While the rest of the world has taken great strides in mainstreaming the differently abled into the larger contours of their society, life continues to be an uphill struggle for the differently-abled in India. They continue to be burdened with their 'handicapped' status and live a life on the fringes, largely forgotten by a society which is galloping ahead at a fast pace. Born 'different' from the rest of us, they have been put in a position of disadvantage in a world where being 'normal' is at such a premium. Written by the bestselling author of Legacy and Leading Ladies, Sudha Menon and the MD of SAP Labs India, V.R. Ferose, Gifted celebrates the journeys of these very indians who are neither CEO nor part of any influential power clubs, but special in their own way. These are stories that can inspire even the most 'abled' among us.
Opportunities Outside the Classroom
Accommodations in the Workplace
Students who qualify for accommodations in an academic setting may require reasonable accommodations in the workplace. In most situations, it depends upon the individual’s needs and the requirements of the job. Check out the list of resources to help students with disabilities planning to enter the workforce.
- JAN (Job Accommodation Network) provides “free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues” to both job seekers with disabilities and employers. Their resources include:
- Lime Connect is a not for profit organization committed to connecting college students and professionals with all types of disabilities to scholarships, internships, and job opportunities.
- NCWD (National Collaboration on Workforce and Disability) is an organization dedicated to providing information on employment and young people with disabilities.
- Penn State World Campus has created a series of videos discussing the decision to disclose information about yourself, including a disability, to a potential employer.
The Villanova University Career Center can also be helpful in guiding students with disabilities and connecting them internships and job opportunities.
Increasing Diversity in the Work Place
Mentorship and Networking Opportunities
Internship and Employment Opportunities
SAP's Autism at Work ProgramNearly three years ago, when tech giant Microsoft announced that it was starting a pilot program to hire autistic workers, they received more than 700 resumes within a few weeks. German software maker SAP has instituted a program to bring people with autism into its workforce worldwide, and other companies are following suit. By all accounts, giving those on the spectrum an opportunity to use their talents productively has been a tremendous success. Lee Cowan looks at the changing face of workplace diversity. Explore SAP's website to learn more about inclusive internships and employment opportunities.
Entry Point!, a signature program of the AAAS Project on Science, Technology and Disability, identifies and recruits students with apparent and non-apparent disabilities who are majoring in science, engineering, mathematics, computer science, and some fields of business for internship and co-op opportunities. Students are screened and referred to program partners, who seek specific skills and majors, for consideration of being placed in a summer internship or co-op. Explore the Entry Point! webpage to learn more about these internships.