Overcoming Career Limitations: Tips for the
Mobility-Restricted on Finding Employment
According to the Annual Disability Statistics Compendium’s 2017 report, more than 10 million Americans have some kind of mobility limitation. Thanks to advances in technology and an increasingly diversified employment marketplace, a physical impairment needn’t prevent an individual with limited mobility from obtaining and succeeding in a good job. Finding such an opportunity takes a good deal of research and preparation, but they’re out there for the taking. Here a few helpful tips to get you on the right track.
Assess your job skills
Assess your abilities based on previous employment and compare them to the demands of a job in which you’re interested. Think about how your physical disability may impact your ability to perform a particular job; of course, if you’re in a wheelchair, there will be some jobs for which you’re not well-suited. Check online job boards and government websites to help you find suitable opportunities.
Finding and applying for work
Make sure you can perform the job’s essential requirements and that there are no physical reasons you can’t do the work. (Bear in mind that employers need to provide reasonable accommodations if you’re qualified for a job.) Follow up with companies a week after you’ve applied, and be prepared for an interview. Research the company well enough to discuss it, and come armed with questions about the job and what your role would be. Convey that you have the company’s best interests in mind and that you could be a decided asset. Always prepare for any particularly difficult questions, such as your shortcomings and personal dislikes. If there are opportunities to demonstrate or highlight how your disability may actually offer you can advantage compared to other clients, but sure to mention that in the interview as well.
Here are a few job possibilities to get your job search going in the right direction:
This kind of work generally doesn’t require a great deal of mobility, with most of the work being done at a computer workstation. Medical records and health information technicians earn, on average, about $43,000 a year. If you’re interested in a career as a medical biller and coder, there’s an increasing number of work-at-home opportunities in the healthcare field.
More employers are offering positions on a work-at-home basis, an ideal situation for employees who have limited mobility. In order to be truly productive, it’s important to set up a comfortable, efficient, and quiet home workspace with readily accessible lighting, a desk that’s suitable and comfortable for workers in wheelchairs, and equipment needed to perform the work, such as oversize keyboard keys and a telephone headset. Many people are making excellent money today working from home as writers, graphic designers, and medical transcriptionists.
The mobility-impaired are making inroads in the pharmaceutical industry as pharmacy technicians and assistant positions. These are good roles for people who have familiarity with medications and enjoy interacting with customers. There are also pharmaceutical sales opportunities available to disabled people, which tend to be quite lucrative and sometimes allowing people to earn more than $90,000 a year.
As a disabled individual, you have some highly useful insights for other mobility-restricted people who are seeking employment opportunities. Disabled students in school and in the workplace often need counseling to help them find jobs that allow them to make the most of their experience and education. An experienced counselor can expect to make about $58,000 a year.
Accounting can be a highly rewarding field for individuals with physical disabilities. Whether you are a certified public accountant or bookkeeping assistant, you can make a make a good living earning up to $70,000 or more annually. It’s also an ideal telecommuting opportunity for individuals who can offer accounting services on a freelance basis.
Mobility limitations no longer place the kinds of career limitations on individuals with physical disabilities that they once used to. Computer and communications technology, an ever-expanding job market, and the increasing popularity of work-at-home opportunities are making it easier than ever for people with disabilities to make a good living in the job they want. In fact, your experience, insight, and opinions can help other disabled individuals find a job opportunity that can make a major difference in their lives.