Career Development is dedicated to providing resources and supporting Willamette students with disabilities by tailoring our services to meet your unique needs. This page is filled with resources including those around navigating if and when to disclose a disability, requesting accommodations, and accessing resources.

Career Barriers for Students with Disabilities

You may already be aware of several career barriers students with disabilities may face in their career development process. We want to address a few of these barriers while also identifying ways that we can work together to overcome them.

Career Barriers for Students with Disabilities Advice and Support from WU Career Development
Finding yourself the only person with a disability in the workplace We recognize that being the only person with a disability in the workplace can make it difficult to feel like you are able to disclose your disability and request accommodations. In Career Development we can provide you with tools to navigate organizations by having conversations around how to understand an organization’s culture as early as the job search. We can also support you in your networking process which can lead to mentorships with professionals who have shared experiences.
Whether or not to disclose disability We recognize that disclosing disability is a complex and personal decision. In Career Development we are able to help by connecting you with resources to navigate your workplace rights. We are also here for conversations around the decision-making process. If you come to the decision to disclose, we can also help you with creating and practicing a plan to share that information with employers.
Requesting Accommodation We strive to offer resources that inform you of potential accommodations to be requested during the job search and in the workplace. We also strive to help you navigate how to ask for accommodation, which can include practicing the request with a career advisor. We recognize that a common concern among students is how to request a service animal in the workplace. We have specific resources regarding service animals in the workplace in the “Requesting Accommodations”section

Resources

Job Accommodation Network (JAN) Resources

Whenever you are searching for any type of career resources regarding disabilities, JAN is a great place to start. JAN is a free resource that provides expert advice surrounding workplace accommodations and barriers for individuals with disabilities in all stages of their career development.

Resources for Job Seekers- This JAN resource is tailored to the needs of those who are currently job searching. It provides resources for accessing accommodations in the job search, information on pre-employment rights, and employment sites.

U.S. Department of Labor Resources

Disability Employment Policy Resources by Topic- Search for workplace policy information categorized by specific topics. This can lead to additional information on acquiring accommodation, knowing one’s workplace rights, and available trainings.

Searching for Inclusive Environments

Disability:In Best Places to Work: Disability:IN has provided a list of companies that have been rated highly on the Disability Equality Index. The Disability Equality Index states that it measures, “Culture & Leadership, Enterprise-Wide Access, Employment Practices (Benefits, Recruitment, Employment, Education, Retention & Advancement, Accommodations), Community Engagement, Supplier Diversity, and Non-U.S. Operations.” While being included on this list does not mean that an organization is perfect, the list can help you get started on finding organizations that value inclusivity.

Informational interviews are one strategy that you can use to evaluate an organization’s inclusivity. Informational interviews allow you to connect with professionals working in organizations you are considering and inquire directly about their commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion. For more information on how to conduct an informational interview, visit our Comprehensive Networking Guide.

Professional Development Resources

Lime Connect: Connects students with professional development and networking opportunities

Scholarships for Students with Disabilities: A list of scholarships for college students with disabilities, listed by order of upcoming deadline

Disability Art and Culture Project: An Oregon-Based, Performing Arts Organization that offers in-person and remote opportunities to support the creative expression of individuals with disabilities.

Disclosing Disability

Disclosure of a Disability in a Job Interview, NACE: An article that addresses the many factors that apply when making the decision of whether to disclose or when to disclose. It also provides information on how employers can be accommodating in the hiring process and a list of illegal interview questions regarding disability.

Youth, Disclosure, and the Workplace Why, When, What, and How, U.S. Department of Labor: A resource from the Department of Labor that continues the conversation of whether or not to disclose or when to disclose. Highlights of this resource include a break down of the different stages when one might choose to disclose and examples of what information one might choose to disclose about their disability.

Requesting Accommodation

How to Request Disability Accommodations During a Job Search: An article from The Muse that details the unique position one is in when requesting accommodation in the job search. For additional information on requesting accommodation during the job search, we recommend reading “Resources for Job Seekers” in the “Job Accommodation Network (JAN) Resources” section above.

JAN, Service Animals: A common concern for students entering the workforce is the process involved in bringing a service animal to a new job. This resource outlines considerations for service animals in the workplace.

Interviewing

In Career Development, we conduct practice interviews. Practice interviews are an opportunity to rehearse all aspects of the interview, from beginning to end. We tailor our practice interviews to your needs. Examples of ability-focused areas that we get requests to practice include: requesting accommodation in the interview, navigating social anxiety in the interview, and addressing gaps in work history.

When preparing for an interview, make sure to get started by utilizing our interviewing skills page. You can schedule a practice interview with our staff through Handshake.

Another helpful JAN resource is the Interviewing Tips for Applicants with Autism Spectrum Disorders Page.

Resources for Students with Disabilities @ WU

Accessible Education Services: Accessible Education Services can help you access accommodations and resources both in and out of the classroom. 

College Access Navigators: A new initiative to offer support to Willamette Students with Autism or ADD/ADHD. 

Disability Advocacy Club (Facebook page): A Willamette student group that advocates for inclusive and accessible environments on campus.

Professional Associations

American Association of People with Disabilities: AAPD provides resources surrounding networking, internships, fellowships, and advocacy. 

Association on Higher Education and Disability: A professional association specifically for higher education professionals. AHEAD provides access to conferences, legal resources, and a networking database.

Willamette University

Career Development

Address
UC 3rd floor
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
Phone
503-370-6413

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