Internships in Higher Education: Promoting Success for Students with Disabilities


  • Lori Briel
  • Elizabeth Getzel



This article examines how internships in higher education can benefit all students as they prepare for their careers beyond graduation and particularly students with disabilities. Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, universities have a responsibility to insure equal access and accommodation for students with disabilities during the internship process. Two particular issues faced by students with disabilities that have been identified through a review of recent case law include (1) meeting academic and technical standards for a program and (2) disclosing their disabilities and requesting accommodations. Key principles and support strategies which address the issues and concerns of internships for students with disabilities, developed as part of a comprehensive career-planning program for postsecondary students with disabilities at Virginia Commonwealth University, are discussed.