AMA Omaha recently partnered with Patrick Young from AbleUSA for the blog post below. Many people are searching for work during this time and Patrick wanted to provide our members, and community, with ways people with disabilities can use technology in their career search. We encourage you to share this valuable resource with your network.
Patrick Young created Able USA to offer resources and advice to others with disabilities in an effort to help them navigate the various aspects of life as a person with a disability.
Read other AbleUSA blogs here: https://ableusa.info/blog/
Career Wise: Technology and Its Benefits for Disabled Workers
Working as a person with a disability, you’ve probably already found that there are some minor barriers in the workplace. Fortunately, today’s digital age means that these are fewer and further in between than what our parents and grandparents would’ve experienced. Today, we will explore just a few of the technologies that have changed the way we work when we work as many people with disabilities do, remotely.
First, Upgrade Your Computer
Before doing anything else, you need to ensure that your computer is up to snuff. Without a fast, reliable computer, you may find yourself overwhelmed with crashes, freezes, and diminished productivity. There are many computers on the market that are perfect for businesses; PC Magazine has a list of the top laptops for businesses, including the Apple MacBook Pro and the HP Elite Dragonfly. And if you want to save some money, you can watch until this year’s Black Friday sales, which is a great time to find some really deep discounts.
One of the greatest things to happen to us over the last few decades is the ability to work from home. Originally, this posed problems as it was difficult to collaborate and communicate effectively and in real time with our coworkers, employees, and superiors. Fortunately, we’ve had about a decade to refine the process, and we’ve learned many ways to enhance connection among a remote workforce. This is especially crucial when you’re dealing with a global workforce.
Many tools, such as Zoom and Slack, are easily downloaded and offer features such as subtitled videos, telephone access, and chat. When used in conjunction with high-speed internet, these help us stay together even when we’re apart. When used correctly, these collaboration tools along with workflow systems can completely replace a brick-and-mortar workplace.
Remote education is not just for college students anymore. There are many online learning platforms that cater to busy, working adults. You can learn virtually any aspect of your industry from the comfort of home, which means you do not have to look for an on-site academic center that can cater to your abilities.
Remote education can help you gain certifications, brush up on your current skills, or dive headfirst into something brand-new. And, if you have never worked remotely before, taking a few classes will help you refine the skills you need to work without supervision. The Work At Home Woman lists just a few of these as communication, critical thinking, and organizational skills.
Before applying for an online certification or class, do your research. You may find that different providers offer a similar curriculum and certifications at vastly different prices. You also want to check reviews from former students and, if you’re looking to get a raise because of your academic endeavors, ask your employer for their recommendations. You may even find that they are willing to pay for you to go back to school.
Entrepreneurial opportunities abound for people with disabilities as do vacant jobs that can easily be done from home. If you’re looking for work, you can easily find a job as one of the many data entry specialists that sell their skills on sites such as Upwork. Other at-home opportunities include customer service, insurance sales, marketing, and consulting.
When your goal is to work fully for yourself, the internet has your back here, too. While you can always fall back on the skills that you’ve learned or gained during your career, you can also look online to buy a business that you can run from home.
Ultimately, technology has turned what used to be a hassle into an opportunity. People with disabilities no longer have to hope that their future employer can provide reasonable accommodations, and working remotely makes the salary playing field that much more even. Whether you are looking for a job, planning to go back to school, or want to start your own business, our information and technology-based society has made it possible to do any of these things when you are ready.
Image via Pexels.