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    Adapting to Life Outside Our Home With SMA

    I once heard a joke that a woman’s mind is like an Internet browser that has 1000 tabs open and running at once. I laughed at the time, but came to realize that if I didn’t actually feel like this before hearing the short acronym “SMA,” I most certainly do now.

    I spend much of my time pre-planning and thinking of possible problems that we may run into because of the kids’ diagnoses. I think many other SMA parents do this as well. Prior to our lives with SMA, we didn’t realize just how inaccessible the world is to those who are differently-abled.

  • This topic has 2 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 1 year, 5 months ago by Kevin Schaefer.

    • Author
      • #12933
        Kevin Schaefer

        If you are a current student, you’ve probably heard a million times how important it is to find an internship. It’s quite true. Acquiring internships and work experience while you’re still a student is crucial. The more you network and explore opportunities while you’re still in school, the easier it will be for you to find employment after college.

        I wanted to share this article, which specifically addresses resources for students with disabilities: https://www.washington.edu/doit/what-resources-can-help-students-disabilities-locate-internships-and-other-work-based-experiences.

        For me, I worked for my university’s student newspaper all four years. When I became Features Editor my Junior year, I was able to use that position as a credited internship. I took an internship course to coincide with it, and I was able to do a lot of networking through that position. From there I wrote for other websites during the summers, became an ambassador within the English department and did anything else I could to add to my resume.

        My best advice is to network as much as you can while you’re still in school, talk with your professors as much as you can and take opportunities as they come your way. Obviously you don’t want to overload yourself, but you also don’t want to just go to class and do nothing else. Employers like to see you gain work experience sooner rather than later.

        What about you all? Have any of you done internships? What was your experience?

      • #12970
        Alex Telenson

        I took full advantage of every and all opportunity that became available through my schools disability resource office. Through there summer internships I was able to land a government job almost immediately post-graduation. Although I no longer work for the government (long story), the opportunity was invaluable as the government is one of the most accommodating institutions there is. Highly recommend getting as involved with the disability office as much as possible.

        • #12973
          Kevin Schaefer

          I’m glad you brought both of those things up. My school’s disability services office was instrumental for me as well. They got me set up with Vocational Rehabilitation and helped me get classroom accommodations. I recommend anyone with SMA or another disability look into the disability services department of whichever school they’re considering.

          Likewise, government jobs are a great option for people with disabilities. I applied for a position with my local parks and recreation department after college, but ended up getting the job here at BioNews. Great tips!

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