While job hunting or starting at a new company, someone with a disability may have additional concerns about having their needs met in the workplace. Today, technology is changing the workplace, making it more accessible for people with disabilities. Furthermore, remote work is becoming a more popular option, with a growing number of employers allowing their staff to work outside of the office and freelancers striking out on their own.
This means that people with disabilities can enjoy more flexibility and support in their professional lives than ever before. Here are a few simple ways that workers with disabilities can utilize everyday technology to get ahead in their career paths, whether they’re working from home or traditionally employed.
Choose the Right Smartphone Plan
With so many companies opening up remote positions or turning to independent contractors to take on important clients, people with disabilities often choose to work from home. For remote workers, having a reliable smartphone is a must.
Nowadays, you’ll inevitably end up conducting some important business on your phone, like sending quick emails, calling clients and customers, and even tracking spending. Upgrading to the latest model of your preferred smartphone is typically a smart investment, and it’s easy to track down great mobile phone deals. In addition, make sure to go over your wireless plan to guarantee that you have adequate coverage for texting, talking, and data. Most providers offer a number of unlimited plans that fit various needs and budgets.
Network With LinkedIn
In the current labor market, finding a job isn’t just about what you know, it’s about who you know – and networking with other people in your industry is crucial if you’re looking to switch to a new company.
But for people with disabilities, attending networking events on a regular basis can sometimes be difficult. These events may be held in spaces that are inaccessible or could require traveling uncomfortably long distances. Creating a LinkedIn profile and connecting with other people in your profession can help you bridge that gap. You can post about your own professional achievements, share your professional history and portfolio, and reach out to people you know. Forbes suggests using LinkedIn strategically and following companies that you might like to work for in the future to keep an eye on any openings.
Advance With Online Courses
Today, many top universities and other organizations offer a wide variety of online courses on a range of subjects. Earning certificates on your own time to show that you are qualified with new skills can definitely make a good impression on your current or future employer.
Someone with a disability may prefer the format of an online course, which allows students to work at their own pace in their preferred environment. Platforms like Skillshare and Udemy have plenty of courses to choose from, so no matter what your field is or what you’re interested in learning, you’re sure to find something that suits you.
Communicate Through Email
People with disabilities should know that they are not required to disclose their disability to their potential employer, but if you’re fairly certain that you’ll need accommodations, Chron recommends asking about your concerns attending an interview to ensure that the space will be accessible. If you want to discuss accommodations, do so over email before heading off to the interview. Lay out your needs clearly and concisely so that the hiring department will have them in writing. It’s always good to have a record of your communications with your future employer, especially as it pertains to your reasonable accommodations.
People with disabilities know that obstacles can still present themselves in the modern workplace, but the times are definitely changing. As technology advances, doors are opening up, and barriers continue to be broken down. For people with disabilities, working with the right technological tools is often the key to achieving big in their careers.