4 Ways Technology Is Helping People with Disabilities Get Hired

 

4 Ways Technology Is Helping People with Disabilities Get Hired

4 Ways Technology Is Helping People with Disabilities

Fewer than one in five Americans with a disability were employed in 2019, and it’s not for a lack of trying. The truth is, people with disabilities face a lot of barriers to a good job. In addition to disability discrimination, people with disabilities face barriers in education, transportation, and work environments. While these obstacles are still present, technology is opening up new opportunities for people with disabilities to find work.

 

Would you like to know more? Below are three ways that people with disabilities are harnessing technology to finally get hired.

Online Degree Programs

Colleges and universities are required to accommodate disabled students, but many young adults with disabilities still struggle in the standard college environment. Online degree programs let people with disabilities pursue higher education in the setting of their choosing so they can focus on learning, not navigating complicated disability documentation.

 

While getting a degree doesn’t guarantee a job, it does increase the odds of employment for people with disabilities. Depending on the program, it could open a path to self-employment.

Start a Home-Based Business

People with disabilities are nearly twice as likely to be self-employed — 10 percent of workers with a disability run their own business compared to 5.9 percent of workers without a disability. Home-based businesses are especially popular among people with disabilities because it eliminates the need to commute or find an accessible office.

However, that doesn’t mean working from home is effortless for people with disabilities. Entrepreneurs with physical limitations may need to install grab bars in their workspace, purchase adaptive computing equipment, or invest in web accessibility tools that allow them to work efficiently. In some cases, home-based workers may be able to get grants to help pay for home modifications. The Self-Sufficiency Grant from ModestNeeds.org, for example, offers assistance to people who are pursuing self-sufficiency but aren’t necessarily low-income. Adults with spinal cord injury should consider the Individual Adaptive Equipment Grant from the Travis Roy Foundation, which helps with small home modifications including adaptive computers.

Find a Remote Job

Starting a business isn’t the only way to work from home. As remote jobs become commonplace, there are more opportunities for people with disabilities to find a job that allows telecommuting. In addition to finding a full- or part-time W-2 job, people with disabilities can get hired on a freelance basis through online platforms like UpWork and FlexJobs.

 

Some common remote jobs include:

 

  • ●●Customer service representative

  • ●●Virtual assistant

  • ●●Data entry clerk

  • ●●Medical coder

  • ●●Developer

  • ●●Graphic designer

  • ●●Social media manager

  • ●●Writer

Take Advantage of Assistive Technology

For some people, home is where they’re happiest and most productive, but not everyone thrives working at home. Remote work offers fewer opportunities to mingle with colleagues, gain hands-on training, or rub elbows with higher-ups. These drawbacks can be especially pronounced for people with disabilities who already face barriers to career advancement.

 

Luckily, new leaps in assistive technology mean that workers with disabilities don’t have to shy away from the office. Whether it’s glasses that convert the written word to spoken language or exoskeletal arms that support strength and dexterity, there is a wide range of tools that enable people with disabilities to be an asset in the workplace.

 

A job is more than an income; it’s also a connection to a community, a sense of purpose, and a source of fulfillment. While it may be a while before every person with a disability who wants a job can find one, technology is opening up countless doors for people with disabilities.

 

Image via Pexels

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