The NCIL Policy Internship Program

Note: Until further notice, the NCIL Internship Program will be done remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) hosts 2 internship positions each semester at our headquarters in Washington, DC. The NCIL Policy Internship Program is open to students and individuals pursuing a career in a field relevant to NCIL interests, particularly Independent Living and disability advocacy. Although not a requirement, preference shall be given to individuals with disabilities. This program will provide real Washington policy experience to participants at a highly respected national organization.

NCIL is the longest-running national cross-disability, grassroots organization run by and for people with disabilities. Founded in 1982, NCIL represents thousands of organizations and individuals including: Centers for Independent Living (CILs), Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs), individuals with disabilities, and other organizations that advocate for the human and civil rights of people with disabilities throughout the United States.

Each semester’s program includes 2 internships, typically lasting 12 weeks. Interns are required to work at least 10-15 hours each week. Typically, scheduling and hours are negotiated after an intern is selected.

Although internships are unpaid, NCIL will cover the cost of all job-related travel to meetings, and assist interns with post-graduation job placement at related organizations. NCIL will also assist students seeking academic credit if the opportunity exists at their school. Successful candidates completing the internship program will gain valuable policy experience in Washington, and will be ideal candidates for open positions at NCIL, CILs, and other advocacy organizations across the country.


  • Strong interest in disability rights
  • Basic knowledge of the legislative process and governmental structures
  • Ability to express ideas clearly and concisely through writing
  • Ability to collaborate with others
  • Experience with computers and internet databases


  • Learn about the Independent Living philosophy, related organizations, laws, and government agencies
  • Provide general support for NCIL committees and subcommittees
  • Monitor media resources for information relevant to NCIL committees and subcommittees
  • Attend and report on congressional hearings, briefings, and other events on Capitol Hill
  • Attend inter-organizational and governmental meetings
  • Develop materials for membership dissemination, including NCIL’s Advocacy Monitor and action alerts
  • Assist with the development of NCIL’s media resources
  • Organize and develop original informational material for NCIL’s new website
  • Help manage NCIL’s social media pages
  • Update congressional member and staff contact information
  • Assist with NCIL Annual Conference and other NCIL events
  • Additional duties as assigned by the Executive Director and Policy Analyst

To Apply: Please email a cover letter, resume, and letter of recommendation to Lindsay Baran at Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for every semester. To be considered for the summer internship program, your application must be received by April 1.