INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A How To Guide For Employers Programs
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INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A How-to Guide for Employers OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The Office of Disability Employment Policy would like to thank the numerous people who have contributed to the development of this Guide, which has taken a variety of forms over several years. Nathan Cunningham, a member of ODEP’s staff, is the primary author for the current version of the document, which differs substantially in both scope and focus from earlier versions. The mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations does not imply the endorsement of the U.S. Department of Labor. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS ii TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION: The Importance of Establishing Internship Programs for Young Adults The Importance of Internships Building an Inclusive Workplace The Purpose of this Guide Guide Contents 1 1 1 2 2 CHAPTER I: The Benefits of Internship Programs Overview Innovative and Diverse Perspectives Interns as Prospective Employees Leadership Growth Opportunities for Existing Staff Other Business Advantages of Internship Programs Benefits to Interns 3 3 3 5 5 6 8 CHAPTER II: Laying the Groundwork for Establishing An Inclusive Internship Program Identifying Leadership Determining the Mission and Goals of the Program Determining the Need for the Program and the Role of Existing Staff Determining the Available Resources for the Program Promoting Inclusion 9 9 10 10 11 13 CHAPTER III: The Process of Implementing an Internship Program from Beginning to End Internship Timeline Internship Application Package Internship Application Dissemination Training Supervisors and Staff Applicant Review and Interviews Selection and Placement of Interns Accommodations Assistive Technology Personal Assistance Services (PAS) Internship Orientation Mentoring Final Steps 15 15 16 17 18 19 20 20 22 22 23 24 25 OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS iii CHAPTER IV: Evaluating the Internship Program The Importance of Evaluations Steps in Designing, Constructing, and Implementing Evaluations Evaluation Measures Evaluation Data Collection Evaluation Methods Intern and Workplace Supervisor Evaluations Obtaining an Evaluator Synthesizing and Reporting Results Conclusion 26 26 26 26 27 27 29 29 30 30 Endnotes 31 APPENDIX A: Resources on the Business Perspective for Hiring/Retaining Individuals with Disabilities 33 APPENDIX B: 25 Steps Essential to Establishing a Program 36 APPENDIX C: Sample Internship Position Description 38 APPENDIX D: Disability Etiquette for the Workplace and Beyond 39 APPENDIX E: Sample Internship Orientation Agenda 41 APPENDIX F: Sample Intern Self-Assessment Form 42 APPENDIX G: Sample Internship Work Plan 43 APPENDIX H: Mentoring 45 APPENDIX I-1: Sample Intern Mid-Program Evaluation 50 APPENDIX I-2: Sample Supervisor Mid-Program Evaluation 52 APPENDIX J-1: Sample Intern Final Evaluation 53 APPENDIX J-2: Sample Supervisor Final Evaluation 55 OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS iv INTRODUCTION: The Importance of Establishing Internship Programs for Young Adults The Importance of Internships Well-structured internship programs benefit both interns and employers. By participating in these valuable on-the-job learning opportunities, interns augment their work experience, hone important work skills, develop their career goals, and establish connections that may prove useful throughout the span of their careers. In turn, internships give employers access to a pool of motivated individuals who bring fresh thinking and innovation to their workplaces. Internships can also serve as a risk-free pipeline to meet the recruitment needs of the business, organization, or agency. Allowing employers to assess prospective candidates prior to making a permanent hiring decision improves the efficacy of the decision-making process and increases the likelihood of a successful match. Internships also provide leadership and management growth experience to the businesses’ existing staff members who oversee the internship program and its participants. In short, there are many business advantages to hosting internship programs. Building an Inclusive Workplace Building an inclusive workplace is a major facet of the modern workforce. A study by Forbes shows that most employers recognize the benefits of diversity; 97% of companies surveyed have a formal diversity plan in place.2 Employers strive for diversity because an inclusive workforce drives innovation, fosters creativity, and guides business strategies.3 Companies no longer view diversity and inclusion efforts as separate from their other business practices. They also recognize that a diverse workforce can differentiate them from their competitors and can help them capture new clients and increase market share. An internship provides students and recent graduates with the opportunity to expand and connect classroom learning under supervision in a work-based context. An internship is grounded in experiential learning with an emphasis on selfreflection and on-the-job professional experience in an occupational career field of the intern’s choice.1 As the topic of diversity appears throughout this guide, it signifies any number of experiences or characteristics that people bring to the workplace. Race, ethnicity, and sex are common factors in diversity initiatives, but it is also important to consider sexual orientation, gender identity, age, and disability when striving towards inclusion because they are often overlooked.4 As employers strive towards full inclusion in the workplace, they should incorporate a comprehensive definition of diversity that applies to all hiring practices, including internship programs. 1. “Definitions,” National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth, accessed April 22 2014, http://www.ncwd-youth.info/ definitions#nametaxonomy-vtn-term-I. 2. Global Diversity and Inclusion: Fostering Innovation through a Diverse Workforce,” Forbes Insights, last modified 2011, http://images.forbes. com/forbesinsights/StudyPDFs/Innovation_ Through_Diversity.pdf, 12. 3. Ibid., 5. 4. Ibid., 12. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 1 The Purpose of this Guide Public and private employers of all sizes can reference this guide to learn about the benefits associated with facilitating inclusive internship programs as well as the components to consider when designing, implementing, and evaluating these programs. It is important to note that an internship program can vary greatly in size from one intern in a small office to a whole group spread out across a larger employer. As employers reference this guide, they can adapt its recommendations to meet the goals of their specific program. This guide also features information and resources employers can use when promoting inclusion in their business, organization, or agency. For example, having flexible work schedules allows more students and recent graduates of all backgrounds to participate in the internship program and bring their skills and perspectives to the job. This guide also details how managing accommodations for interns with disabilities increases their overall productivity and benefits both parties. Ensuring that internship programs are accessible for all youth, including youth with disabilities, is a major step towards building an inclusive workplace. Reference Appendix A at any point throughout this guide for a list of resources that can provide further guidance on the hiring of people with disabilities. Guide Contents This guide explores the following points: • The importance of establishing internship programs for young adults, including youth with disabilities, due to the business advantages employers can derive from them • The initial groundwork necessary for proposing and planning an internship program • The major components in designing and implementing an internship program • The process of evaluating an internship program and its participants for continuous improvement OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 2 CHAPTER I: The Benefits of Internship Programs Overview Public and private employers of all sizes can recognize many benefits from implementing inclusive internship programs. From hosting 1 intern to hiring 100, these benefits translate regardless of scale. In particular, internships allow employers to: • Access a pool of motivated individuals who bring fresh thinking and innovation to the workplace • Promote an inclusive workplace by hiring interns from diverse backgrounds, including those with disabilities • Meet recruitment needs by providing a risk-free pipeline of potential candidates to access for permanent positions • Provide leadership and management growth opportunities to existing staff who direct or mentor interns • Encourage existing staff to diversify their workload and skills by pursuing new projects with assistance from interns • Increase the productivity and retention rate of employees • Extend visibility of their business, organization, or agency through positive public relations associated with hiring interns • Help develop the work experience, skills, and career goals of the nation’s future workforce Internship programs allow employers to promote innovative and diverse perspectives in the workplace, assess interns as prospective employees, encourage leadership growth of existing staff, reap other business advantages, and help develop young adult interns in the early stages of their careers. Innovative and Diverse Perspectives Employers in the modern workforce recognize the value of diverse perspectives in their workplaces because they foster innovation and new ideas. In fact, recruiting, developing, and retaining employees with an array of experiences and characteristics is key for fostering a workplace that attracts top talent. Diversity on the inside also ensures that programs, products, and/or policies are accessible and culturally appropriate for more targeted audiences on the outside.5 Because incorporating all aspects of diversity, including disability, can increase a company’s overall market share, having an inclusive workplace is also an important strategy for business success in the global economy. Internships are one way that employers can capitalize on these benefits. For instance, young adult interns are often extremely motivated individuals eager to both influence and learn from their work environments. They can even bring to the table perspectives that the business may be lacking. For example, as strategies like social media become more and more essential to operations and outreach, young adult interns can bring the knowledge and skills necessary to help employers in navigating these online environments. Young adults are often at ease using platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube to the benefit of the business, organization, or agency where they work. 5. Ibid., 3. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 3 Furthermore, diverse teams that include people with disabilities can be more creative and contribute to the development of more efficient and effective business processes.6 They can also provide insight about how customers with disabilities perceive and interact with products and services, which can be valuable in attracting that share of the market. In fact, people with disabilities represent a large segment of the market. According to a report from MarketResearch.com, 54 million Americans with disabilities make up the third largest market segment behind Baby Boomers and the mature market, placing them ahead of Hispanics, African Americans, Generation X, teenagers, and Asian Americans. This segment of the population also includes approximately 3.4 million disabled veterans, 180,000 of whom are service members returning from the recent conflicts overseas.7 “At the end of the day, promoting diversity is good business. In the private sector, employers like Wells Fargo proactively recruit, hire and develop diverse employees, including persons with disabilities, to ensure their workforce is representative of their customers and to develop their reputation as an ‘employer of choice.’”8 6. Michele Jayne and Robert Dipboye, “Leveraging Diversity to Improve Business Performance: Research Findings and Recommendations for Organizations,” Human Resource Management 43, no. 4 (2004): 409-424, http://web.mit.edu/cortiz/ www/Diversity/Jayne%20and%20Dipboye%20 2004.pdf. 7. “Number of Disabled U.S. Veterans Rising,” Associated Press, last modified February 11 2009, http://www.cbsnews.com/ stories/2008/05/11/national/main4086442. shtml?source=RSSattr=Health_4086442. 8. N. Younes, “Getting Corporations Ready to Recruit Workers with Disabilities,” Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation 16, no. 2 (2001): 89-91. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 4 Interns as Prospective Employees Because interns are often students seeking permanent placements following graduation, they are one potential pipeline for meeting the recruitment needs of the business, organization, or agency. Employers can assess interns as candidates for permanent positions during the risk-free period of the internship. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)’s 2014 Internship & Co-Op Survey demonstrates how employers use internship programs to identify prospective employees: • 64.8% of interns received full-time offers from employers • 79% of interns accepted these offers • 56.8% of co-op students10 received full-time offers, which was up from 48.8% in 2013 Employers can also leverage internships as part of their strategy for succession planning.11 For those employers who do not yet have a plan for continuing to foster institutional knowledge over time, internships can serve as a valuable place to start. In fact, data on workforce projections reinforces the importance of this idea in the coming years. According to research conducted by the Georgetown University Center on Education and Workforce, “between 2008 and 2018, the economy will create 47 million job openings: 14 million new jobs and 33 million job openings to replace retiring baby boomers. Job openings that require at least some postsecondary education or training will make up 64% of all job openings and will include the majority of long term career jobs.”12 The research also states that several key industries will lose most of their postsecondary-educated workers, including those in professional, scientific, technical services, education services, high-level management of companies and enterprises, and those in finance and insurance divisions. According to a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, 31% of the federal workforce will be eligible for retirement in 2017.13 Leadership Growth Opportunities for Existing Staff Internship programs can also provide employers with leadership and management growth opportunities for existing staff who direct or mentor interns. Employers can encourage existing staff to diversify their workload and skills by pursuing new projects with assistance from interns. Supervising or mentoring interns can produce the following benefits: • Personal and professional satisfaction from facilitating a colleague’s career development “At Adecco, we know our diversity and inclusion initiatives are critical to the future of our business. We have seen the power of how our diverse workforce, including people with disabilities, is invaluable to our company as well as our clients. We are proud to lead the way as we continue to develop the diversity of our human capital, as well as the talent working for our over 150,000 clients, to provide better work and a better life for all.” Lois Cooper (2009), Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion at Adecco USA.9 9 . “Adecco USA Recognized as Leader for Workforce Inclusion,” Adecco Group (Melville, NY: Adecco Group, 2009). http://www.adeccousa. com/articles/Adecco-USA-recognized-as-leaderfor-workforce-inclusion.html?id=102&url=/ pressroom/pressreleases/Archives/Forms/AllItems. aspx&templateurl=/AboutUs/pressroom/Pages/ Press-release.aspx. 10. A cooperative education allows students to gain professional work experience, often compensated with pay, as part of an academic program. Learn more here: http://www.stevens.edu/sit/co-op/ future-students/what-is.cfm. 11. R. Bottner, Total Internship Management: The Employer’s Guide to Building the Ultimate Internship Program (Acton, ME: Intern Bridge, Inc., 2009), 31. 12. Anthony Carnevale, Nicole Smith, and Jeff Strohl, “Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements through 2018,” Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, accessed June 2010, https://cew. georgetown.edu/report/help-wanted/, 14. 13. “Recent Trends in Federal Civilian Employment and Compensation,” U.S. Government Accountability Office, last modified January 29 2014, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-215. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 5 • Recognition from peers and the employer for contributing time and expertise • Opportunities to develop interpersonal skills by exercising many of the same skills required to effectively supervise and manage employees • Opportunities to focus energy outside of themselves • A deeper understanding of other employees’ experiences • Preparation for taking on greater responsibilities and leadership roles14 Furthermore, a five year study revealed higher job retention rates among mentors.15 Mentors were also more likely to receive salary raises and promotions.16 When more experienced employees mentored newly hired employees, the job retention rate of both mentors and mentees was about 20% greater than for non-participants. Researchers calculated the return on the company’s investment in the mentoring program at 1,000% based on the higher rates of retention and job performance amongst mentoring participants.17 Other Business Advantages of Internship Programs Inclusive internship programs offer many other business advantages. For example, internships can expand visibility of the business, organization, or agency through positive public relations with hiring interns.18 Employers also find value in the reduced costs, increased human capital, and tax incentives associated with hiring interns with disabilities. The Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN)’s Business Case for Hiring Individuals with Disabilities (available online at http://askearn.org/BusinessCase/ index.asp) succinctly outlines the benefits to increasing the employment of people with disabilities in businesses, organizations, and agencies. The primary benefits are highlighted below. Reduced Costs – When businesses adopt inclusive recruiting and hiring practices, they maximize their savings by: • Reducing recruitment costs through expansion of their talent pipeline • Avoiding productivity losses incurred from unfilled positions by having a larger pool of qualified candidates ready to fill openings • Reducing turnover costs with a talent pool that has high retention rates19 • Creating more efficient work processes as a result of implementing accommodations for workers with disabilities that lead to overall increases in productivity (Both Walgreens and A & F Woods Company report this benefit)20 • Establishing an effective and efficient accommodations process to increase the productivity and morale of all employees21 • Leveraging corporate tax incentives, when applicable, to realize tax credits ranging from $2,400 - $15,00022 14. E. Pardini, Be a Mentor: Program Training Guide for Volunteer Mentors (Fremont, CA: Be A Mentor, Inc., 2006), http://www.beamentor.org/coordfrms/ Training%20for%20Mentors.PDF, 6. 15. J. Holincheck, Case Study: Workforce Analytics at Sun. (Stamford, CT: Gartner, Inc., 2006). 16. Mentoring & Engagement: Sustaining Organizational Success (Triple Creek Associates, Inc., 2010). 17. K. Dickinson, T. Jankot, and H. Gracon, Technical Report: Sun Mentoring: 1996 to 2009 (2009). 18. M. True, “Starting and Maintaining a Quality Internship Program,” Internship Center at Messiah College, Technology Council of Central Pennsylvania, 14 19. M. Lengnick-Hall, P. Gaunt, and M. Kulkarni, “Overlooked and Underutilized: People with Disabilities Are an Untapped Human Resource,” Human Resource Management 47, no. 2: 255-273, accessed 2008, http://www.shrm.org/Education/ hreducation/Documents/47-2%20Lengnick-Hall%20 et%20al.pdf. 20. Rich Donovan, “Disability: From RedHeaded Step-Child to Golden Girl,” Essential Accessibility, accessed July 18 2014, http://www. essentialaccessibility.com/newsletter/march/ feature.html. 21. Beth Loy, “Workplace Accommodations: Low Cost, High Impact,” Job Accommodations Network, accessed 2014, http://askjan.org/media/downloads/ LowCostHighImpact.pdf. 22. “Tax Benefits for Businesses Who Have Employees with Disabilities,” Internal Revenue Service, last modified June 12 2012, http://www. irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-%26-SelfEmployed/Tax-Benefits-for-Businesses-Who-HaveEmployees-with-Disabilities. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 6 Increased Human Capital – By creating internship programs that are inclusive of interns with disabilities, businesses can expand their hiring pool of qualified workers and create a recruiting pipeline for future openings. Inclusive internships can also provide a way for employers who are Federal contractors and subcontractors to help meet their 7% utilization goal for hiring qualified individuals with disabilities under the recently amended regulations to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act.23 The regulations prohibit employment discrimination and require employers to take affirmative action in recruiting, hiring, promoting, and retaining individuals with disabilities.24 While some interns with disabilities may need workplace accommodations, most employers report that dollar benefits of employing people with disabilities far outweigh dollar costs related to accommodations. The Job Accommodation Network ( JAN), the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues, surveyed employers who used their site and found that 58% of all accommodations had no cost, and those that did have a cost measured only $500 on average.25 The same employers reported several benefits to making workplace accommodations: • 90% of employers said they were able to hire and retain qualified employees • 76% of employers felt accommodations were either very or extremely effective • 71% of employers experienced increased productivity of employees • 39% of employers had reduced workers’ compensation and insurance costs Tax Incentives - Tax incentives can provide an added benefit for employers who hire a person with a disability by offsetting costs associated with accommodating an employee or making businesses accessible. These benefits include the following: • Work Opportunity Tax Credit – up to $2,400 per year, pending reauthorization –– The Work Opportunity Tax Credit doubles when hiring a Veteran with a disability. • Small Business Tax Credit – up to $5,000 • Tax Deduction to Remove Architectural and Transportation Barriers to People with Disabilities and Elderly Individuals – up to $15,000 per year 23. Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 793 (1993). 24. “New Regulations: Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act,” U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, accessed August 17 2014, http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/ regs/compliance/section503.htm. 25. Beth Loy, “Workplace Accommodations: Low Cost, High Impact,” Job Accommodations Network, accessed 2014, http://askjan.org/media/downloads/ LowCostHighImpact.pdf. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 7 Benefits to Interns Young adults see internships as rewarding learning experiences that help guide future decisions and professional growth. Internships provide opportunities for students to apply what they have learned in school to the work setting and vice versa. Specifically, internships: • Offer relevant work experience • Provide a real-life context for issues they are studying about in school • Aid in developing specific skills like resume building, work readiness skills, and soft skills • Help students evaluate potential career fields • Assist with building a professional network26 Internships can serve as periods of professional experimenting as young adults are not expected to know everything, but rather to learn continuously. Employers should make interns feel comfortable asking questions, receiving direction and support, and absorbing feedback. Reflection, a key element of professional growth, should be maximized during an internship. However, the internship opportunity is more than career exploration. Over the course of the internship, the intern learns to maneuver inside and outside of the work environment with confidence, gaining knowledge they can apply in the future. There are also opportunities for learning soft skills and for positive interactions with colleagues. In this way, interns learn to be responsible to other people, the work itself, and the organization as a whole. Many interns, depending on maturity and experience, also learn the importance of being on time, maintaining consistent work, meeting deadlines, paying attention to details, and having appropriate supervisor interactions, all of which are valuable skills for obtaining a position and for position advancement. The benefits discussed here are important for all interns, including those with disabilities. In fact, a significant amount of research shows that for youth, with and without disabilities, work experience in high school is the greatest indicator of post-school success in employment.27 28 Work experiences for young adults with disabilities during high school, whether paid or unpaid, unquestionably help students acquire jobs after graduation at higher wages than their peers who lack such opportunities. Internship programs are designed to help young adults make informed choices about their careers. Employers working to establish inclusive internship programs should recognize the benefits of a diverse group of interns, including interns with disabilities. 26. R. Bottner, Total Internship Management: The Employer’s Guide to Building the Ultimate Internship Program (Acton, ME: Intern Bridge, Inc., 2009), 37-43. 27. M. Benz, P. Yovanoff, and B. Doren, “Schoolto-Work Components that Predict Postschool Success for Students with and without Disabilities,” Exceptional Children 63, no. 2 (1997): 155-165. 28. D. Colley and D. Jamison, “Post-School Results for Youth with Disabilities: Key Indicators and Policy Implications,” Career Development for Exceptional Individuals 21 (1998): 145-160. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 8 CHAPTER II: Laying the Groundwork for Establishing An Inclusive Internship Program Identifying Leadership Leadership is needed to lay the groundwork for establishing an internship program. For larger employers, leadership can consist of an entire committee that oversees the initiative. For smaller employers, leadership may involve a single individual or small group of individuals who work with others in the business, organization, or agency to coordinate the program. Because consistency is key, leadership should be identified early in the process and remain involved in the new program through its first cycle. The process of identifying leadership for the initiative can vary from top-down to bottom-up approaches. In some cases, senior management may choose to launch the initiative and/or select leadership to run it. In others, employees themselves may decide they want to host an intern or to start a formal program, and they can bring their ideas to their supervisors and senior management. Depending on the organization, there may be a position dedicated to leading the initiative, or it could be a collateral work duty of one or a group of existing staff. For example, many employers have recently begun relying on Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to substantively impact business development activities that seize opportunities related to different factors in diversity and talent advancement initiatives.29 Businesses may want to tap into entities such as these, if they exist, to help establish an internship program or promote workplace inclusion. Ultimately to be successful, at a minimum, there must be explicit buy-in from senior management and staff-level commitment. For the purposes of this guide, those identified to lead the internship program will be referred to as coordinator(s). Coordinator(s) are responsible for planning and overseeing the program from beginning to end. In particular, coordinator(s): • Ensure that policies and practices, both internal and external, reflect the employer’s commitment to inclusion in the workplace, which will be explained in greater detail in the “Promoting Inclusion” section of this chapter Establishing an inclusive internship program requires a few initial steps: 1) identifying leadership, 2) determining the mission and goals of the program, 3) determining the need for the program and the role of existing staff, 4) determining the available resources for the program, and 5) remembering to promote inclusion throughout the process. • Manage the application production, dissemination, and review process • Select and place interns in the workplace • Train supervisors on topics like developing work plans with interns • Inform interns of housing and transportation options available upon relocation • Troubleshoot concerns arising between supervisors and interns • Manage the review and evaluation of interns, supervisors, and the program as a whole • Maintain relationships with key stakeholders like organizational staff, universities and high schools, community organizations, and past, current, and future interns • Continue to update management as the program unfolds • Ensure the inclusive workplace strategy of the business, organization, or agency is utilized throughout the duration of the program 29. “7 Ways to Enable Your Employee Resource Groups Into a Powerful Advancement Platform,” Forbes, last updated 2012, http://www.forbes.com/ sites/glennllopis/2012/06/18/7-ways-to-enableyour-employee-resource-groups-into-a-powerfuladvancement-platform/. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 9 Depending on the amount of time coordinator(s) need to invest, employers may want to detail the commitment in writing or as a specific performance goal. Determining the Mission and Goals of the Program Coordinator(s) must initially work with management to determine whether identifying and articulating formalized mission and goal statements would be foundational to the internship program’s success. For smaller or less formal programs, this step may be impractical and/or unnecessary. At its core, the mission statement outlines the reasons for establishing the program, which are consistent with the values of the business, organization, or agency and can also reflect the viewpoints of staff or interns as time goes on. The goal statement then guides the objectives and activities of the program in keeping with the mission and/or expectations that various stakeholders have for program implementation and impact. A thorough discussion of organizational goals and the ways in which they translate into program objectives and activities is important; however, coordinator(s) should keep in mind that having too many goals for one program can prevent a clear understanding of the program’s purpose. Coordinator(s) should become confident articulating the program’s mission and goals to senior management and other stakeholders like staff, workplace supervisors, universities and high schools, and prospective interns. Determining the Need for the Program and the Role of Existing Staff Internship program coordinator(s) should facilitate a conversation about the specific areas of need interns could address within the business, organization, or agency. Meetings and surveys are useful tools for hearing from relevant stakeholders, like potential workplace supervisors. When coordinator(s) get a sense of senior management’s interest or particular use/need for interns, they can begin to identify what qualities prospective interns will need and relate these back to the overall mission and goals of the program. Assessing the need for the program hinges upon the availability of workplace supervisors to work directly with interns. The workplace supervisor is typically the employee who requests an intern or is assigned one as part of his/her work duties. This person has the primary responsibility for providing guidance to the intern on work assignments throughout the internship. Depending on the organization, this may involve the development of a formalized intern position description outlining specific work tasks and assignments, or it may be handled much more informally. For smaller programs, the workplace supervisor may also serve as coordinator and combine the duties of both roles into one position. Employers, and often senior OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 10 management, can determine what distribution of responsibilities best serves their needs. While the intern may work with and take direction from various employees, the workplace supervisor is the person who assigns and supervises the day-to-day work of the intern, though the coordinator(s) may perform these functions in some programs. Supervisory responsibilities include: • Orienting the intern to specific work assignments, office schedules and procedures, and the team of employees or other interns who will work together • Developing an internship work plan with the intern that outlines the intern’s assigned tasks, timelines, and learning objectives • Ensuring the intern has a work space, supplies, equipment, information, and any other resources he or she needs to perform the assigned work • Encouraging and approving the intern’s participation in opportunities outside of the workplace (e.g., professional development activities, events, meetings, networking) • Providing feedback to the intern on work and progress towards goals at mid-term and final evaluation • Conducting an exit interview with the intern Existing staff, whether supervisors or those involved in the application and hiring process, should also remember to foster a relationship of trust and respect for confidentiality with interns. While personal information may be collected as it relates to the position or hiring process, this information should remain secure, as would be the case for personal information related to full-time employees. Furthermore, interns and employees with disabilities should feel comfortable disclosing and requesting accommodations without fear of coworkers gaining access to this information. Everyone, including new interns, should be aware that trust is a valuable part of the business, organization, or agency where they work. This strategy ultimately solidifies the importance of workplace inclusion and is something coordinator(s) should make all staff aware of. Determining the Available Resources for the Program As part of the initial planning, coordinator(s) should also consider how the program fits into the budget and available resources of the business, organization, or agency. Senior management is likely responsible for allocating the time and money necessary to shape the desired program. If identified needs cannot be met within available resources, management will have to establish priorities, which may mean sharing interns or limiting the number of interns hired. The assessment of available resources should incorporate time for planning and evaluation within the overall timeline, which will vary depending on the length of the internship. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 11 One major factor to consider as part of the budget is whether or not the internship program will compensate interns through pay and/or course credit. Pay may not be the central motivation for interns,30 but it is considered a best practice because it can attract a wider array of candidates to the business, organization, or agency.31 The following are some factors to consider when determining compensation for interns: • The quality of an intern’s experience is not necessarily diminished because the internship is unpaid. Nevertheless, the quality and number of applicants may be reduced because financial need prevents some highly qualified students from pursuing unpaid opportunities. • In a for-profit organization, it is common for employers to offer a stipend or hourly wage. The advantage of a stipend is that an organization can avoid adding shortterm workers to the payroll. Nevertheless, be sure to determine and satisfy any federal and state income tax requirements related to paying interns. • If a for-profit organization chooses to use unpaid interns, the organization must ensure that interns are considered trainees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (see below). • In some fields such as computer science and information systems, paid internships are the norm because students bring specialized skills to the hiring organization. Students majoring in these fields are in high demand and may have the luxury of choosing the best offer. • In the not-for-profit sector, internships are commonly unpaid. For the most part, students interested in working with not-for-profit organizations are aware that these may be volunteer positions. • In the case of unpaid internships, it is common for interns to work part-time so they can earn money through another job. • Not all students can receive academic credit for internship/co-op experience. Students need to check with their academic department to learn if credit arrangements can be made. • Given the limited duration of internships, the out-of-pocket costs associated with compensating interns may produce a strong return on investment and “payout” over the long run in the form of lower recruiting costs and reduced turnover. 30. R. Bottner, Total Internship Management: The Employer’s Guide to Building the Ultimate Internship Program (Acton, ME: Intern Bridge, Inc., 2009). 31. J. Cunningham, Building a Premier Internship Program: A Practical Guide for Employers, (Bethlehem, PA: National Association of Colleges and Employers, 2004). OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 12 Some employers may already have policies and guidelines on what interns should be paid, or they can find this information through online searches. The following intern wage ranges are examples from Rutgers University:32 • Computer Science/Engineering: $18 - 25/hr • Business: $15 - 25/hr • Liberal Arts: $10 - 25/hr In order for private sector employers to understand whether or not interns must be paid at least the minimum wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Department of Labor has released the following resource: http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/ compliance/whdfs71.pdf. This fact sheet details the six criteria for determining situations in which for-profit companies can hire interns without compensation. Promoting Inclusion The fifth step to laying the groundwork for an inclusive internship program is to ensure that workplace culture embraces diversity in all forms, including disability. To meet this goal, coordinator(s) should assess the extent to which the employer already promotes inclusion within its workplace culture and hiring strategies, while also identifying where there is room for improvement. Coordinator(s) should be prepared to recommend adjustments to senior management as necessary because their endorsement of diversity in the workplace is critical.33 These recommendations can center around ensuring that the business, organization, or agency is prepared to take on the logistics of an inclusive internship program. In particular, physical, technological, and attitudinal barriers to hiring interns or employees with disabilities must be eliminated. Physical and technological environments must be made accessible to all interns, including those with disabilities. Employers should consider the following factors: • Fire alarms and emergency exit plans that can be utilized by employees with various disabilities • Entrances/exits, hallways, restrooms, work spaces, and desks that are universally accessible • Operating systems, software applications, and telecommunications products that are conducive to the productivity of all employees Reframing attitudes towards employees with disabilities may also be necessary to promote inclusion in the workplace. There may be some employees within the organization who exhibit negative attitudes towards employees with disabilities based upon stereotypical thinking and assumptions about what people with disabilities can and cannot do. These attitudinal barriers often impede meaningful communication between people with and without disabilities and are often passively 32. “Internship Program Development 101,” Career Services, accessed August 19 2014, http://careers. rutgers.edu/page.cfm?page_ID=315. 33. “Global Diversity and Inclusion: Fostering Innovation through a Diverse Workforce,” Forbes Insights, last modified 2011, http://images.forbes. com/forbesinsights/StudyPDFs/Innovation_ Through_Diversity.pdf, 15. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 13 learned, so unlearning them takes effort and interaction.34 Staff can begin avoiding stereotypes by thinking of people with disabilities first and foremost as people. In this way, language has much to do with influencing attitudes. Person-first language emphasizes that people with disabilities are “people first,” rather than being defined by their disability. It is the most prevalent way to refer to people with disabilities in professional settings today. Using the principle of person-first language and engaging in the use of positive language is an important part of the larger effort to change perceptions of people with disabilities in the workplace and thereby promote inclusion. Coordinator(s) should encourage discussions around disability awareness and attend to issues that may emerge. Disability awareness training sessions are one tool for dispelling misconceptions or low expectations about workers with disabilities. Consultants are available to provide assistance and can be located through online searches. Whatever strategy is used, holding only one session is probably not going to be effective. Sessions should be repeated often. For an example of a training module that addresses diversity and the workplace culture, see http://www.transcen. org/DandD/intro.html. See Appendix A for a list of organizations that can help businesses hire and retain young adult interns and people with disabilities. 34. A. Miller, “Best Practices for Formal Youth Mentoring,” The Blackwell Handbook of Mentoring: A Multiple Perspectives Approach, (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2007), 307-324. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 14 CHAPTER III: The Process of Implementing an Internship Program from Beginning to End Internship Timeline Determining the timeline for the internship program is an important process. The table below details a suggested schedule for a summer program. Table 1: Sample Internship Timeline Month Task October • Identify coordinator(s) to lead the program • Ensure the workplace is inclusive and accessible for everyone • Identify the need for the program by connecting with senior management and potential workplace supervisors • Determine the budget, resources, and scale of the program along with optional mission and goal statements • Compile the internship application package November & December • Disseminate the accessible internship application package to colleges and universities, internship websites, social media, and local career fairs • Determine the form, scope, and methodology that will be used in conducting the evaluation (see Chapter IV) January • Close the application period and begin to review candidates with input from workplace supervisors • Schedule phone interviews to screen candidates February • If necessary, schedule an additional round of interviews • Notify selected interns • Train workplace supervisors March • Manage accommodation requests • Compile and disseminate program or logistical information to interns with input from workplace supervisors April • Prepare workplaces and orientation materials for interns May • Welcome interns and conduct orientation and training, which can include important activities like mentoring June & July • Maintain communication with interns • Conduct mid-term evaluation between interns and supervisors August • Conduct final evaluation, exit interviews, and anonymous surveys September • Contact former interns to assist in recruitment of future interns After carrying out the initial steps, employers can continue the process of implementing, running, and evaluating an inclusive internship program. See Appendix B for a complete list of steps to follow. The above timeline is merely a sample and can be altered to fit the needs of the business, organization, or agency. For example, internships are typically summer positions that last 2-3 months, but they can also occur during spring or fall semesters on a full- or part-time basis. Internships can also last a full year and include recent graduates. In fact, longer internships provide greater opportunity for both employers and interns to reap the benefits discussed earlier in this guide. Because it takes time to acclimate to a new workplace environment, interns who stay longer might have a OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 15 greater impact. However, student interest and availability are generally tied to school terms, which makes summer internships the most common option.35 Either way, this timeline shows that employers should begin planning well in advance to successfully run their inclusive internship program. Internship Application Package The internship application package should reflect the mission, goals, and needs laid out by the business, organization, or agency. It is important to attract the right candidates for open slots by being clear and up front about expectations and job duties in the position description. The application should also be made accessible online to attract a diverse applicant pool, and potential applicants should be made aware that reasonable accommodations will be provided, if requested, in the application process, interviews, and during employment in the event they are hired. Employers who provide the opportunity for applicants to disclose at these various points are demonstrating their willingness to include people with disabilities in their internship programs. In particular, the online application should include: • Name and location of the business, organization, or agency • Contact information • Mission statement • Technical knowledge or skills requirements • Position title • Internship position announcement, including the knowledge, skills, and experience requested • List of additional application package components, such as resumes, writing samples, transcripts, or letters of recommendation • Education requirements • Languages spoken • Desired Training and professional development opportunities as part of the job • Travel requirements • Duration • Requests for accommodation needs in order to conduct the interview and/ or fully participate in the work of the internship • Salary or other compensation See Appendix C for a sample. • Work hours • Application process details, including a projected timeline 35. “Model Internship Guidelines,” NASPAA Newsletter, October 2003. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 16 Internship Application Dissemination It is important to strategically disseminate the internship application package to audiences that will be a good fit for the business, organization, or agency. Employers can utilize existing networks or build relationships with new partners through advertising their program. They can post the position description on their own website and on other career or internship websites, and they can email it out to career centers in colleges or universities. Maintaining contact with former interns is another great way to make local or national connections that can serve as pipelines for future recruitment. Examples of general dissemination platforms include: • Colleges and universities • Internship websites • Career centers and fairs • American Job Centers • Employer’s website and social media platforms • Chambers of Commerce • Human Resources Councils Examples of dissemination platforms targeting applicants with disabilities include: • Workforce Recruitment Program • Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities • USBLN Business Leadership Networks • Disability.gov Employers can communicate information about the internship program in many formats. A catchy flyer or newsletter blurb, a page on the website, a social media post, and a table at a career fair or conference are all great mediums for information dissemination. Employers should make sure to include the following information in their publicity efforts: • Brief overview of the business, organization, or agency • Description of the internship program or position • Pertinent dates in the application process • Point of contact or ways for interested candidates to learn more Disseminating the application and any accompanying materials should prioritize access and ease of use by all interested candidates, which often entails distributing copies online in accessible formats. The Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) is a national technical assistance center with resources that can help employers understand how to develop, procure, and implement technology that is accessible for everyone. This focus includes making sure that online applications meet the needs of all potential candidates in order to tap into the most extensive and diverse pool of talent. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 17 Training Supervisors and Staff Given their day-to-day interaction with interns, workplace supervisors play a central role in any successful program. For this reason, training workplace supervisors prior to the internship ensures a more productive experience overall as expectations are laid out clearly from the beginning. Training workplace supervisors in person is ideal, but there are also programs that provide guidance through online formats or informational briefs. Online training proves to be an especially valuable strategy for certain activities and can be used privately with no time constraints. As discussed in the last chapter, it is important for coordinator(s) to involve supervisors as they assess the need for hiring interns. Training can provide an opportunity for supervisors and other stakeholders to translate these identified needs into program goals, which can in turn assist supervisors in identifying the work they will assign to interns during the program. In setting work assignments, supervisors should also consider giving interns the opportunity to identify their own developmental goals, and to the extent feasible provide them with assignments compatible with working towards those goals. Supervisors should be prepared to communicate information about the intern’s work assignments in an initial meeting with the intern. Depending on the organization, this could consist of completing a formal work plan or a more informal list of tasks that can be edited or added to throughout the program. All intern assignments should be connected to both clear and concrete learning objectives and core competencies, which professionals in that particular field of work need.36 Some supervisors may require guidance on managing interns, which could also be covered during in-house training or through a supplementary leadership training session carried out by a third party. These trainings often cover management strategies that: • Support the professional growth of the employee • Create a medium for regular communication between supervisors and interns • Promote opportunities for praise and encouragement of excellence • Set high expectations from the beginning • Establish expectation of accountability • Instill some level of independence and autonomy within interns • Reinforce the importance of professional relationships within and outside of the office37 Creating an inclusive culture should be a recurring theme that permeates all training activities. Ensuring that workplace supervisors and other key stakeholders understand the importance of disability etiquette and accommodations in the context of all business processes are key strategies for effectively making disability 36. R. Bottner, Total Internship Management: The Employer’s Guide to Building the Ultimate Internship Program (Acton, ME: Intern Bridge, Inc., 2009). 37. Richard Pierce and James Rowell, “The 10 Keys to Effective Supervision: A Development Approach,” Rising Sun Consultants, accessed August 17 2014, http://www.risingsunconsultants.com/images/ white_papers/PDFs/Supervision-Short.pdf. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 18 part of the business, organization, or agency’s overall diversity strategy. While accommodations are covered in the next section related to the selection and placement of interns, disability etiquette and awareness training should focus on increasing knowledge and understanding about the following: • The importance of promoting inclusion within existing staff through various workplace discussions, projects, professional growth opportunities, and organizational initiatives • The need to have the same expectations of employees and interns with disabilities as those without disabilities and to focus on their accomplishments, interests, and goals rather than whether or not they have disabilities • The process that will be used in fulfilling interns’ requests for accommodations and educating supervisors on how to handle these discussions as they arise during the program • The importance of respecting interns’ sharing of ideas about how the business or agency and its employees could be more inclusive or sensitive to persons with disabilities • Steps that should be taken to respect confidentiality in order to build a culture of trust between all parties involved in the program In addition, general information on disability etiquette can be useful for all program stakeholders. Appendix D is an information sheet that can be used in information packets given to all participants at orientation or training meetings. It provides important introductory information on disability awareness and is valuable as a prevention measure. This information sheet is modified from Communicating With and About People with Disabilities, available on ODEP’s website at http://www.dol.gov/odep/pubs/fact/comucate.htm. See Chapter IV for further details. Applicant Review and Interviews When the deadline for receipt of applications has passed, coordinator(s) and workplace supervisors can begin the review process. Using a standardized form for multiple reviewers is key for maintaining fairness and consistency. Employers should schedule in-person interviews whenever possible, but an initial phone interview can suffice for a process with multiple rounds or a large applicant pool. After employers select the candidates they would like to interview, they should reference the section in the application regarding accommodations and provide them if needed. In addition, employers should be aware that some interns may disclose additional accommodation needs during the interview that they did not disclose on paper. Disclosure can be a challenging process for job seekers with disabilities, and employers should remain respectful and open. At the same time, employers should OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 19 be aware of the circumstances in which they can and cannot make disability-related inquiries during the hiring process. See Q&A: Enforcement Guidance on DisabilityRelated Inquiries and Medical Examinations of Employees Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/qanda-inquiries.html). A standardized list of questions should be used in all interviews and should gauge the strengths, interests, skills, and experiences of candidates. Questions can be tailored to specific duties or follow-up from answers given during the interview, and interviewers should always give candidates an opportunity to ask questions of their own. Examples of pertinent interview questions include: • What do you know about our business, • How would you describe your ability to organization, or agency? work on a team? • Why are you interested in interning here? • What knowledge or experience do you have that is relevant for this position? • How will this internship align with your personal and professional goals moving forward? • Do you have any questions for us? • What strengths and/or weaknesses do you see in yourself? Selection and Placement of Interns Placing interns in the workplace depends on the needs of the business, organization, or agency and the skills and experiences that interns bring to the table. Hiring should be a good fit for both parties involved. After concluding the interviews and follow-up discussions, employers are prepared to make final selections and placements. Notifying selected candidates can include the following information: • Offer letter • Orientation location and details • Contract • Organizational regulations • Placement details • Dress code and work schedule • Contact information for workplace supervisors • Housing • Transportation Accommodations At this stage in the process, some selected interns who had not done so previously may disclose a need for reasonable accommodations. Accommodations are the modifications or alterations made to a classroom, a workplace, or another environment that allow access for people with disabilities. An individual can request reasonable accommodations either orally or in writing, and individuals who OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 20 need reasonable accommodation are responsible for making their needs known to their employers. Because employers must be prepared to address reasonable accommodation requests in a timely manner, it is imperative that coordinator(s) detail the process for providing reasonable accommodation in the training provided to workplace supervisors and other key stakeholders. Accommodations should be individualized and based on the person’s needs and not assumptions about their disability. Examples of reasonable accommodations include providing interpreters, readers, or other personal assistance, modifying job duties, restructuring work sites, providing flexible work schedules or work sites, and providing assistive technology or other workplace adaptive equipment. Numerous federal laws address the legal aspects of accommodations. These include the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Within many communities, teachers and rehabilitation professionals have expertise in developing accommodations for individuals with disabilities. An excellent resource for information about accommodations is the Job Accommodations Network ( JAN), which employers can access online at www.AskJan.org. JAN represents the most comprehensive resource for job accommodations available. Most accommodations are quite simple. Table 2 gives examples of the more common accommodations. Table 2. Common Accommodations in Classrooms, Assessment Settings, and Workplaces38 Type of Accommodations Description Presentation Accommodations Information read aloud Sign language Braille Large print Directions clarified Assistance from another person Presentation Equipment Accommodations Magnification Amplification Noise buffer Templates Audio/video cassettes Lighting/acoustics Computer or other machinery Response Accommodations Communication device (symbol boards, talking boards) Computer or other machinery Spell checker Brailler Tape recorder Calculator 38. M. Thurlow, A. House, C. Boys, D. Scott, and J. Ysseldyke, “State Participation and Accommodation Policies for Students with Disabilities: 1999 Update (NCEO Synthesis Report 33),” National Center on Educational Outcomes (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2000), accessed July 12 2005, http://www.bibliopedant.com/ HEcX89PKAWIEWUM89COm. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 21 Type of Accommodations Description Scheduling Accommodations Extended time Extra breaks Multiple sessions Flexible work time (such as around medication schedule) Setting Accommodations Number (individual may work better alone or in small groups) Place (individual may work better at home or at an off-site setting) Proximity (individual may need to be closer to instructor, restrooms, etc.) Assistive Technology Assistive technology (AT) is a specific type of accommodation. As defined by the Assistive Technology Act of 2004, assistive technology refers to “any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.” The range of support can include computer screen readers and magnifiers, closed captioning, alternative keyboards, and other special software and equipment that makes information devices more accessible. It can also include mobility devices and other independent living equipment that is specially designed to increase an individual’s ability to perform daily living or work related skills. There are dozens of non-profit and for-profit organizations that manufacture or sell assistive technology equipment, and nearly all of them have web sites. Each state has an organization responsible for promoting and supporting the use of assistive technologies. A listing of state contacts can be found at http://nichcy.org/stateorganization-search-by-state, www.ncwd-youth.info, or www.fctd.org. The website for the Family Center on Assistive Technology (FCTD) at http://www.fctd. info has information on assistive technology and a newsletter featuring interviews with experts. Personal Assistance Services (PAS) Some individuals with disabilities may require Workplace Personal Assistance Services, or PAS. The Job Accommodation Network states the following: “Workplace Personal Assistance Services (WPAS) include work task-related assistance, such as the use of a reader for business documents not otherwise available electronically, a sign language interpreter for company meetings or trainings, and help lifting or reaching work-related items. WPAS may include personal care-related assistance such as helping an employee to access the restroom, eat or drink at work, or travel for business purposes.”39 39. L. Orslene, L. Batiste, C. Fullmer, and M. Gamble, “Personal Assistance Services (WPAS) in the Workplace,” Job Accommodation Network, accessed March 29 2010, https://askjan.org/media/ downloads/PASDocument.pdf. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 22 Sometimes an employer may not be aware that the intern requires PAS. Though it is the responsibility of the intern to make this request known, it is the responsibility of the employer to create a space for soliciting these requests, whether through the processes of application, interview, selection, or a combination of the three. In many cases, if the intern requires PAS to perform tasks associated with the job, the employer should pay for PAS as a reasonable accommodation or ask for some on-site assistance from other employees (for example, asking a co-worker to copy the meeting notes for someone unable to write). Some larger employers will provide personal assistance on the job as an ADA accommodation. For most moderate and small employers, however, this may not be considered a “reasonable” accommodation. Remember that PAS enable the person with a disability to perform the essential functions of their job. This does not mean that the personal assistant works for the organization; they work for the person with a disability. It is critical that employers create an environment within their agency or organization that separates the need for a personal assistant from the ability of the person with a disability to perform their job responsibilities. Tips for supervisors employing interns with disabilities who utilize PAS in the workplace include: • Do not ask the PAS to complete work for the individual with a disability. • If there are concerns about the PAS’s tasks, discuss it with the intern. • Do not emphasize the presence of the personal assistant—he or she should not be treated as an employee of the organization. To learn more about WPAS, how to implement it as an accommodation, and how to understand it in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and guidance issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, please see this information from JAN: http://askjan.org/media/pas.html. Internship Orientation Internship programs of all sizes should open with an orientation that helps to acclimate interns to the workplace and clarify expectations from the start.40 Coordinator(s) and other stakeholders should present an overview of the workplace structure and culture, and they should also detail important milestones during the program, like events or evaluations. Because orientation sets the tone for new interns, it should be carefully planned and reflective of the business, organization, or agency as a whole. To increase the organization’s appeal to top talent, information about developmental opportunities available to interns should also be provided during orientation. For example, if the business provides mentors or sponsors recreational activities such as sports leagues or happy hours, this type of information could be shared as could 40. R. Bottner, Total Internship Management: The Employer’s Guide to Building the Ultimate Internship Program (Acton, ME: Intern Bridge, Inc., 2009). OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 23 information about training or skills development opportunities such as resume writing, interviewing, and networking. Coordinator(s) should also encourage interns to get involved in affinity groups or outside organizations that meet their personal and/or professional interests. In addition, orientation can serve as a time for interns to complete a self-assessment of their personal and professional goals, which they can then use to track their accomplishments during the internship. See Appendix E for a sample orientation agenda. See Appendix F for a sample selfassessment. After orientation, interns will begin their assignments by meeting with their workplace supervisors, as discussed above. See Appendix G for a sample work plan that supervisors can meet with interns to fill out. Mentoring Making mentorships part of the internship program can help make the program attractive to prospective talent. It is a common practice in private and public sector workplaces—not only for interns, but also for newer employees or employees being trained for a new or specialized job. Employees who receive ongoing training, support, and encouragement from a mentor report greater job satisfaction, an important factor in increasing employee retention and productivity. The practice of reverse mentoring can also benefit existing staff, especially those further along in their careers, by giving them access to young interns and employees with “fresh eyes, open minds, and instant links to the technology of our future.”41 In this way, mentoring can be a valuable part of the recruitment of employees and interns and can set some internship programs apart from others. In addition, mentors and mentees form positive workplace relationships, often across generations and peer groups, which makes mentoring a valuable component of any diversity strategy as it can bring together people from different backgrounds or departments. At the same time, due to the small number of women, minorities, and people with disabilities who hold leadership positions, some employees who are minorities may seek mentors in order to connect with peers of similar backgrounds and find a place in the workplace culture of the business, organization, or agency. As one individual explains, “When you’re part of a minority group, often you don’t know the networks to help you advance or how to get yourself in front of the people who make decisions.”43 While some programs may have formal matching components and a required number of interactions between mentors and mentees others are much less formal. For employers interested in including a formal mentor matching component to their internship program, see Appendix H. A KPMG employee explained how mentoring benefits the company as follows: “It has resulted in higher employee satisfaction, lower turnover, and professionals who are better aligned with the organization and feel part of the team.”42 41. Lisa Quast, “Reverse Mentoring: What It Is And Why It Is Beneficial,” Forbes, accessed August 19 2014, http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-inprogress/2011/01/03/reverse-mentoring-what-is-itand-why-is-it-beneficial/. 42. D. Owens, “Virtual Mentoring,” HR Magazine 51, no. 3 (2006), http://www.freepatentsonline.com/ article/Review-Business-Research/272616383.html. 43. K. Tyler, “Cross-Cultural Connections: Mentoring Programs Can Bridge Gaps between Disparate Groups,” HR Magazine 52, no. 10 (2007), http:// www.shrm.org/Publications/hrmagazine/ EditorialContent/Pages/1007agenda_diversity.aspx. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 24 Final Steps Formally concluding the internship program can be important for instilling a sense of appreciation within interns and for acknowledging the important contributions they have made. The final chapter focuses on these steps, but important pieces to remember include: • Facilitating an exit interview between interns and supervisors, or in more formalized programs, the completion of a final self-assessment • Asking interns to complete a program evaluation in the spirit of continuous improvement • Requesting a written summary of the status of all projects, especially those the intern was unable to wrap up • Maintaining contact information for future communication with past interns As the internship program ends, employers can think of past interns as alumni. As was discussed earlier in this chapter, past interns returning to their school or original place of residence can serve as ambassadors who recommend the program to future participants. Employers may use email listservs, social networks, or newsletters to keep alumni in the loop. At the very least, employers can maintain a database with the contact information for past participants. Collecting success stories is another benefit to employers because they represent valuable material for future promotion and continuation of the internship program itself. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 25 CHAPTER IV: Evaluating the Internship Program The Importance of Evaluations Evaluating the internship program on a regular basis will help employers connect more effectively with students and provide the best opportunities for discovering future talent. To the extent feasible, the evaluation should assess the success of the program by examining its impact on key stakeholders, including interns, workplace supervisors, other staff, and the business, organization, or agency as a whole. In addition, documenting success can go a long way towards making the business attractive to prospective interns and career service professionals who recommend such programs.45 Evaluations ultimately provide valuable feedback that can help facilitate continuous improvement of the program and improve the company’s return on investment over time. Steps in Designing, Constructing, and Implementing Evaluations A well-designed evaluation should meet the reporting, accountability, and continuous improvement needs of the business, organization, or agency, and it can prevent the overlap of tasks, limit data duplication, and improve reporting capacity. As part of the initial planning, coordinator(s) should consider how to construct and implement evaluations to best meet the needs of the employer hosting the program. The following steps can help guide this process: Among the final steps to consider when implementing an internship program is evaluation. Depending on the size and scope of the program, the evaluation process can take many forms as discussed below. Regardless of the form that it takes, evaluation is strongly recommended for employers of any size that recruit and hire interns.44 1. Gauge senior management’s commitment to a formal or informal evaluation infrastructure. 2. Determine which evaluation measures to track. 3. Develop a system or method for collecting and managing the results of evaluations, also known as evaluation data. 4. Synthesize evaluation data for future use. Evaluation Measures For both formal and informal evaluations, success hinges upon the identification and tracking of certain measures. These measures offer insight into how the program is meeting or falling short of expectations and are thus critical to program improvement. Some qualitative measures include: • Intern Evaluations: Allow interns to assess the program, their supervisor, and the business as a whole. Giving them an opportunity to reflect can help future programs better meet the needs of interns. Use positive stories for future marketing pieces. Use constructive feedback for continuous program improvement. 44. R. Bottner, Total Internship Management: The Employer’s Guide to Building the Ultimate Internship Program (Acton, ME: Intern Bridge, Inc., 2009). 45. Ibid. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 26 • Supervisor Evaluations: Measure how a program can more effectively meet the needs of staff through factors like increased morale, productivity, and flexibility to take work in new directions. Use data to fine-tune professional development and training needs for staff involved in future programs. • Outcomes: Determine how the program achieved or fell short of stated goals.46 • Benefits: Assess the extent to which the benefits outlined in Chapter I of this guide were reflected through implementing the internship program. Some quantitative measures to consider evaluating include: • Application Rate: Measure the extent to which application rates increase or decrease. • Conversion Rate: Measure the rate at which interns are converted to full-time employees. • Retention Rate: Measure the rate at which interns hired full-time remain at the business compared to employees without a prior internship at the business. • Supervisor Retention: Measure the rate at which supervisor repeatedly request interns. • Performance Ratings: Compare ratings amongst employees and consider adjusting the intern selection process to address gaps.47 Evaluation Data Collection After determining applicable evaluation measures, it is important to begin thinking about how data around these measures will be collected. Having a well-designed system in place to both record and store data is an integral component to effective evaluation of the internship program. When designing a data collection system, begin by asking the following: • What information needs to be collected? • How should the data be collected? • What are the sources of data collection? • What are the steps that need to be taken to ensure privacy and confidentiality? Data describing an internship program should include separate assessments of the individuals involved and of the overall program performance. Thus, there should be data on the program as a whole, the workplace supervisors, and the interns. When these data sources are combined, they present a more complete view of the program. Evaluation Methods Decisions about the evaluation format that best serves the company’s needs should be made early on. As discussed above, how the evaluation will be conducted and 46. Michael True, “Starting and Maintaining a Quality Internship Program,” Technology Council of Central Pennsylvania, accessed August 25 2014, http://www.virginia.edu/career/intern/ startinganinternship.PDF. 47. “Employer’s Guidebook to Developing a Successful Internship Program,” Nebraska Department of Economic Development, accessed August 25 2014, http:// neded.org/files/businessdevelopment/ internne/EmployerGuidebook_ DevelopingSuccessfulInternshipProgram.pdf. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 27 the extent of its formality can vary greatly depending on the size and scope of the program and resources available to support the evaluation process. In general, there are two types of evaluations to consider: • Formative evaluations, which involve collecting and reporting feedback on an ongoing basis to shape and fine-tune program implementation • Summative evaluations, which involve reporting the outcomes and results of the process at the end Formative and summative evaluations can be as formal as written surveys every few weeks and at the end of the program, or they can be as informal as check-ins, lunches, or exit interviews with supervisory staff and interns. Other types to consider include soliciting feedback to questions, using a rating scale, conducting focus groups, or structuring interviews with interns, workplace supervisors, coordinator(s), and other stakeholders. Obtaining written feedback is an effective way to determine satisfaction at various stages of the program. Most workplace supervisors and interns complete evaluation forms no fewer than two times during the internship experience. These forms provide an opportunity to assess the amount and quality of intern work assignments and the intern’s progress and challenges. This assessment helps supervisors better understand how to optimize productivity and efficacy of the intern’s outputs to the employer’s benefit. They can also help coordinator(s) gauge the effectiveness of training provided to the supervisor as well as the overall quality of the supervisor’s and intern’s experiences in the program, which is important for making decisions about improvements, attracting future participants through success stories, and boosting company morale. Evaluations for interns and supervisors can be based off of existing employee evaluation forms (see Appendix I and Appendix J). These forms can also include scales for participants to rate their satisfaction with the above categories or measures. Structured one-on-one interviews often gather detailed information that is more likely to provide an accurate reflection of program effectiveness, albeit from the perspectives of the individuals interviewed. Depending on the size of the internship program, it may be possible to interview all stakeholders. If not, interviewing a representative sample of participants can provide beneficial information for making program improvements. The richness of the information gathered and the willingness of the employees to talk candidly depends on the quality of the questions and the skill of the interviewer. Focus groups can provide a richness of information that surveys cannot and are especially valuable for getting intern feedback. It is also recommended that focus groups be used to periodically solicit feedback from the supervisors and mentors on how the program is developing and how to meet challenges. Focus groups tend to take less time than focused interviews, but there is a lack of privacy as well as OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 28 the possibility that participants will influence each other’s responses. The value of information collected during a focus group depends on the composition of the participants, the quality of the questions, the skills of the facilitator, and the accuracy of the information being recorded. Coordinator(s) should use caution when generalizing the findings of focus groups. There is embedded bias, and the findings might only be the perspective of a particular group of people at a particular moment in time. Intern and Workplace Supervisor Evaluations Evaluations ultimately give interns and workplace supervisors the opportunity to reflect critically on their experience, from evaluating their own performance to the program and employer as a whole. While interns are generally treated as and supervised much like new employees, their temporary placements allow them to more readily offer an honest and detailed assessment regarding the workplace supervisor, the internship coordinator(s), and the program or business as a whole. At the same time, workplace supervisors, especially repeat participants, can offer valuable perspective on continuous program improvement. Evaluation data should give a total picture of the successful and challenging aspects of the program, and the relationship of the supervisor to the intern is a key component here. An intern’s evaluation of the internship program might include observations of the supervisor and the direction given to the intern. Receiving ongoing support and feedback regarding their role in the internship program benefits the workplace supervisor’s own professional growth. Again, this is an ideal training and learning situation for rising managers and leaders within the organization, but seasoned leaders can also benefit. For a sample of mid-term and final evaluation forms for both the intern and the workplace supervisor, see Appendix I and Appendix J. Obtaining an Evaluator There are many free or low-cost resources available to help companies develop evaluation systems and/or do the evaluations, including colleges and universities, private sector business management, consulting firms that provide pro bono services, and retired executive organizations like Senior Corps, which has information available online at http://www.seniorcorps.gov/. Large employers pursuing a more formalized evaluation process may want to consider hiring an independent evaluator to assist them in designing intern evaluations and interpreting their results. Smaller programs, however, may not find this desirable or necessary, and will instead utilize knowledge and evaluation expertise that exists in-house. For employers pursuing a formal evaluation process, an evaluator can be a useful contributor. Choosing an external evaluator for the internship program offers many benefits. It reduces the perception of bias associated with self-evaluation data, and OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 29 it presents insights and data from an impartial observer. The latter encourages more self-reflection by the stakeholders. If the business is large, a viable alternative is to use the evaluation department within the organization. Staff are trained to be impartial, and they might not have contact with the internship staff or be familiar with the program. For more information about how to obtain an external evaluation, read the Northwest Regional Education Laboratory’s article Evaluation, which is available online at http://www.nwrel.org/evaluation/overview.shtml. Synthesizing and Reporting Results After evaluations have been conducted, their results should be reviewed and synthesized in such a way that is conducive to future use. For example, evaluation results can be used to inform key stakeholders (participants, funders, board members, staff, career service professionals, etc.) about the program and its successes. In addition, they can help the company in marketing its program and making it appealing to interested parties. Evaluation data should be packaged in a way that attracts increased awareness and funding for the internship program, whether within the business or outside of it. In this way, senior management may benefit most from a write-up of summative data. Conclusion As described earlier in this chapter, evaluation is important because it can benefit employers through providing data on program improvement or success stories that can attract future candidates or serve as promotional materials for the business, organization, or agency. Internal use of evaluation data can give employers a competitive edge. In addition to these advantages, employers hosting inclusive internship programs should recognize and capitalize on how their involvement fits into the big picture. This external use of evaluation data is key because it can help to build the evidence base around the benefits of inclusive internship programs that were laid out in Chapter I. Lack of data remains a major barrier to increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities. At a summit entitled “Disability and Business: Best Practices and Strategies for Inclusion,” considering why more corporations are not employing people with disabilities, one speaker concluded that the chief obstacle is lack of data. As such, employers need more evaluation studies and research studies to demonstrate the value of internship programs for all youth, including youth with disabilities. By doing so, employers can demonstrate the value of training and hiring people with disabilities for the talents they bring to the workplace as interns and as full-time employees. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 30 ENDNOTES “7 Ways to Enable Your Employee Resource Groups Into a Powerful Advancement Platform.” Forbes. 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Jamison. “Post-School Results for Youth with Disabilities: Key Indicators and Policy Implications.” Career Development for Exceptional Individuals 21 (1998): 145-160. Cunningham, J. Building a Premier Internship Program: A Practical Guide for Employers. Bethlehem, PA: National Association of Colleges and Employers, 2004. “Definitions.” National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth. Accessed April 22, 2014. http://www.ncwd-youth.info/ definitions#nametaxonomy-vtn-term-I. Dickinson, K., T. Jankot, and H. Gracon. Technical Report: Sun Mentoring: 1996 to 2009. 2009. Donovan, Rich. “Disability: From Red-Headed Step-Child to Golden Girl.” Essential Accessibility. Accessed July 18, 2014. http://www. essentialaccessibility.com/newsletter/march/feature.html. “Employer’s Guidebook to Developing a Successful Internship Program.” Nebraska Department of Economic Development. Accessed August 25, 2014. http://neded.org/files/ businessdevelopment/internne/EmployerGuidebook_ DevelopingSuccessfulInternshipProgram.pdf. “Global Diversity and Inclusion: Fostering Innovation through a Diverse Workforce.” Forbes Insights. Last modified 2011. http:// images.forbes.com/forbesinsights/StudyPDFs/Innovation_ Through_Diversity.pdf. Hare, Rebecca. “Plotting the Course for Success: An Individualized Mentoring Plan for Youth with Disabilities.” National Consortium on Leadership and Disability for Youth. Accessed May 15, 2014. http://www.ncld-youth.info/Downloads/mentor_guide.pdf. “Internship Program Development 101.” Career Services. Accessed August 19, 2014. http://careers.rutgers.edu/page.cfm?page_ID=315. Jayne, Michele and Robert Dipboye. “Leveraging Diversity to Improve Business Performance: Research Findings and Recommendations for Organizations.” Human Resource Management 43, no. 4 (2004): 409-424. http://web.mit.edu/cortiz/www/Diversity/ Jayne%20and%20Dipboye%202004.pdf. Lengnick-Hall, M., P. Gaunt, and M. Kulkarni. “Overlooked and Underutilized: People with Disabilities Are an Untapped Human Resource.” Human Resource Management 47, no. 2: 255-273. Accessed 2008. http://www.shrm.org/Education/hreducation/ Documents/47-2%20Lengnick-Hall%20et%20al.pdf. Loy, Beth. “Workplace Accommodations: Low Cost, High Impact.” Job Accommodations Network. Accessed 2014. http://askjan.org/ media/downloads/LowCostHighImpact.pdf. Mentoring & Engagement: Sustaining Organizational Success. Triple Creek Associates, Inc., 2010. Miller, A. “Best Practices for Formal Youth Mentoring.” The Blackwell Handbook of Mentoring: A Multiple Perspectives Approach. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2007. 307-324. “Model Internship Guidelines.” NASPAA Newsletter. October 2003. “New Regulations: Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act.” U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. Accessed August 17 2014. http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/ regs/compliance/section503.htm. “Number of Disabled U.S. Veterans Rising.” Associated Press. Last modified February 11, 2009. http://www. cbsnews.com/stories/2008/05/11/national/main4086442. shtml?source=RSSattr=Health_4086442. Orslene, L., L. Batiste, C. Fullmer, and M. Gamble. “Personal Assistance Services (WPAS) in the Workplace.” Job Accommodation Network. Accessed March 29, 2010. https://askjan.org/media/downloads/ PASDocument.pdf. Owens, D. “Virtual Mentoring.” HR Magazine 51, no. 3 (2006). http://www.freepatentsonline.com/article/Review-BusinessResearch/272616383.html. Pardini, E. Be a Mentor: Program Training Guide for Volunteer Mentors. Fremont, CA: Be A Mentor, Inc., 2006. http://www. beamentor.org/coordfrms/Training%20for%20Mentors.PDF. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 31 Pierce, Richard and James Rowell. “The 10 Keys to Effective Supervision: A Development Approach.” Rising Sun Consultants. Accessed August 17, 2014. http://www.risingsunconsultants.com/ images/white_papers/PDFs/Supervision-Short.pdf. Quast, Lisa. “Reverse Mentoring: What It Is And Why It Is Beneficial.” Forbes. Accessed August 19, 2014. http://www.forbes.com/sites/ work-in-progress/2011/01/03/reverse-mentoring-what-is-it-andwhy-is-it-beneficial/. “Recent Trends in Federal Civilian Employment and Compensation.” U.S. Government Accountability Office. Last modified January 29, 2014. http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-215. Rehabilitation Act. 29 U.S.C. § 793 (1993). “Tax Benefits for Businesses Who Have Employees with Disabilities.” Internal Revenue Service. Last modified June 12, 2012. http://www. irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-%26-Self-Employed/TaxBenefits-for-Businesses-Who-Have-Employees-with-Disabilities. Thurlow, M., A. House, C. Boys, D. Scott, and J. Ysseldyke. “State Participation and Accommodation Policies for Students with Disabilities: 1999 Update (NCEO Synthesis Report 33).” National Center on Educational Outcomes. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2000. Accessed July 12, 2005. http://www. bibliopedant.com/HEcX89PKAWIEWUM89COm. Timmons, J., M. Mack, A. Sims, R. Hare, and J. Wills. “Paving the Way to Work: A Guide to Career-Focused Mentoring for Youth with Disabilities.” National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth. Accessed May 15, 2014. http://www.ncwd-youth.info/ paving-the-way-to-work. True, Michael. “Starting and Maintaining a Quality Internship Program,” Technology Council of Central Pennsylvania. Accessed August 25, 2014. http://www.virginia.edu/career/intern/ startinganinternship.PDF. Tyler, K. “Cross-Cultural Connections: Mentoring Programs Can Bridge Gaps between Disparate Groups.” HR Magazine 52, no. 10 (2007). http://www.shrm.org/Publications/hrmagazine/EditorialContent/ Pages/1007agenda_diversity.aspx. Younes, N. “Getting Corporations Ready to Recruit Workers with Disabilities.” Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation 16, no. 2 (2001): 89-91. Zachary, L. and L. Fischler. The Mentee’s Guide: Making Mentoring Work for You. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2009. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 32 APPENDIX A: Resources on the Business Perspective for Hiring/Retaining Individuals with Disabilities US Chamber of Commerce (Institute for a Competitive Workforce [ICW]): Employment of People with Disabilities See http://icw.uschamber.com/. The Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW) promotes high educational standards and effective workforce training systems that are aligned with each other and with today’s rigorous business demands. ICW is a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(c)3 affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, promoting the rigorous educational standards and effective job training systems needed to preserve the strength of America’s greatest economic resource—its workforce. Undertaken in collaboration with Virginia Commonwealth University, this five-year project focused on barriers related to the employment of individuals with disabilities. ICW promoted materials, participated in national conferences and roundtables, convened experts, and disseminated information to chambers and their business members so they could better understand the facts and the resources available to support the employment of individuals with disabilities. The Department of Labor (DOL) Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) Internships can serve as a pipeline to meet recruitment needs, and employers may choose to make full-time offers following the period of the internship. The resources listed there can help employers understand how to achieve full inclusion through the hiring and retention of employees with disabilities in their workplace. See www.dol.gov/odep The Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) was established by Congress in 2001 to bring permanent focus to disability employment within the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and across the Federal government more broadly. ODEP provides national leadership by developing and influencing disability employment-related policies and practices to increase the number and quality of employment opportunities for people with disabilities. ODEP provides the following programs to help employers find qualified applicants with disabilities: • ODEP’s Employer Assistance & Resource Network (EARN) –– See: www.askearn.org. –– The Employer Assistance & Resource Network (EARN) is a free service that connects employers looking for quality employees with skilled job candidates. EARN provides the business case for hiring people with disabilities and relays the message that recruiting and hiring people with disabilities is a sound management strategy used by successful agencies nationwide. • ODEP’s Job Accommodation Network ( JAN) –– See http://askjan.org/. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 33 –– The Job Accommodation Network facilitates the employment and retention of workers with disabilities by providing employers, employment providers, people with disabilities, their family members, and other interested parties with information on job accommodations, self-employment, small business opportunities, and related subjects. • ODEP’s Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) –– See http://www.dol.gov/odep/wrp/. –– The Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students with Disabilities (WRP) is a recruitment and referral program that connects federal and private sector employers nationwide with highly motivated college students and recent graduates with disabilities who are eager to prove their abilities in the workplace through summer or permanent jobs. • See also ODEP’s Business Strategies that Work: A Framework for Disability Inclusion at http://www.dol.gov/odep/pdf/BusinessStrategiesThatWork.pdf. • See also Recruiting, Hiring, Retaining, and Promoting People with Disabilities; A Resource Guide for Employers, a product of the multi-agency Curb Cuts to Middle Class Initiative, at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/ docs/employing_people_with_disabilities_toolkit_february_3_2015_v4.pdf. DOL’s American Job Center Resources on Benefits to Hiring Workers with Disabilities See http://www.careeronestop.org/businesscenter/recruitandhire/ hiringadiverseworkforce/workers-with-disabilities.aspx. This American Job Center page links to resources that are helpful for businesses looking to hire people with disabilities. Social Security Administration Work Site – Information for Employers on Hiring People with Disabilities See http://www.ssa.gov/careers/dib.html. The employers section provides information about employing people with disabilities. Employers will find information about how to become an Employment Network, the Americans with Disabilities Act, tax incentives, referral services, and helpful links to resources on the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy website. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 34 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) See http://www.shrm.org/. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 200,000 individual members, the Society’s mission is to serve the needs of HR professionals by providing the most essential and comprehensive resources available. As an influential voice, the Society’s mission is also to advance the human resource profession to ensure that HR is recognized as an essential partner in developing and executing organizational strategy. Founded in 1948, SHRM currently has more than 550 affiliated chapters and members in more than 100 countries. U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN) See http://www.usbln.com/. The U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN) is the national organization that supports the development and expansion of BLNs across the country, serving as their collective voice. The USBLN recognizes and promotes best practices in hiring, retaining, and marketing to people with disabilities. They have numerous publications, case studies, and products available online and for distribution. VCU RRTC on Workplace Supports and Job Retention See http://www.worksupport.com/. The purpose of the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) RRTC on Workplace Supports and Job Retention is to study those supports that are most effective in assisting individuals with disabilities with maintaining employment and advancing their careers. The primary stakeholders for this project are persons with disabilities, with an emphasis on those who are unemployed, underemployed, or at risk of losing employment. The secondary stakeholders include rehabilitation professionals, families, and persons working in business and industry. Institute for Community Inclusion Resources for Employers See http://www.foremployers.com/. ForEmployers.com uses technology and flexible design strategies (or universal design) to bridge the needs of the business community and the employment needs of people with disabilities. The site provides straightforward solutions and information that addresses everyday human resource issues, especially as they relate to current or future employees with disabilities. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 35 APPENDIX B: 25 Steps Essential to Establishing a Program The following is a list of important steps internship program coordinator(s) should follow as they establish and implement the program. Depending on the size of the employer and the program, some steps may need to be modified or rearranged. Initial Steps: 1. Consider hosting an inclusive internship program. This idea can originate from senior management or any staff level within the business, organization, or agency. 2. Consult with senior management, if they are not already involved, to begin exploring the possibility of an initiative. 3. Identify coordinator(s) to lead the initiative from beginning to end. 4. Remember to promote the employer’s inclusive workplace strategy from the start. 5. Determine the mission statement and goals for the program, which should be in line with values and expectations of the business, organization, or agency. 6. Determine the need and available resources for the program, including budgetary allocation (if any), staff capacity to oversee interns on a daily basis, and areas where interns could be most useful. 7. Pay particular attention to factors such as pay, space, supervision, and technical support provided for interns. 8. Present the above findings to senior management, if they are not coordinator(s) themselves, to officially decide the size and scope of the initiative and that the needs and available resources are compatible. 9. Finalize which staff members will serve as workplace supervisors for interns. Launching the Program: 10. Compile the internship application package. 11. Disseminate the package to targeted stakeholders or general lists. 12. Ensure the workplace is inclusive and accessible for everyone. Make adjustments as necessary. 13. Close the application period and review candidates with input from stakeholders like workplace supervisors. 14. Schedule phone interviews to screen candidates and establish systemized interview process to ensure consistency. 15. Schedule additional rounds of phone or in-person interviews as necessary. 16. Notify selected interns. 17. Train workplace supervisors on managing interns and finalizing the tasks they will work with interns to accomplish. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 36 18. Compile and disseminate program and logistical information to interns with input from key stakeholders. 19. Prepare workplaces, including the process of making accommodations, and orientation materials for interns. 20. Welcome interns and conduct orientation and a first meeting between supervisors and interns. Expectations and regular communication should be laid out clearly from the start. 21. Maintain communication with interns as necessary, including the promotion of opportunities for interns to take advantage of outside the program. 22. Conduct mid-term evaluations between interns and supervisors. Final Steps: 23. Conduct final evaluations, exit interviews, and anonymous surveys. 24. Conduct formal evaluation process with reviewer and plan changes to future programs. 25. Contact former interns to assist in recruitment of future interns. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 37 APPENDIX C: Sample Internship Position Description XYZ Corporation 1234 Main Street, Cape Girardeau, MO 63703 Position Description: Sales and Marketing Intern Effective Date: Summer 2015 Our Sales and Marketing Department is looking to fill 3 sales and marketing internship positions for summer 2015. Marketing, PR, or related majors are encouraged to apply. XYZ Corporation provides a number of services to the entertainment industry, from trailer cutting to online rebates to in-store signage fulfillment. We have been streamlining the entertaining business for five decades and are continuing to marry technology advancements with cost savings opportunities for our clients. This position consists of a flexible 20-40 hour per week schedule, pays $12/hour, and offers academic credit. Qualifications: • MUST BE current Junior or Senior college student • Minimum 2.8 GPA (applicants may attach an explanation if they do not meet this criterion) General responsibilities include, but are not limited to: • Create a marketing plan for our newest product line • Create monthly newsletters, press releases, and update our client database • Assist with XYZ promotions, festivities, and events Skills Desired: • Superior written and oral communication skills • Basic knowledge of MS Office and database management Application Process: Submit cover letter and resume to: Bob Smith, Marketing Director XYZ Corporation 1234 Main Street Cape Girardeau, MO 63703 573-555-1234 firstname.lastname@example.org XYZ Corporation values diversity and is committed to being an equal opportunity employer. Candidates from all backgrounds, including people with disabilities, are encouraged to apply. Please contact us directly with questions that may arise throughout the application process, including but not limited to inquiries related to accommodation needs. Modified from https://www.internmatch.com/guides/sample-internship-job-description. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 38 APPENDIX D: Disability Etiquette for the Workplace and Beyond General Interaction • When introduced to people with disabilities, it is appropriate to offer to shake hands. People with limited hand use or an artificial limb usually shake hands. • When offering assistance, wait until the offer is accepted or rejected. If accepted, listen to the person and/or ask for instructions. Asking questions about how best to assist is fine. If rejected, do not feel insulted or offended; it just means the individual does not need assistance. • Be considerate of extra time it might take for some people with disabilities to complete certain tasks. Give unhurried attention to people who have difficulty speaking. Do not pretend to understand, and ask for repetition if you do not. • Be aware that many people can have disabilities that are not apparent. Just because you cannot see a disability does not mean it doesn’t exist. • Greet a person who is visually impaired by telling the person your name and where you are. When you offer walking assistance, let the person take your arm and then tell him or her when you are approaching inclines or turning right or left. • Respect all assistive devices (e.g., canes, wheelchairs, crutches, communication boards, service dogs, etc.) as personal property. Unless given specific and explicit permission, do not move, play with, or use them. • Don’t pet a service or companion dog while it’s working. • Make community events available to everyone. Hold them in accessible locations. When planning a meeting or other event, try to anticipate specific accommodations a person with a disability might need. • Living with a disability is an adjustment that most people have to make at some point in their lives and does not require exaggerated compliments or pity. • Relax. Anyone can make mistakes. Offer an apology if you forget some courtesy. Keep a sense of humor. Conversations • People with disabilities usually do not want to discuss their disability as a first topic of conversation. • Use a normal speaking tone and style. If someone needs you to speak in a louder voice, he or she will ask you to do so. • Speak calmly, slowly, and directly to a person who has a hearing impairment. Don’t shout or speak in the person’s ear. Your facial expressions, gestures, and body movements help in understanding. If you’re not certain that you’ve been understood, write your message. • Asking personal questions about someone’s disability is unprofessional. Inquiries should be limited to information necessary to provide accommodations. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 39 • Remember that people with disabilities, like all people, are experts on themselves. They know what they like, what they do not like, and what they can and cannot do. • Using common expressions (“See you later,” “I’ve got to run now,” or “Have you heard about…?”) is fine even if these phrases are at odds with the person’s disability. People with disabilities use these phrases regularly. • People with disabilities may be accompanied by a personal assistant or a sign language interpreter. Always direct your communication to the individual with a disability and not to the companion. • Avoid excessive praise when people with disabilities accomplish normal tasks. Avoid terms that imply that people with disabilities are overly courageous, brave, special, or superhuman. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 40 APPENDIX E: Sample Internship Orientation Agenda Organizational Background Internship Program Structure • History • Expectations for interns • Values • Pertinent dates and events • Structure • Guidance for interacting with supervisors • Aspects that set this organization apart from others with similar missions • Population targeted by the work of this organization • Common acronyms in day-to-day work Organizational Culture • Details on evaluation and exit interviews Intern Development Activities • Self-Assessment forms (Appendix F) • Resume writing • Networking • Overview • Mentoring • Time and attendance • Skills acquisition • Dress code • Trainings available • Holidays and closures • Lunch and other breaks • Sick leave policy • Emergency evacuation protocols • Pay and reimbursement procedures • Codes for building entry or operating machines like copiers • IT assistance • Confidentiality/security policies • Policies on sexual harassment, personal calls/emails, appropriate relationships/behaviors • Tour of the space as necessary OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 41 APPENDIX F: Sample Intern Self-Assessment Form Interns may complete this self-assessment form on their own during orientation. They may choose to seek input from their supervisors as it relates to professional development needs and goals, but doing so is not necessary. The purpose of this activity is to help interns identify how their goals translate into expectations for the work of the internship and other opportunities like mentoring. Coordinator(s) of programs without formal mentor matching components may choose to exclude the column on mentoring or frame it in such a way that interns understand mentoring is still a valuable activity they can pursue on their own. Intern’s Goals Expectations for the Internship/Supervisor Expectations for Mentoring My immediate professional goal is: What I need to learn right now to succeed at work is: What I want to do at work right now is: My long-term career interest or aspiration is: What I need to pursue this long-term career interest is: My primary expectations for my internship are to: My primary expectations for mentoring are to: Worksheet modified from Federal Workplace Mentoring Primer - http://askearn.org/fed-fwm.cfm?pg=fed_ focused_stage1. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 42 APPENDIX G: Sample Internship Work Plan Name of Business, Organization, or Agency: ___________________________________________________________________________ Quarter/Semester: ______________ Year: _______ Expected Work Schedule: Start Date: ______________________ End Date: ______________________ Intern’s Name: ______________________________ Major: _________________________ Graduation Date: ____________________________ Hours Per Week: _________________ Supervisor’s Name: __________________________ Days Per Week: __________________ Goals: 1. 2. 3. Short-Term Assignments: ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ Long-Term Assignments: ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ Suggested topics for follow-up conversations: ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ Mid-Term Evaluation Due Date: ________________________________________________ Final Evaluation Due Date: ____________________________________________________ Intern’s signature: ___________________________ Date: __________________________ Supervisor’s signature: _______________________ Date: __________________________ OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 43 Work Plan Assignments Tasks Assigned By Due Date Reviewed Completed OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 44 APPENDIX H: Mentoring Employers who choose to host a formal mentor matching component as part of their internship program may reference this section to learn about the details of a successful process. Mentoring Approaches Mentoring is an important one-on-one relationship that can have a significant impact on the career growth and exploration of interns. Although the one-on-one relationship seems to work best for most people, mentoring can occur in a variety of forms. For example, employers may want to include a different approach or model for a specific job, task, or activity during the internship experience. The following are some examples.48 Traditional One-on-One: This approach pairs a single individual with another individual. Programs typically utilize an extensive matching process to ensure the pair has the potential to form a strong, long-term relationship. A key advantage of the one-on-one mentoring approach is that it enables partners to develop trust and ensures consistent support provided the mentoring partners bond effectively at the onset and commit to working together for a significant period of time. Peer Mentoring: An intern is matched with a peer within the organization—usually a professional in a more entry-level position who provides support and guidance to the intern. Peer age is not important; by definition, peers are individuals from a like group where members have “equal standing.” Peer mentoring is typically designed to match employees who share a lot in common. Closeness in age can be an important part of peer mentoring, but a successful match can be made even if there is a significant age difference.49 A common goal is to use the mentor’s experience and knowledge to influence the intern in a positive way. Peer mentors are usually co-workers who can orient the intern to the organization, the department, or the new position, while assisting them in navigating new procedures, policies, and office politics. The most effective peer mentors are those who take a genuine interest in the success of the intern, a new co-worker. The peer mentor should be willing to share knowledge and provide support and guidance in order to facilitate the new intern’s integration into the workplace. Group Mentoring: One or more experienced professionals provide guidance and support to a group of interns; the mentors and interns typically participate in structured group activities. Group mentoring has become more common in settings where recruiting a sufficient number of volunteers for one-on-one mentoring is difficult.50 Unlike one-on-one mentoring, many group mentoring activities focus more on peer interaction with the mentor acting as a group facilitator. Consequently, fewer group mentoring relationships result in a deep connection between mentor and intern.51 48. Rebecca Hare, “Plotting the Course for Success: An Individualized Mentoring Plan for Youth with Disabilities,” National Consortium on Leadership and Disability for Youth, accessed May 15 2014, http://www.ncld-youth.info/Downloads/mentor_ guide.pdf. 49. J. Timmons, M. Mack, A. Sims, R. Hare, and J. Wills, “Paving the Way to Work: A Guide to CareerFocused Mentoring for Youth with Disabilities,” National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth, accessed May 15 2014, http://www.ncwdyouth.info/paving-the-way-to-work. 50. Ibid. 51. Ibid. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 45 Virtual Mentoring: A contemporary model commonly used when face-to-face interaction is not possible or is impractical. Like traditional mentoring, virtual mentoring approaches typically involve one-on-one matching; however, the individuals communicate using electronic methods such as e-mail and instant messaging. Virtual mentoring may be especially suitable for organizations with offices and employees in different geographical locations. As electronic communications replace face-to-face interactions more and more in the modern workplace, virtual mentoring is also becoming more commonplace. Occasional face-to-face interactions are advised, where possible, to develop a trusting, personal relationship. Flash Mentoring: This form of mentoring pairs an intern seeking leadership development with a more senior professional from the intern’s field of interest in a one-time, one-hour, coaching session. In this rare instance, the mentoring relationship does not require a long-term commitment from the mentor. This form of mentoring was developed for the purpose of connecting up-and-coming professionals with senior level professionals who have limited time to devote to mentoring. Cross-Generational Mentoring: This form of mentoring involves pairing a person from one generation with a person from a different generation with the purpose of helping both individuals learn about the perspectives and experiences of the other. Cross-generational mentoring recognizes that both older and younger generations have many things they could teach and learn from each other. Cross-generational mentoring can benefit both individuals by increasing their ability to work and communicate effectively with individuals of a different generation. Cross-generational mentoring may be especially useful in today’s multi-generational workplace in which generational differences pose both challenges and opportunities. Cross-Organizational Mentoring: This form of mentoring involves pairing a person from one organization with a person outside the organization where he or she is interning. This approach is most commonly used in a traditional one-on-one mentoring program to provide an intern with guidance and perspective from a senior level professional outside their own workplace. This approach is also useful for programs that seek to match interns from a particular minority group (ex: women, African Americans, Asian Americans) with senior level professionals from the same minority group when there are a limited number of senior level professionals of the same minority group. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 46 The Role of Mentors Workplace supervisors can serve as mentors after the internship ends, but it is a good idea for interns to build professional relationships with others inside or outside the business, organization, or agency. Doing so allows interns to expand their professional network and explore other workplaces or career fields of interest to them. The following guidance about the role of mentors has been adapted from the Federal Workplace Mentoring Primer from the Institute for Educational Leadership. A mentor will devote significant time to helping young adults take their skills and knowledge to the next level. The guidance and support given by a skilled professional to a young adult entering the workforce is one of the best ways to prepare him or her for positions of greater responsibility. Recruiting Mentors: It is important to be candid about expectations when recruiting mentors. Prospective mentors need to know what is required of them in terms of time, resources, and duties. The mentor’s work supervisor or direct manager should also be informed about the mentor’s commitment. Management will determine the required arrangements for handling the mentor’s current work load and for a backup person to assume the mentor’s work responsibilities at other intervals as needed. Mentor Characteristics: The essential characteristics sought in a mentor include the following: • Willingness to commit time to his or her mentoring responsibilities • Sincere interest in helping young adults grow professionally and accomplish professional goals • Strong interpersonal communication skills, including the ability to listen and respond thoughtfully to the concerns and questions of others • Willingness and patience to provide guidance and coaching, including constructive feedback and encouragement • Sensitivity to cultural diversity and personal differences by realizing that mentoring often deepens participants’ individual sense of being valued In practice, mentoring may fall to less experienced staff who may not be ready to assume additional responsibilities; however, management should realize that this is an opportunity to hone the skills of an employee in line for promotion. It is also an excellent opportunity for an organization to look for staff from underrepresented groups who would benefit from a supervised leadership role. Thus, there should be an organization-wide appeal to staff from underrepresented groups, including employees with disabilities, to encourage their participation as mentors. No one, however, should be coerced into volunteering. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 47 1. Targeted Recruitment: Targeted recruitment of mentors is most appropriate for formal internship programs with a small group of interns hoping to develop specific skill sets. These interns should be matched with professional staff with those skills and experiences. If possible, allow interns to request one-on-one support that matches his or her individual goals and needs. 2. Untargeted Recruitment: When mentors do not need to have targeted skills, coordinator(s) can solicit recommendations from specific department heads and employees, as well as send an organization-wide email explaining the qualifications and expectations sought in a mentor along with a mentor application form. If a mentor or an intern specifically requests to be matched with a person from a similar background or cultural perspective and the request is appropriate, every effort should be made to find a suitable candidate. After the program has been in operation for some time, former mentors can assist with recruitment of new mentors. Testimonials from previous participants can also be very effective in illustrating the value of mentoring to others in the recruitment process. Coordinator(s) can hold “brown bag” lunches to introduce next year’s program, wherein the previous mentors and interns talk about their experiences. An organization-wide “kick-off” meeting, which incorporates positive testimonials from both mentors and mentees could also be valuable. Mentoring Relationships Successful mentoring relationships depend on many factors, such as reciprocity, learning, relationships, partnership, collaboration, mutually-defined goals, and development. These are essential to the success of mentoring relationships.52 Availability and willingness by the mentor and the mentee to enter into a giveand-take relationship indicates compatibility, the foundation of most positive relationships. Mentoring requires a mentor to be directive and supportive without being overbearing and dictatorial, while the intern should listen and follow through on the professional advice he or she receives. The mentor should assist the intern in achieving his or her goals, and both mentor and intern should be willing to share personal experiences, interests, and concerns. The mentor must regularly meet with the intern to talk with and listen to him or her even if there is no pressing agenda item to discuss.53 Common characteristics of successful mentoring relationships include: • Mentors and interns make a long-term commitment to working together (throughout the internship term) • Mentors take time to build trust and respect with their interns 52. L. Zachary and L. Fischler, The Mentee’s Guide: Making Mentoring Work for You (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2009). 53. Rebecca Hare, “Plotting the Course for Success: An Individualized Mentoring Plan for Youth with Disabilities,” National Consortium on Leadership and Disability for Youth, accessed May 15 2014, http://www.ncld-youth.info/Downloads/mentor_ guide.pdf. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 48 • Mentors and interns set high, clear, and fair expectations for themselves and their mentoring partners • Mentors and interns meet or communicate with enough regularity to develop a strong relationship Time Spent with Interns: The National Mentoring Center recommends mentoring partners interact 4 to 10 hours per month for face-to-face mentoring while e-mentoring programs recommend 30 to 60 minutes of online interaction or communication per week.54 Internship programs of all sizes can also incorporate events or encourage interns to pursue opportunities outside the program. Examples of events or activities include: • Observing presentations relevant to specific duties or by other offices in the business, organization, or agency • Attending lectures by experts on areas of interest • Participating in internal and external training programs • Networking at professional events • Joining social group outings • Volunteering Ensuring that all events and activities are accessible for everyone is an important point to keep in mind when including interns of all backgrounds in the program. For example, events should be planned at times and locations that are convenient and accessible for everyone. Some interns may require excusal from certain events for religious reasons, and others may have dietary needs or require accommodations like sign language interpretation or captioning to fully participate. These different needs are an important part of the valuable perspectives a diverse pool of interns brings to the workplace. 54. Ibid. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 49 APPENDIX I-1: Sample Intern Mid-Program Evaluation Date: ______________________________________________________________________ Intern’s Name: ______________________________________________________________ Workplace Supervisor’s Name: ________________________________________________ Major: _____________________________________ Graduation Date _________________ Supervisor’s Name: __________________________ Days Per Week:__________________ Describe your current internship responsibilities: ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ Evaluate on a scale from 1 (never) to 5 (always) how much you agree with the following statements. Evaluation Questions 1 2 3 4 5 1. There’s a good balance between menial tasks (administrative work) and contentfocused assignments. 2. The internship experience is consistent with how it was described to me by the supervisor and/or coordinator(s). 3. Multiple individuals seem invested and interested in my progress and learning. 4. I feel like I can ask questions and get the answers I need to do my job. 5. I’ve been able to stretch myself and take opportunities to work outside of my comfort zone. 6. I receive feedback frequently and in a constructive format. 7. I feel valued by my team, supervisor, and the organization. 8. I feel like I’m making valuable connections to use in my future career or jobs. 9. I feel supported by the internship coordinator(s). 11. I feel supported by my workplace supervisor. 12. I feel supported by my mentor (if any). OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 50 What overall challenges did you face in your internship? What was the most rewarding aspect of your internship experience? How, if at all, can this internship program be improved for future interns? Intern’s signature: ___________________________ Date: __________________________ Supervisor’s comments (to be completed separately): Supervisor’s signature: _______________________ Date: __________________________ OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 51 APPENDIX I-2: Sample Supervisor Mid-Program Evaluation Date: ____________________Intern Name: ______________________________________ Supervisor’s Name: __________________________________________________________ Supervisor’s E-mail: __________________________ Supervisor’s phone: ______________ Internship Start Date: ________________________ Internship End Date: _____________ Please rate the following statements below based on the intern so far. Check the appropriate rating from 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent): Intern’s Performance Review 1 2 3 4 5 Intern’s job performance Intern’s attendance Intern’s attitude Supervisor availability to answer intern’s questions Regularly scheduled meetings with intern Intern’s willingness to ask for help Job duties in line with original objectives Intern is developing skills related to career field of interest Intern is meeting expectations Intern is receiving necessary training/ resources to do the job well Additional comments or concerns: Intern’s signature: ___________________________ Date: __________________________ Supervisor’s signature: _______________________ Date: __________________________ Modified from https://careernetwork.msu.edu/_files/PDF/InternState-MidEvalSupervisor.pdf. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 52 APPENDIX J-1: Sample Intern Final Evaluation Date: ______________________________________________________________________ Intern’s Name: ______________________________________________________________ Workplace Supervisor’s Name: ________________________________________________ Major: ________________________ Graduation Date ______________________________ Describe your current internship responsibilities: ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ Evaluate on a scale from 1 (never) to 5 (always) how much you agree with the following statements. Evaluation Questions 1 2 3 4 5 1. There was a good balance between menial tasks (administrative work) and content focused work assignments. 2. The internship experience was consistent with how it was described to me by the supervisor and/or internship coordinator. 3. Multiple individuals were invested and interested in my progress and learning. 4. I felt like I could ask questions and get the answers I need to do my job. 5. I was able to stretch myself and take opportunities to work outside of my “comfort zone.” 6. Feedback was given frequently and in a constructive format. 7. I felt valued by my team, supervisor and the organization. 8. I felt like I made valuable contributions for future career growth. 9. I made valuable connections to use in my future career or jobs. 10. I felt supported by the internship coordinator. 11. I felt supported by my workplace supervisor. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 53 What overall challenges did you face in your internship? What was the most rewarding aspect of your internship experience? How, if at all, can this internship program be improved for future interns? Intern’s signature: ___________________________ Date: __________________________ Supervisor’s comments (to be completed separately): Supervisor’s signature: _______________________ Date: __________________________ OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 54 APPENDIX J-2: Sample Supervisor Final Evaluation Date:_____________________ Intern Name: ______________________________________ Supervisor’s Name: __________________________________________________________ Supervisor’s E-mail:__________________________ Supervisor’s phone:______________ Internship Start Date: ________________________ Internship End Date:______________ Please rate the following statements below based on the intern. Check the appropriate rating from 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent): Intern’s Performance Review 1 2 3 4 5 Intern’s overall performance Intern’s attendance Intern’s attitude Supervisor availability to answer intern’s questions Regularly scheduled meetings with intern Intern’s willingness to ask for help Job duties in line with original objectives Intern was challenged by work Interning developed skills related to career field of interest Intern met all expectations Intern received necessary training/ resources to do the job well Discuss the improvements made by the intern: Additional comments or concerns: Intern’s signature: ___________________________ Date: __________________________ Supervisor’s signature: _______________________ Date: __________________________ Modified from https://careernetwork.msu.edu/_files/PDF/InternState-MidEvalSupervisor.pdf. OFFICE OF DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT POLICY INCLUSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS: A HOW-TO GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS 55 www.dol.gov/odep
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