Top Jobs for People in Wheelchairs
Before the federal government passed the Americans with Disabilities Act back in 1990, individuals with disabilities had trouble landing qualified jobs. Since that act was passed, there has been a lot of improved and opportunities. Just because someone may have a disability that requires the use of a wheelchair doesn’t mean they can’t get a job that not only pays well but also brings a lot of personal satisfaction.
The fact is that 20% of the US population has some form of disability. But thanks to wheelchair vans, those with disabilities can get to their places of employment. So, the good news is that those who have the qualifications for a particular job can no longer be prevented from getting hired simply because they use a wheelchair for mobility.
Steps to Getting the Job You Want
There are several steps to take to help you decide what type of job you should apply for. The first step is to think about the type of job you would like to do. Then you have to determine what you can offer an employer. Think about your educational background, your work experience and the skills you’ve developed over the years.
If you don’t have any work experience, you can consider doing volunteer work to gain that experience. If you’re still in school, apply for internships in fields like computers, engineering, science or math. The next step is to look for jobs that interest you.
Before you apply for a job, take a look at the company to see if they’re a good fit for you. That means determining whether their vision and mission statement match what you’re looking for. See if there’s a track record of helping employees with disabilities and whether or not they help those employees grow professionally. And look at their salary range, benefits and retirement plans to ensure that the company is a good financial fit.
Preparing for the Interview
You need to focus on your strengths and abilities during your interview, and only bring up your disability if you want to do so. By law, prospective employers aren’t allowed to ask specific questions about your disability. On the other hand, you may want to address your disability by describing how you are able to stay mobile and how you’re not limited to getting the work to done.
The reason to discuss your disability in general terms is simply due to human nature: prospective employers may be curious as to your current health status or if there are any limitations that being in a wheelchair might place on you. They may also need to make improvements to accommodate your disability. By being upfront without going into too much detail, it shows your confidence and ability to manage your disability. Just be sure to keep the focus of the interview on your abilities and skills – and not on your disability. Be honest, and you’ll find that many companies are happy to accommodate your disability as long as they know what to expect.
Finding the Job You Love
Are you good at graphic design or writing? Creative jobs are always available for talented people. If you’re adept at computers, programming, writing code or providing support, there are many jobs in that arena as well.
Now that most schools are wheelchair accessible and those people who have conversion vans are no longer limited in their mobility by being in a wheelchair, teaching is an excellent job to consider. It can be any teaching position, from elementary school to high school and college.
Working from Home
Many people with disabilities choose to work from home, and many are even self-employed. Since a large number of companies are now encouraging employees to work remotely, many people are choosing to work from home and only go into their offices one or two days a week. This makes it a lot easier for those with disabilities to work while minimizing their daily commutes.
Whatever type of work you want to pursue, there’s a wide world of opportunity waiting for you. All you have to do is pursue it, bringing your desire, passion and skills to the table and demonstrating your professional achievements.