The least of the work of learning is done in the classroom.
— Thomas Merton, author
The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) offers unpaid internships and practicums to enrolled college students. Internships are available at the:
- DADS headquarters (Austin, Texas)
- Agency's regional headquarters or local community services offices around the state
- State supported living centers for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
People majoring in finance, gerontology, medicine, psychology, social work, computer science, nursing, or physical or occupational therapy may benefit from a DADS internship.
How do I get started with an unpaid internship or practicum?
- Research and identify your study area of interest within DADS.
- Complete the DADS volunteer application, specifying "intern" and the area of interest. Students can expect initial contact from a DADS staff member within five working days of submitting an application. Any additional requirements will be discussed at that time.
- It takes an average of three to six weeks from the date of the online application before an internship is finalized. Students are responsible for following up on the status of their internship request. If you have not worked out a schedule for contact with the program area manager after two weeks from the first date of contact, contact the DADS Volunteer and Community Engagement office at 1-800-889-8595.
- Make final arrangements with the DADS program area manager and the university/college before scheduling service hours for the internship.
What training will I receive?
All interns are required to take the following computer-based training (CBT) courses. The material is designed to help you learn about DADS and better understand the people we serve. It should take about 20 minutes or less to complete each CBT.
There is a short test at the end of most of the CBTs that reviews the course materials. But don't worry — you can refer to the material in the CBT if you need to do so when answering the questions.
- DADS 101
- Volunteer Orientation: Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
- Volunteer Orientation: Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation
- Volunteer Orientation: Emergency Response Training
- Volunteer Orientation: Infection Control
- Volunteer Orientation: Rights of Consumers
At the end "Rights of Consumers" course you will be given instructions to create a certificate of completion as proof you completed orientation. A copy must be provided to the volunteer supervisor and emailed to VolunteerDADS@dads.state.tx.us.
Depending on your assignment, you may also need to take the following courses:
Once you have been assigned to an office, you will be given on-the-job training related to what you will be doing.
Note: You may need to disable your browser's pop-up blocker for the course to work properly. (Some browsers call this "enabling" pop-ups.) You may have more than one pop-up blocker on your computer. Check for additional pop-up blockers on your "Tools" menu and on any additional toolbars, such as Google or Yahoo. ALL pop-up blockers must be disabled for this course to work. If disabling all your pop-up blockers doesn't work, try holding down the control key and clicking on your browser's refresh/reload icon to refresh your computer.