AAPD is a national cross-disability civil rights organization that works to increase the political and economic power of people with disabilities. In 2002, AAPD launched the Summer Internship Program to develop the next generation of leaders with disabilities. We place college students, graduate students, law students, and recent graduates with all types of disabilities in paid summer internships with Congressional offices, federal agencies, nonprofit and for-profit organizations within the Washington, DC area. During the summer, each intern is matched with a mentor who provides them with career guidance. AAPD provides interns with a living stipend, transportation to and from Washington, DC, and fully accessible housing. We recruit a diverse cohort of interns. As a result, we connect our host employers to talented emerging leaders with disabilities.
At the beginning of summer, interns participate in a 1-week orientation session to acclimate to AAPD and Washington, DC, meet their peers, and learn about the disability rights movement. Throughout the summer, interns are also required to participate in the Disability Advocacy Certificate Program. The Certificate Program is a 3-credit optional course where interns learn about key issues in the disability community and develop skills to advocate on the local, state, and national level. Lastly, interns receive opportunities to attend events and network on Capitol Hill, conferences, community events, briefings, and more.