Paul Marchand Internship in Disability Public Policy

The Arc is the nation's leading advocacy organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families.  The Arc’s national public policy office works to advance the interests of people with I/DD and their families on the federal level through our legislative, regulatory, and legal advocacy.  Our more than 700 state and local chapters provide a voice at the local and state legislative levels for people with I/DD and their families. 

For 38 years, Paul Marchand was a dedicated disability policy advocate and recognized leader working on behalf of people with I/DD and the entire disability community.  Upon his retirement in 2011, The Arc, with substantial contributions from United Cerebral Palsy and other organizations and individuals with whom Paul worked during his decades in Washington, established an internship to honor Paul and to continue to cultivate policy advocates for people with I/DD.


The Paul Marchand Internship Fund will provide $3,000 per semester or summer session which can assist interns pursuing careers in public policy advocacy for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Students who seek an internship for college or graduate school credit may be able to use the funds to offset travel or other cost-of-living expenses.  Students pursuing degrees in public policy, law, disability studies, social work or public administration would be good candidates for this internship.  People with disabilities, or people with family members with disabilities, are encouraged to apply. 

Desired Qualifications

  • Understanding of challenges and circumstances of individuals with I/DD such as employment, housing and education
  • Familiarity with political players and processes of American government desired
  • Knowledge of government programs, such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid
  • Strong writing skills
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word 
  • Undergraduate or graduate student, recent post graduate, self-advocate, or state/local executive or advocate

Internship Responsibilities

  • Research existing law and monitor pending legislation
  • Engage in policy discussions regarding issues affecting people with disabilities
  • Attend hearings, briefings, training events, and coalition meetings
  • Assist with writing for departmental publications of The Arc
  • Help with arrangements for constituent visits and lobbying appointments
  • Follow current events pertaining to people with disabilities
  • Complete special projects as determined by policy staff
  • Complete a written report at the end of the internship
  • Through the Paul Marchand Internship Fund, interns will receive a stipend.
  • For students receiving credit from schools which do not allow students to receive payment, The Arc will work with the student and the school to determine whether an equivalent stipend can be provided for transportation and other work-related expenses.
  • The Paul Marchand Internship is also available to pay matching share for students with work study grant who are seeking an off-campus placement.
  • Internships will generally be for the duration of one academic semester or summer term.  However, arrangements can be made to extend internships for up to one calendar year.
  • Internships will be located at The Arc’s public policy office in Washington, D.C.  As an alternative, an intern candidate may propose to complete the internship at another disability organization (“host” organization) which is a member of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities and located in the Washington Metro area.  Examples include United Cerebral Palsy and Easter Seals.  The host organization must commit to pay the Paul Marchand Internship Fund an amount equal to one-third of the internship.

Application Process

Applicants should send a resume, cover letter, and reference list of contacts including employers, professors, and mentors.  The cover letter should be no more than 2 pages and address why the applicant wants this internship, the knowledge and skills he/she brings to the organization, and where the applicant wants to intern.  If the applicant desires to intern with another host organization, the application should also include a letter from the host organization stating willingness to engage the intern and contribute one-third of the internship to the fund.

Applications are due:                                                   Applications can be mailed to: 

Feb 15 - for the summer term                                           Public Policy Office

Apr 15 - for the fall term                                                     The Arc of the United States

Oct 1 - for the spring term                                                 1825 K Street NW, Suite 1200

                                        OR e-mailed to

Selection Process

Public Policy staff will make the selection on the basis of the submitted materials and phone interviews.


What is the schedule?

Summer Sessions:
Feb 15                     Applications due                                                  
Feb 29                     Telephone interviews completed
March 5                    Selected candidate notified
June (Flexible)          Beginning of 9-10 week internship

Fall Sessions*:
April 15                   Applications due
April 29                   Telephone interviews completed
June 4                    Candidate notified
Sept (Flexible)         Beginning of 12-13 week internship

Spring Sessions:
Oct 1                       Applications due
Oct 15                     Telephone interviews completed
Oct  23                    Candidate notified
Jan (Flexible)            Beginning of 12-13 week internship

Can you recommend any housing options?

Interns are responsible for making their housing arrangements.  Here are a few resources:

Washington Intern Student Housing (WISH) provides furnished, intern-only residences. Most locations are within 3 blocks of the U.S. Capitol Grounds, the farthest one is 7, and all are on the Metro. See:

The International Student House provides room and board for interns and students who are at least 21 years of age.  Located in the historic Dupont Circle neighborhood, and only one Metro stop away from The Arc’s offices.  See:

Many of the city’s universities offer housing options for summer interns.   Please contact the housing departments of the universities that are located near our offices:

Craig’s List provides a listing of a variety of housing options.  See:

What are the transportation options to get to and from The Arc’s office?

Metro rail.  We are conveniently located 1 block away from both the Farragut North (red line) and Farragut West (blue/orange line) Metro stations.  Metro is fully accessible.  For rates, trip planning, maps, and accessibility information, and more, see:

Bus.  Metrobus provides more than 400,000 trips each weekday serving 11,500 bus stops in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia.  For rates, trip planning, maps, and accessibility information, and more, see:

Car. There are numerous paid parking garages in and around our building at 1825 K St., NW.  However, they tend to be expensive.  For locations, rates, maps and more, see:

When is the stipend paid?

Interns will receive an initial payment within one week of beginning their internship in the amount of $1,000.  They will receive two additional payments 4 and 8 weeks after the initial payment.

Will my travel expenses be reimbursed?

Interns’ travel expenses to and from Washington, D.C., and daily travel to and from the office will not be reimbursed.  The stipend is intended to help cover these and other expenses.  However, work-related travel to and from Capitol Hill and other locations in the metro area can be reimbursed. 

Can the internship be completed remotely?

No.  Due to the need to attend events on Capitol Hill and to meet with coalition partners and others, the intern would need to perform the work in Washington, DC.