Work Experience Program 2023

Closing the disability employment gap

June 26 – 29, 2023

The Work Experience Program (WEP) is a collaborative effort between the Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) and the Human Resources Division (HRD) to help close the disability employment gap by connecting talented candidates with disabilities to state agencies committed to hiring a diverse workforce.

The application period for host agencies has now closed.

The WEP takes place from June 26-29, 2023. It is made up of three parts:

  1. Virtual opening, closing, and networking sessions
  2. Optional informational webinars
  3. Job shadowing (a minimum of 4 hours per day on June 27, 28, and 29)

Each host agency will be matched with one or more participants. Optional webinars offered to host agencies during the WEP may include topics such as:

  • Disability etiquette training
  • Panel discussion with current Commonwealth employees with disabilities
  • ADA compliance for state agencies
  • How to respond to reasonable accommodation requests from employees
  • Digital accessibility 101

Job shadowing may occur virtually or in-person, depending on the preferences of host agencies and participants.

The application period for host agencies has now closed.

Table of Contents

Who are the participants?

Work Experience Program participants are vetted by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB). All participants are individuals 21 years of age or older who identify as a person with a disability and meet minimum education requirements.

MRC and MCB's expert vocational rehabilitation counselors match participants with host agencies based on skills, experience, interests, career goals, location, and a variety of other factors. If a participant requires a reasonable accommodation to participate, MOD will oversee processing the request.

Who can apply to be a host agency?

Any Executive Branch agency is eligible to apply to be a host agency.

Past host agencies have included the Department of Corrections, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council, and the Department of Developmental Services.

What are the requirements for host agencies?

Time commitment

This is a four-day program from June 26 – 29, 2023. Host agencies must commit to a minimum of four hours of job shadowing on June 27, 28, and 29thbetween the hours of 8 AM – 6 PM. Host agencies may choose the hours that work best for them. The virtual opening, closing, and networking sessions and optional informational webinars do not count toward the four hours.

Host agencies have the option of hosting their participant(s) virtually or in-person.

Staff participation

Each host agency must have a designated staff person to serve as a primary point of contact with WEP organizers and to develop the participant’s job shadowing schedule. This person is not expected to be with the participant throughout their entire job shadowing experience.

Host agencies may host more than one participant if desired. Please indicate so in your application.

Job shadowing

Job shadowing is the main component of the WEP. In order to maximize the benefits of this program for both participants and host agencies, we ask that host agencies commit to a minimum of four hours of job shadowing on June 27th, 28th, and 29th.

Host agencies may choose to organize the job shadowing component in the way that works best for their agency needs. Some host agencies may provide a generalized job shadowing experience, in which participants spend time shadowing employees in a range of positions at the agency. Other host agencies may wish to have participants primarily shadow one or two employees or job positions. We will ensure that participants’ interests line up with the shadowing experience you are able to provide.

After the program

Our hope is that this program will build connections to provide agencies with a pool of talented job candidates. However, there is no expectation that host agencies will hire WEP participants and no requirement that host agencies are currently hiring.


The application period for host agencies has now closed. 

For questions, please contact Lilia Melikechi, Communications and Training Manager at the Massachusetts Office on Disability, at

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