Turning Point HCM has had the pleasure of working with Patrick Young to provide you with this informative article. Patrick Young is an educator and activist. He believes people with disabilities must live within a unique set of circumstances--the outside world often either underestimates them or ignores their needs altogether. He created Able USA to offer helpful resources to people with disabilities and to provide advice on navigating various aspects of life as a person with disabilities.
If you hold a physical, sensory, intellectual, or psychological disability or impairment, you may already be familiar with some of the more common barriers to employment. With disadvantages like discrimination, transportation difficulties, and long-held disability stigmas, employees with disabilities are faced with numerous challenges and concerns in the workplace.
However, certain modern-day technologies can help you to overcome these challenges, further your career, and succeed as an employee with disabilities. This article from the human resource professionals at Turning Point Human Capital Management will introduce you to three types of technology that can help to boost your career, regardless of the disability you hold.
Distance Learning to Advance Your Career
Whether you’ve been thinking of applying to college for the first time or going back to school to earn an advanced degree, an online learning program could be a great way to expand your knowledge and get one step closer to advancing your career. If you dream of becoming a certified public accountant (CPA), for instance, an online accounting degree could be your first step toward achieving this goal. By obtaining an online business degree in accounting, you’ll learn key skills in management, economics, finance, and marketing — all from the comfort of home. Depending on your career goals, strengths, and interests, other online degree programs are available in areas such as healthcare management, nursing, information technology (IT), and education. However, not all distance learning tools are accessible to students with disabilities, so be sure to do your homework before enrolling in an online degree program.
Assistive Technologies to Minimize Challenges
Whether you work or learn from home — or in an office or classroom — several assistive technologies can help to boost your efficiency and productivity if you hold visual, auditory, or motor skill impairments. According to the experts at SHRM, several assistive technologies for employees with disabilities include:
Computer screen readers for blindness and low vision.
Screen magnification software programs.
Wearable technology for visual impairments.
Color identification apps.
Video relay services (VRS).
Live captioning technologies.
Speech recognition software.
In addition to these technologies, assistive mobile apps can help to make life easier on the job, at home, and while furthering your education. LifeZest recommends apps like Voice4u AAC, Proloquo2Go, Be My Eyes, and CoughDrop.
Flexible Job Opportunities to Work from Home
Home-based employment opportunities can benefit workers with disabilities in many ways, largely because remote work typically offers flexible scheduling, an easier commute, and other accommodations that may not be available onsite. By working from home, you’ll eliminate or reduce your commute to and from the office each day — saving you time, money, and loads of frustration. If you have a service or emotional support animal, working from home can be more comfortable for the animal as well.
Moreover, job search websites like FlexJobs, ZipRecruiter, Indeed, and Remotive can help you to find work-from-home opportunities in areas such as accounting, data entry, editing, graphic design, project management, sales, and customer service. FlexJobs even has a list of companies committed to hiring workers with disabilities, including those such as Wells Fargo, Northrop Grumman, Hilton, and Mastercard.
A Final Word
Getting ahead at work can be a challenge when you hold a disability or impairment, but remote learning, assistive technologies, and home-based job opportunities can help you to overcome some of the more common barriers to employment — and advance your career and education. Thanks to modern-day technologies such as these, you can work toward the college degree you’ve always wanted, interact with others more easily, and find a flexible job that allows you to work in an environment that’s both comfortable and accessible to you.
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