The Gregory S. Fehribach Center - Programs - Eskenazi Health

The Gregory S. Fehribach Center at Eskenazi Health began as a partnership between Eskenazi Health and Ball State University to provide internships in fields related to their academic majors to Ball State students with physical disabilities. One Ball State student interned in 2011, and the program was formalized in 2013 with only Ball State students participating until 2016.

Through 2023, a total of 195 students have participated in 400 internships. The program has grown to include students from 40 colleges and universities and 39 employers, including Ascend Indiana, BraunAbility, Christel House International, Cummins, the Eiteljorg Museum, Eli Lilly and Company, Eskenazi Health, Ice Miller, The Indiana Pacers The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Lumina Foundation, Old National Bank, and the State of Indiana. 

College Students with Physical Disabilities Earn Internships with Fehribach Center
Providing Opportunities for Students with Disabilities

To fulfill its mission, the Fehribach Center engages in four components of programming:

  • Internship Program

    The Fehribach Center provides a paid internship program and professional development for college students with physical disabilities at Eskenazi Health and other partners in Indiana.
  • Research

    The Fehribach Center strives to provide funding and coordinate research at a national level on issues pertaining to equitable employment for college students and graduates with physical disabilities.
  • Educational Outreach

    The Fehribach Center provides education and outreach to students with physical disabilities, K-12 educators, families, higher education professionals and employers related to students progressing through the educational systems for the foundations needed to achieve equitable employment.
  • Public Policy

    The Fehribach Center uses research findings and cumulative practices and experiences to inform and influence public policy, with an aim to equalize opportunities for the economic independence, equitable employment and full civic engagement of college graduates with physical disabilities in communities in Indiana and throughout the United States.

To support the Gregory S. Fehribach Center, please visit More information about the Fehribach Center mission, interns, leaders and allies, outreach efforts, and evaluation and research findings can be found in our most recent Annual Report

  • Internship Program
  • Research Operations
  • Educational Outreach

The Gregory S. Fehribach Center offers eight-week internships each summer. A small number are also offered in the spring and fall. These are paid, full-time internships in fields related to the student’s major, with housing and transportation assistance offered when needed. Interns are matched with programs and departments that align with their academic pursuits, interests and/or career goals. Weekly professional development workshops have included topics such as interviewing skills, disclosure and self-advocacy, leadership skills and opportunities, personal finance, professional etiquette, and strategies for advancement in the workplace.

Interns are placed in either a wide range of departments within Eskenazi Health or with our growing number of partner employers. In each case, the placement directly aligns with that intern’s career goals. Examples of the diverse range of internship areas include:

  • Health care/nursing                                                                      
  • Information technology
  • Public affairs/communications
  • Engineering
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Supply chain management                         
  • Social work
  • Biomedical engineering
  • Research                                                            
  • Human resources
  • Accounting/finance
  • Education
  • Project management

Qualifications to participate in an internship with the Fehribach Center include:

  • Current college students (or graduates within the last year) who are enrolled at a university in the state of Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, or Ohio
  • A physical disability (mobility, orthopaedic, visual or hearing)
  • A competitive grade point average
  • An updated resume and cover letter
  • Three letters of reference from faculty members, supervisors or a person who can speak about the candidate’s work ethic and attitude

The deadline to apply for the summer internship program is Jan. 31. For more information, please call 317.880.3312.

The Fehribach Center began developing a research component in 2020 with the goal of making meaningful contributions to the academic literature base about barriers to and best practices in shaping equitable employment for college students and graduates with physical disabilities.

Our national Research Advisory Board meets twice a year to discuss current research trends. Each year, the Fehribach Center awards three $10,000 grants to members of this board so they can conduct studies involving the Fehribach Center’s interns or alum or data from other college graduates with physical disabilities and employment outcomes. Their findings are presented and shared with the Fehribach Center, presented at national conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals.

Recent studies that were funded by the Fehribach Center include:

  • Melinda Messineo, Ph.D. (Ball State University): The College to Career Transition – The Power of Networks and Social Capital
  • Pamela Luft, Ph.D., and Collin Meyer, M.A. (Kent State University): Contribution of Social Networks to Career Confidence of Postsecondary Students with Physical or Sensory Disabilities as well as Online and Face-to-Face Accommodations for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Postsecondary Students:  Challenges and Successes
  • Allison R. Fleming, Ph.D., Celine M. Kristoff, B.S., (Penn State University) and Brian N. Phillips, Ph.D. (Utah State University): Changes in Self-Determination with Internship Participation:  Evidence from a Summer Internship Program for College Students with Physical Disabilities

Fehribach Center staff members provide education and training to many community partners, including K-12 communities, families, higher education professionals and employers related to students matriculating through the educational systems and into meaningful careers.

Virtual and in-person events are conducted including Lunch & Learn workshops, presentations at state and national conferences, publications in practice journals, and a virtual Community of Practice (CoP) with Disability Services and Career Services professionals on campuses around the state.  The Campus Connections CoP supports collaborations between these service providers to enhance their evidence-based delivery of effective career preparation for students with disabilities.

Plans are underway to support similar partnerships at the high school level. Fehribach Center staff are working with teams at central Indiana high schools (special education teachers, career counselors, social studies teachers) to create programming adapted to each school. The program will include an informational video, a student mentoring program, a social studies curriculum unit on the disability rights movement and a virtual CoP for the participating school educators.

Read more about our work in the practitioner articles:

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