Accommodating Internships 

Accessibility Services supports students in all their university-related endeavors. While it is not our place to determine accommodations for general volunteer, internship, or work positions, we become involved if the work is a requirement of an academic program at CSU East Bay (for example, student teaching placement, nursing practicum, social work/counseling hours, and so on). 

If we know a student will be involved in an academic-related internship experience, we start discussing the expectations, duties, and responsibilities this work will entail. We ask our students how their disability might affect their job performance and whether any adjustments may be necessary. Because workplace settings differ from the classroom setting, we often contact a professor or department chair and sometimes the specific work site involved in order to collect additional information before determining accommodations for an internship.

Accommodations for internship may be listed in a separate letter from the student's Determination of Accommodations document. Unofficial recommendations for internships may also be included.

Whether or not your students need accommodations, it's important to discuss with them your expectations of appropriate, professional behavior during the internship or practicum experience. Students should be aware of the skills and training they'll receive as part of the internship as well as what skills and knowledge they are required to demonstrate themselves - from the first day of the internship onward.

We highly recommend that all majors with internship requirements create a written policy on the necessary skills, abilities, and professional conduct of students on internship and make sure that students are aware of this document. Having such a written policy makes it much easier for supervisors to evaluate students and for students (with or without disabilities) to clearly understand internship expectations and to better assess their progress toward meeting internship goals.

To read more about accessibility, disability, and accommodating internships, see our handout on CSU East Bay Educational Program Field Placements and Internships.

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