innovative, collaborative partners that aims to increase employment among individuals with disabilities.”

 

A workplace accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a job, the work environment, or the way in which a job is usually done that enables an individual with a disability, who is otherwise qualified to perform a job, to attain the same level of performance and to enjoy the same benefits and privileges of employment.

Reasonable accommodations can apply to the duties of the job and/or where and how job tasks are performed.  The accommodation should make it easier for the employee to successfully perform the duties of the position.

Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.  To request reasonable accommodations:

  • Look at the vacancy announcement
  • Work directly with person arranging the interviews
  • Contact the agency Selective Placement Program Coordinator
  • Contact the hiring manager and engage in an interactive process to clarify what the person needs and identify reasonable accommodations
  • Make an oral or written request; no special language is needed

Disclosure is a very personal decision, and a decision that takes thought and practice. Both young people with visible disabilities and those with hidden (not readily apparent to others) disabilities can benefit from accurate information on disclosure. The following information for young people, families, and youth service professionals can assist in determining appropriate methods of disclosure.

Cyber Disclosure for Youth with Disabilities

  • This document is a supplement to The 411 on Disability Disclosure: A Workbook for Youth with Disabilities, which helps youth learn about disability disclosure and what it means for them. Search sites like Google, social networking sites like Facebook, and micro-blogging sites like Twitter have added a new element to disclosure. Now it is possible to disclose disability status on the internet without even being aware of it. This can be as simple as a picture of a person using a wheelchair, a comment on a friend’s blog about disability, or a profile posted on a disability organization’s website. The goal of this document is to provide youth with suggestions on how to both make informed decisions about their own disability disclosure and manage their disclosures online.

Helping Youth with Learning Disabilities Chart the Course: A Guide for Youth Service Professionals

  • This InfoBrief describes challenges faced by youth and young adults with learning disabilities as they reach adulthood, while also highlighting strategies youth service professionals can implement to help youth to transition successfully into the workplace.

The 411 on Disability Disclosure: A Workbook for Families, Educators, Youth Service Professionals, and Adult Allies Who Care About Youth with Disabilities

  • Adults in the lives of young people with both visible disabilities and those with disabilities that are not apparent to others can benefit from using this workbook. This workbook helps adults make informed decisions about teaching a young man or woman about his or her rights and responsibilities in disclosing his or her disability – a decision that will affect the young person’s educational, employment, and social life. This workbook will help adults learn how to support a young person with a disability as he or she takes steps in becoming more independent and self-sufficient. In fact, making the personal decision to disclose a disability can make the young person more confident in himself or herself and the choices he or she makes.

The 411 on Disability Disclosure: A Workbook for Youth with Disabilities

  • This guide is designed for youth and adults working with them to learn about disability disclosure. This workbook helps young people make informed decisions about whether or not to disclose their disabilities and understand how that decision may impact their education, employment, and social lives.

Youth and Disability Disclosure: The Role of Families and Advocates

  • This InfoBrief highlights NCWD-Youth’s The 411 on Disability Disclosure and explores the role families and advocates play in helping youth understand the importance of appropriate disability disclosure.

The ADA is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities. The employment provisions of the ADA prohibit employers from discriminating on the basis of disability and require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities who are qualified to perform a job. The ADA also requires public access and nondiscrimination by public entities, as well as enhances access to transportation and telecommunications.

Disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that limits one or more of a person's major life activities, such as seeing, hearing, walking, standing, sitting, or learning.

A good place to learn about private employers with a good track record of hiring and retaining people with disabilities in the United States Business Leadership Network (USBLN). This non-profit organization works to promote workplaces, as well as marketplaces and supply chains, that are inclusive of people with disabilities and serves as the collective voice for more than 60 state and local affiliates that represent more than 5,000 businesses across the country.

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN), funded by DOL's Office of Disability Employment Policy, is the leading source of free, expert and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations. JAN's website is AskJAN.org. Live phone service is also available 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST by calling (toll-free) 1-800-526-7234 (Voice) or 1-877-781-9403 (TTY).

Additional Resources

Joining campus organizations is a great way to connect with your peers and expose you to additional professional development opportunities.

Boston College Disability Service Office

  • For additional information, contact Paulette Durrett, MSW, LCSW, Assistant Dean for Students with Disabilities, at paulette.durrett@bc.edu

Council for Students with Disabilities

Connors Family Learning Center