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How People With Disabilities Can Find Career Empowerment Through Technology

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How People With Disabilities Can Find Career Empowerment Through Technology

December 4, 2020

by Patrick Young from

Workers with disabilities face many challenges when it comes to securing employment. Fortunately, advances in technology are making it easier for employees to learn job skills, modify their workspaces and find employment opportunities. Read the following from OpenIGO to learn more about how this might apply to your career.

Modifying Your Work Environment

Advancements in assistive technology are making it more possible than ever before for people with disabilities to become employed in an increasing variety of jobs. Large tech companies, such as Apple, Microsoft and Google have designed many of their software and hardware products to incorporate customizable options, such as larger text and screen readers, to make their products more accessible to people with hearing, vision, cognitive or dexterity needs.

Artificial intelligence has played a large role in improving the functionality of tools such as visual recognition, predictive text and speech-to-text transcription. This technology is now being used in products such as Seeing AI, Proloquo2GO and IntelliGaze to assist people with low vision, speech issues and dexterity needs on the job. Whether you are working from home or on-site, these technologies can be invaluable tools for creating an accessible working environment.

Gaining Job Skills Remotely

Remote learning has made education more accessible for many people, including people with disabilities that may make traditional in-person learning more challenging. If you are thinking about utilizing remote learning to advance your career, consider these benefits:

  • Ability to study at your own pace
  • Reduced peer pressure
  • Balance of education with other commitments
  • Continuing education and professional development courses available
  • Variety of majors and career focuses available

If you are interested in starting your own business or working as a CPA, you could pursue an online degree in accounting, which also includes coursework in marketing, economics, finance, and management. Other popular online degrees include computer science, business administration, education and nursing.

Getting Hired

Legal protections exist to protect people with disabilities from employment discrimination; however, it can still be difficult to get employers to look past your disability. It is best to be open about your accommodation needs throughout the hiring process, but The Guardian suggests finding ways to highlight how the challenges you have faced make you a stronger candidate. If you need some help learning how to interview well, consider taking a coaching session or booking a mock interview with specialized professionals to boost your skills and confidence. OpenIGO offers both of these services and you can get to know more about them here.

Working From Home

Working from home can be an ideal situation for many people with disabilities because it provides more opportunity to completely customize your work environment and schedule to suit your individual needs. Unfortunately, though there are many legitimate work-from-home opportunities, the job search can be clouded by unscrupulous companies and fake job offers, so it is important to search out legitimate sources of work-at-home jobs.

Forbes notes some companies, such as Appen, focus heavily or exclusively on hiring remote workers to do jobs that range from customer service to engineering, sales and marketing. Others, such as Amazon, hire a mixture of traditional on-site employees and remote employees.

You could also consider starting your own home-based business. Just about any skill or area of interest can be turned into a business opportunity. If you have gained expertise in an area such as law, finance or information technology, you could sell that expertise to others by starting your own consulting business. If you love kids, you could start a home-based child care business. If computers are your thing, consider offering your services as a web designer.

Whether you dream of a career in international development or you want to invent the next Amazon, technology can empower you to reach your career goals. With a little work, training and the right tools, you can have the career you want, no matter what your challenges are.

OpenIGO aims to empower people’s careers through information, training and other opportunities, so connect for their help in reaching your goals.

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