For employers that decide to offer a work experience opportunity to a job seeker with a disability, the following are useful documents to assist in organizing an internship program and making individual offers. The templates can be customized to any unique needs a business may have.
The Able Trust contracted with the law firm of Allen, Norton & Blue, P.A. to provide a question-and-answer manual to help employers better understand the internship process and how they can include job seekers with disabilities in their work experience opportunities. What does an internship entail? What is the difference between a paid and unpaid internship? For employers new to the game and veteran internship providers alike, the nuts and bolts are offered here.
In addition to the Internship Guide, The Able Trust and Allen, Norton & Blue, P.A. have created the following documents to assist in providing work experience opportunities for employees with disabilities.
These templates for paid and unpaid internship offer letters are meant for employers seeking to offer such opportunities. The letters outline details of the temporary employment offer, including duration, weekly hours, wages and benefits (as applicable), company policies, confidentiality requirements, and job responsibilities. The sample offer letters can be individualized to an employer’s specific needs and conditions.
This template agreement can be used for unpaid internships, as it details the conditions of the work opportunity specifically related to the educational nature of the internship and an exemption from official employment. The sample agreement can be customized to an employer’s unique circumstances.
Employers who would like to offer work experience opportunities to minors (employees under 18 years of age) must have parents submit a consent and release form prior to the start of an internship or work experience. A sample form is provided here.
Stand Among Friends, a South Florida-based nonprofit organization that helps college students and adults with disabilities prepare for, seek and secure active employment, offers a disability sensitivity program for employers and businesses. For a fee, these half-day or full-day training experiences online or in-person educate people about attitudes and interactions that are appropriate when serving people with disabilities. This flier provides more information.
In addition to the added value of employees who have higher rates of loyalty as well as unique experiences and perspectives they bring to the workplace, there may be incentive programs that can defray the cost of any accommodations employers might have to make to get the best applicant on board. This document can assist in calculating the bottom line impacts of a hiring decision.
The Able Trust can provide additional support if businesses have specific questions about hosting an internship program. For assistance hiring an intern with a disability, contact The Able Trust at 850.224.4493 or email@example.com.