Career-Enhancing Technology Options for People With Disabilities
The unemployment rate of people with disabilities has stayed at around 30% for the last 20 years, according to Cornell University’s Disability Statistics. Hopefully, this number can shrink as technology makes gainful employment more accessible to everyone. Today, Jim Weinstein will take a quick dive into technologies that can help people with disabilities gain and maintain the job of their dreams.
It’s estimated that by 2025, around a quarter of the entire US workforce won’t have a commute. Instead, these workers will log in from home. This is great news for people with mobility disabilities that make public transportation a problem. Hive explains that there are many different types of remote work tools, including videoconferencing, project management, and instant messaging. These make it easy to communicate and collaborate with people all over the world.
Online Resumes and Virtual Interviews
A resume is an important tool in any job search. It is your chance to make a good first impression on potential employers and set yourself apart from the competition. Saving your resume as PDF will make it look more professional. Also, there are plenty of guides written by the experts; this may help give you an advantage over the competition!
The internet has also made it easier for people with disabilities to find jobs. Sites like LinkedIn allow people to share the best about themselves on their professional online presence without highlighting what others may perceive as barriers to the workforce. LinkedIn is also excellent at connecting people with a network that can help them find a job. (The premium version even gives insight into who’s been visiting a specific LinkedIn profile) A great profile, which includes a professional image and a succinct list of qualifications, is a must for all people job hunting online. It is also wise to take advantage of relevant smart home technology to make interviewing virtually easy.
Although public buildings must adhere to ADA standards, navigating crowds, corridors, and other barriers often make in-person learning a challenge. Online courses through trusted sites, such as Udemy, EdX, and Coursera can open up doors for people with disabilities to learn new skills. There is virtually no limit to the type of skills people can learn online. Training courses exist for personal enrichment, such as learning a new language, and for more complex ideas, such as software development. While the course material may vary from one training program to the other, the majority of online programs should be accessible to the vast majority of users.
Employers can cater to remote workers and job seekers by ensuring their website is accessible for all. Search Engine Journal explains that this should include having the ability to enlarge fonts and increase contrast, as well as offering keyboard navigation and cutting back on the use of tables. Web accessibility should also be extended to customers and vendors, as businesses never know when one of their most important connections is a person with a disability.
Many people with disabilities find that entrepreneurship suits them better than working for someone else. In fact, according to the National Disability Institute, there are more than 1.8 million disabled-owned businesses in the US alone. While both present challenges independently, e-commerce capabilities, remote work platforms, and even simple technology, such as voice headsets, make entrepreneurship that much more accessible. A few business ideas for people with disabilities include writing, web design, photo editing, teaching music, and pet sitting.
For recent graduates who are neurodiverse, pursuing entrepreneurship presents an opportunity to capitalize on their unique abilities and perspectives in the business world. By embarking on this path, they can harness their innovative thinking and problem-solving skills to create groundbreaking ideas and solutions. Establishing a venture that aligns with their passions allows them to build an inclusive workspace that caters to their needs and fosters a supportive environment. Moreover, their entrepreneurial journey serves as an inspiration for other neurodiverse individuals, promoting diversity and acceptance in the realm of business.
Today, resume builders and networking sites such as LinkedIn (along with remote work capabilities) make everything from employment to entrepreneurship possible for people of all abilities. While certain disabilities can create challenges, technology has given hope that these can be overcome.
If you’re looking for an experienced career counselor and life coach, call Jim Weinstein today at (202) 667-0665.