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Workplace & employment

interns with Senator Tom Harkin, Yoshiko Dart, and former AAPD president Andy Imparato
AAPD interns with Senator Tom Harkin, Yoshiko Dart, and former AAPD president Andy Imparato

Employment opportunity means economic self-sufficiency and independence. AAPD is committed to improving employment outcomes for the many people with disabilities who are not working but are ready, willing and able to work.  

We promote legislation and policy that promotes opportunities for people with disabilities, partner with employers to improve business practices and develop mentoring programs, and offer career opportunities to students and recent graduates with disabilities.

Over 16% percent of people of disabilities are unemployed, almost double the rate of unemployment among people without disabilities.


AAPD works to eradicate discrimination against people with disabilities by advocating for vigorous enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and including employment opportunity for people with disabilities in job creation measures and federal investments. 



Internships are invaluable professional development tools and can open doors that education alone cannot. In the best programs, interns receive hands-on work experience and mentoring, which prepare them to succeed in the workforce. Read about AAPD’s summer internship program, in-house internships, and internship coalition here.

Disability Mentoring Day

The AAPD’s Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) program connects nearly 13,000 students and job seekers with disabilities to thousands of employers each year. The 2011 events took place in over 200 locations across the country. DMD, held the third Wednesday in October, promotes career development through hands-on programs, job shadowing, and ongoing mentoring. This experience has helped thousands of past participants develop lasting relationships and secure internships or jobs.


Campaign for Disability Employment

AAPD has partnered with the United States Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy, other disability organizations, and business organizations "to promote positive employment outcome for people with disabilities." 


Disability Equality Index

AAPD and the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN) have partnered to establish a national benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices for disability employment inclusion and accessibility.


The American Association of People with Disabilities:

Promoting equal opportunity, economic power, independent living and political participation for people with disabilities.

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