Students With Intellectual Disabilities Score Capitol Hill Internships
Members of Congress are teaming up with a Washington, DC-area postsecondary program to offer young adults with intellectual disabilities a unique opportunity: internships on Capitol Hill.
The internships are the brainchild of Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss. who has a son with fragile X syndrome. Harper reached out to officials at Mason LIFE, a postsecondary program at George Mason University for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, to help establish a pilot program for students to gain internships on Capitol Hill and in other high-profile job environments.
Since the program began six weeks ago, three interns have worked in Harper’s office and five other House of Representatives offices handling constituent mail and learning to give Capitol tours, among other duties.
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The participants, who are accompanied by job coaches, say the program is boosting their confidence and expanding their ideas about opportunities after graduation. Beyond the tasks they do at work, they’re also learning the basics like how to plan so they’ll get to work on time, how to use public transportation and what to expect at a job interview.
The interns are getting noticed, with Senate offices expressing interest in being part of the next round of the program, reports Politico. To read more click here.