Initiative for Empowerment and Economic Independence - Programs - Eskenazi Health

The Initiative for Empowerment and Economic Independence (IEEI) empowers Indiana college students with physical disabilities to find gainful, sustainable and equitable employment by engaging qualified students with physical disabilities into comprehensive and diverse internship opportunities that build skills, confidence and work history to maximize competitiveness in the workforce.

Students are accepted to the program because they demonstrated the work ethic, skill and drive to pursue and obtain gainful employment following matriculation. They are representative of the untapped pool of qualified employees so often overlooked by employers. This program accepts qualified, capable students with a variety of physical disabilities.

Students participating in the internship program are provided a barrier-free opportunity to build skills in their areas of interest, enhance their resumes with practical work experience and increase their overall confidence level in the workplace. These on-the-job skills are enhanced by interactions with Eskenazi Health leadership and community stakeholders to promote peripheral skill-building, such as networking and professional development. The goal is to match the interns with programs/departments that align with their academic pursuits, interests and/or career goals.

Another primary goal of the program is to impact attitudes and culture in the workplace – to break through hesitancies and misconceptions that staff may have about supervising or working alongside persons with disabilities, and to foster an inclusive environment of acceptance, respect and understanding.

Eskenazi Health remains committed to becoming a leader in the employment and advancement of individuals with disabilities; providing opportunities for personal and professional growth for young adults with physical disabilities; establishing an integrated culture where co-workers achieve success together in an inclusive and accommodating environment; and establishing a national standard for the recruitment of qualified individuals with disabilities into the workforce.