With the right strategies, finding employment does not have to be challenging for individuals with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in employment. If you have a disability, there are various workforce services and strategies that can help improve your chances of finding meaningful employment. Some of these strategies include:
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Know Your Strengths and Limitations
Before you start searching for jobs, identify your skills that could be assets in the workplace. If you have a physical disability that makes it difficult to stand for long periods, you might look for jobs that allow you to sit. If you have excellent communication skills, you can look for jobs that involve customer service or sales.
Explore Job Opportunities
To begin your job search, explore and identify industries and companies that align with your skills, interests, and values. This can help you narrow down your search and focus on job opportunities that are a good fit for you.
You can attend job fairs or other networking events to meet employers and learn about job openings. You can also use social media platforms to search for jobs that match your qualifications. Some companies may have specific programs or initiatives to hire individuals with disabilities. These workforce services programs could provide valuable training, interview preparation, and support as you navigate the job search process.
Seek Out Inclusive Employers
Some employers prioritize diversity and inclusion and recognize the potential contributions of individuals with disabilities. Companies committed to inclusivity aim to create accessible workspaces.
They can also provide tools and equipment that accommodate a range of abilities and offer support and resources for employees with disabilities. Some resources they may offer include assistive technology, disability training, and accommodation funds.
Inclusive employers try to take extra measures to create a positive and supportive work culture. This may include building strong employee relationships, promoting teamwork, and celebrating each other’s achievements.
Join Disability-related Organizations
There are a number of disability-related organizations, such as:
- Disability: IN
- National Organization on Disability
- The Job Accommodation Network
- Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services
- American Job Centers
They are dedicated to supporting individuals with disabilities in their job search. These organizations also help with job training and skills development. You can also access career counseling and guidance, help with resume and cover letter writing, and job placement assistance.
Joining a disability-related organization can allow you to connect with others in the industry with similar experiences. Disability-related organizations often advocate for disability rights and support individuals with disabilities. This advocacy and support can help job seekers with disabilities navigate the job search process.
Utilize Job Search Engines That Cater to Disability Job Seekers
Platforms for disability job searching bring together a diverse range of job openings across the country. These platforms often collaborate with partnered organizations to warrant that all job opportunities and candidates are included. The advantage of this approach is that job seekers can access job postings specifically tailored to meet their employment needs.
This can include filtering job search results by location, job type, and other criteria and allowing job seekers to create profiles and upload their resumes. These job opportunities may be based on people living with disability physical, cognitive, or sensory impairments.
Look for Flexible Jobs
Flexible jobs can include remote work, part-time work, and job-sharing opportunities. These types of jobs allow people with disabilities to work from home or work on a schedule that allows them to manage their condition. Many employers are open to remote work.
Know What Accommodations You Need
Identify what work resources you need to work efficiently. Accommodations include anything from assistive technology to flexible work schedules and physical adjustments. When applying for jobs or interviewing, communicate any accommodations you need so your employer can make the necessary arrangements beforehand.
Utilize Workforce Services for People Living With Disabilities
By highlighting your unique strengths and experiences, you can make a compelling case for why they are valuable to any team. To enter or re-enter the employment industry, you can use workforce services if you live with a disability. These services can offer a range of support, from job training and skill development to assistance with resume building and interview preparation. Contact a local support center to learn more.