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The Disability Studies Internship (DS 4395) is a supervised internship through which students apply the academic skills they have acquired in Disability Studies courses.  Interns work at an approved business, academic, or non-profit site that focuses on adapted sports, disability history, assistive technology, disability rights and policy, or universal design and accessibility.  Students should complete DS 4395 as one of their final courses for the minor and must have already taken or be taking DS 3307/HIST 3307.


This course is intended to be completed as one of the final courses for the minor and is required to earn a minor in Disability Studies. Students must have completed or be currently enrolled in DS 3307/HIST 3307. Students must complete an application and interview with the internship site before starting the internship.


The student intern commits to working for a designated organization for approximately 9 hours a week for 13 weeks during a semester in an unpaid position (11 hours per week during the summer 11-week semester).

During that time, the student will be trained and supervised by an employee of the organization, who will keep track of the student's hours, as well as evaluating the student's work. The student will also meet regularly with the Director of the Minor in Disability Studies to report on his/her progress, and will turn in a 7-8 page capstone essay, weekly work log, self-evaluation, and site assessment at the end of the semester.

Nine organizations currently partner with the Disability Studies Minor on internships

ADAPT of Texas (online)

Accessible digital humanities, accessible website design, disability public history, and disability policy and legislative advocacy.

Arlington Mayor’s Committee on People with Disabilities (Arlington)

Doing universal design research and advocacy with city entities such as Parks & Recreation, investigating and advocating for greater accessibility in medical venues, working with city on developing respectful, inclusive marketing and training about people with disabilities in Arlington, developing online resource directory and visitors’ guides to Arlington for people with disabilities and their families.

City of Fort Worth ADA Coordinator

Assisting with Fort Worth’s ongoing project of updating its ADA transition plan and determining how to better implement universal design and accessibility. The areas of focus (e.g., streets, Parks & Recreation, marketing, and so on) will change periodically. Involves research, writing, and attending meetings, including with the Fort Worth Mayor’s Committee on People with Disabilities.

Helping Restore Ability (South Arlington)

Non-profit management (grant development and HR work), social work (helping with client intakes and needs assessments), public health research (interviewing caregivers about needs, tracing clients’ health outcomes), legislative advocacy on local and state levels, GIS mapping of disability prevalence.

Movin’ Mavs Adapted Sports (UTA campus or partly off-campus)

Non-profit management (grant writing, public relations), educational advocacy (educating K-12 teachers and public schools about adapted sports), communications (creating training videos for K-12 teachers), coaching and/or developing adapted sports programs on campus or in K-12 programs around the DFW Metroplex.

Office for Students with Disabilities (on campus)

Disability services in higher education, including the process of requesting accommodations; accessible and assistive technology management and design; disability-aware public relations and social media.

Per4Max Wheelchairs (Grand Prairie, potentially with paid travel)

Per4Max is the world’s largest sports wheelchair company and was founded by UTA graduates and alumni of the Movin’ Mavs wheelchair basketball team. Wheelchair design and manufacturing; mechanical engineering majors preferred but others may be considered.

Texas Disability History Collection/UTA Libraries (on campus potentially with limited travel within DFW Metroplex as needed)

Public history (digital exhibits), oral history (collecting and transcribing interviews with prominent people with disabilities, policymakers, and advocates), and digital humanities through the Disability Studies Minor and UTA Library’s Special Collections and Digital Creations. Interns may also choose to work on universal design and accessibility projects within the UTA Libraries more generally, including on accessible design, accessibility policies and practices, and accessible digitization practices with the FabLab, among others.

UTARI (UTA Research Institute) (off-campus but accessible via shuttle from UTA main campus)

UTARI does research on prosthetics, assistive technology, and universal design and offers one-semester internships focused on marketing or researching how people with disabilities use assistive technology.  With permission from UTARI and the Director of the minor, engineering students may complete a two-semester internship by taking DS 4391 “Conference Course” and DS 4395 “Disability Studies Internship."