Avoid the summer slide by encouraging deaf students to build skills, confidence, and independence and prepare for future careers through work-based learning experiences.

These experiences involve hands-on learning and immersion in real-life work settings while developing work-related technical skills (e.g. communication, critical thinking, leadership, teamwork and problem-solving) and gaining insight into the labor market.

Get Help Finding the Right Opportunity

There are many opportunities available for deaf students and a variety of support services to help connect students to the right jobs or internships.

For example, many deaf students qualify for Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Pre-Employment Transition Services that include work-based learning experiences and other services or activities. These activities help students prepare for life after high school by learning essential skills.

To find out more information about what VR can offer and what to expect, visit Plan Your Future: A Guide to Vocational Rehabilitation for Deaf Youth or find your local VR office to apply for services today.

Build Experience and Learn with a Summer Job or Internship

Examples of work-based learning experiences can include:

  • Paid work opportunities such as paid jobs, internships or apprenticeships (these can also be unpaid),

  • Unpaid employment experiences such as community volunteering, job shadowing, or career mentoring

  • Job exploration experiences such as workplace tours, informational interviews and career research

When writing a resume and cover letter, students will need to be able to identify and demonstrate the transferable skills (i.e. qualities, skills and abilities gained through school and other areas of life) the employer is looking for. Tips and Information for Finding Jobs by NAD has resources to create a great resume and cover letter, prepare for interviews, and network.

Advice for Achieving #DeafSuccess

Work experience also instills self-advocacy by encouraging students to know their employment rights, ask for support and accommodations during the job application process and in the workplace and decide when to disclose their disabilities.

Check out these #DeafSuccess stories to learn from other people’s experiences:

Tanya Arriaga shares how disclosure, self-advocacy and effective accommodations were key in being able to achieve her dream as an AcroYoga Teacher.

Patty Simpson discusses how her contributions in an internship helped to build self-worth and improve operations for her father’s trucking business. She learned the importance of communication with customers and employees with effective accommodations like telecommunications services and devices.

Zach Featherstone shares how he dealt with challenges when applying for medical internships because of his deafness. He emphasized the need to keep trying in the face of difficulties and networking to find internship opportunities.

Support Deaf Students

If you are working with deaf students on work-based learning experiences or work readiness skills, find more resources on our website:

Have a question? Contact the NDC | help team for more information.