As a differently abled individual, it’s common to face obstacles in your pursuit of a professional career, but these obstacles are diminishing thanks to technology. With the right tools, it’s possible to improve your efficiency, upskill, seek new opportunities or even start a business of your own – here are a few areas for you to consider.
Tech is constantly improving our access to educational resources. Not only does remote learning erode geographical barriers, but there are also tools built to facilitate a wider range of learners – if you have a learning impairment, for example, you can opt for audio/visual materials and adjust your pace or even consider assistive devices such as screen readers.
Seeking new roles is easier than ever with the array of online tools. You’ll find a number of disability advocacy and support groups that offer free job training/job-placement assistance, such as the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) – this is a service provided by the United States Department of Labor offering advice for a range of disabilities. You also have the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP), which is a recruitment and referral program designed to connect differently abled job seekers with federal sector employers in a range of locations.
For individuals with disabilities, self-employment is a viable option that is often worth considering. Technologies such as VoIP make it easy to communicate with clients and customers, and there is plenty of software that automates fiddly, menial tasks such as bookkeeping, invoicing, and more.
For self-starters, you may also find help in the form of business grants and loans – the US Small Business Administration, for example, offers microloans of up to $50,000 for small businesses, with at least 3% of these geared towards veterans with disabilities. There is also the Small Disadvantaged Business Grant, which is provided to those operating with a disadvantage outside of their control. Take some time to review your options and decide which you’d be eligible for.
Resume and CV
Whether you’re working for yourself or someone else, to give your application the best chance of success, it helps to have a clean, well-designed resume and CV showcasing your latest skills, experience, education, and achievements. You can create an eye-catching CV with a CV template. Predesigned templates can be modified with your own copy, fonts, and images.
In addition to the programs, grants, and other opportunities at your disposal, you’ll find no shortage of innovative technology geared toward aiding those with disabilities.
- Voice recognition software: Those with mobility impairments may struggle to type – voice recognition offers a solution by letting you control your computer hands-free, and recent innovations make this option more intuitive than ever.
- Text-to-speech: If you learn more easily via audio or you have a visual impairment, there is software that converts text to speech efficiently, meaning you have access to the same content as others.
- Alternate input devices: If you’re unable to use keyboards or mice, there’s a wide range of devices that can help you input data or navigate computer interfaces.
- Captioning: For those with hearing conditions, closed captioning can identify and convert audio into text on screen.
The working world can be daunting for a differently abled individual, but there is a vast amount of resources and technology available that can make your working life easier and help you take advantage of opportunities. Consider remote working and learning opportunities, create an eye-catching resume and CV, and learn more about assistive technologies.