Navigating the Job Search with a Disability

by Dr. Fatimah Williams Castro, Associate Director

Our diverse student body requires job search and career planning tools that support a range of groups and particular needs, from international students to students with disabilities to students researching abroad. The job search can present various opportunities and challenges, as you make new professional contacts, hunt down job leads, submit applications, and interview with employers. Our goal at Career Services is to help streamline this process for all students and postdocs so you can thrive on the job market.

So last month, I spent some time focusing on our career-related events and resources for students with disabilities. Here are a few resources that may interest you:

  • Lime Connect offers a helpful tool to search for internships and full time employment. Also, the USAJobs gathers and publishes federal job openings for job-seekers with disabilities.
  • Take a look at the list of job boards on our site such as Enable America and Getting Hired, which publicize job announcements from for-profit companies and other organizations.
  • Career Services regularly hosts panels and workshops on the academic job search and expanded career job search. To request accommodations such as interpretation, you may contact The Office of Student Disabilities Services at Weingarten Learning Resource Center at 215-573-9235 or Just be sure to request services at least three business days in advance of the event you plan to attend.
  • Career Services Listserv for Students with Disabilities: Career Services occasionally receives information about positions and career opportunities from employers particularly interested in connecting with students with disabilities.  All students who consider themselves to have a disability are welcome to be included on the list. If interested in being included on the listserv, please send Barbara Hewitt, Senior Associate Director of Career Services, your Penn email.  Listserv members will remain confidential and only the list owner will be able to view who is on it.

There you will find positions like the one just posted for NASA Student Interns with Disabilities for Summer 2015. NASA is looking to increase the number of students with disabilities pursuing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers through its internship programs. Positions available for students up to the doctoral level in STEM fields. You can register for an account anytime at the One Stop Shopping Initiative (OSSI): NASA Internships, Fellowships, and Scholarships (NIFS) at

We support students and postdocs in preparing for all aspects of the job search, application and interview processes. If you have questions or would like to work directly with a career advisor, call us for an appointment at 215-898-7531.

Wishing you success in your job search!