Internships and Volunteering
Welcome to the Western Michigan University Center for Disability Services internship site. Congratulations on reaching this most exciting stage in your college career—your internship!
CDS provides students with an opportunity for innovative learning and discovery in the field of disabilities. The practical experience promotes engagement and service to the community and encourages students to pursue careers in related fields. CDS has two different internship opportunities for students in various departments on campus such as, Interdisciplinary Health Services, Exercise Science and Art Therapy. CDS also has strong partnerships with the Department of Occupational Therapy, the Department of Blindness and Low Vision Studies, the Department of Psychology, School of Music and the Department of Human Performance and Health Education. The two internship experiences offered are:
- Community Connections Skill Building Program internship, which is an on-campus day program for adults with disabilities in the Ernest Wilbur Building on WMU's east campus.
- WMU Senior Day Services internship, a day program located in Kalamazoo that serves adults and seniors with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, or other conditions that require supervision or who benefit from socialization throughout the day.
Our internship experiences gives students the ability to integrate and apply their knowledge as well as hone skills in preparation for employment or graduate study.
If you are interested in an internship with the Center for Disability Services or Senior Day Services, please contact Dawn Robarge, internship coordinator.
Students will have the ability to gain experience working with individuals with disabilities by:
- Assisting individuals to actively participate in a variety of activities.
- Facilitating communication and interaction with individuals.
- Learning about diagnoses.
- Planning or assisting with activities and teaching skills.
- Providing support services.
- Supporting individuals in community based activities and volunteer placements.
- Understanding and using the basic principles of positive behavioral supports.
- Working on special projects.
- A minimum of 200 - 450 clock hours is required for internships (depending on your area of study).
- Must be able to pass criminal background check.
- Must complete a TB test.
- Must have completed relevant coursework.
If you are a WMU student and are interested in volunteering with the Center for Disability Services or Senior Day Services, just fill out this form and bring it in to the Ernest Wilbur Building between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. The EWB is located on east campus in front of the College of Health and Human Services.
- As a volunteer you will be assigned to assist a CDS or SDS staff in running a group activity. You will not be left alone with a CDS consumer at any time. You will be expected to observe, converse and interact with consumers as you are comfortable doing so.
- We strongly encourage you to ask questions and make this volunteer opportunity a learning experience.
- You are responsible for tracking and recording your hours.