There are a wealth of internships and fellowships that enable students and professionals to dive into the dynamic field of disability activism. Most of the opportunities listed below are in the United States, though Geneva and Budapest also feature in the list.
MDAC has numerous internship opportunities for students and graduates from across the globe, giving interns the unique experience of working with an international human rights organization dedicated to advancing the rights of people with disabilities. Interns live and work in Budapest, Hungary, and past participants have worked in areas such as litigation, employment rights, training development, and international standards.
Mental Health America is the oldest advocacy organization in the US addressing mental health and substance use conditions and their impact on public health and society. They are seeking undergraduate and graduate students for a range of unpaid internships in Alexandria, VA.
The National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI), in partnership with the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) established the Eileen Sweeney Graduate Internship in honor and memory of Eileen Sweeney, who devoted her life to improving the lives of people with disabilities, children, battered women, the poor, and the elderly. Graduate students aspiring to a career in social policy with a focus on disability are urged to apply for this 12-week summer semester internship in Washington D.C.
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation in Short Hills, NJ, is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research, and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy. They are seeking students for internships in a variety of departments: development, marketing and communications, and research center.
Mobility International USA (MIUSA) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1981 and based in Eugene, OR, working to empower people with disabilities to achieve their human rights through international exchange and international development. MIUSA operates a strong internship program designed to increase the skills, leadership and experience of emerging professionals with and without disabilities.
The International Disability Alliance (IDA) was established in 1999 as a network of global organizations of persons with disabilities and their families. The aim of the Alliance is to promote the effective and full implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) worldwide. Internships are available in IDA’s New York and Geneva offices.
Founded in 1979 by persons with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities, DREDF is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the civil rights of individuals with disabilities through legislation, litigation, informal and formal advocacy, and education and training of lawyers, advocates, and clients with respect to disability issues. DREDF, located in Berkeley, CA, offers field placement internships and summer positions for law students. Academic term internships generally involve a commitment of 8 to 16 hours per week. Summer internships generally involve a 40-hour per week commitment for at least 5 weeks, and preferably 8 to 10 weeks. Individuals with disabilities, minority, and women candidates are especially encouraged to apply.