When you have a disability, finding work isn’t always easy. From stigma and stereotypes to difficulty negotiating reasonable workplace accommodation, people with disabilities face many common workforce barriers. Thankfully, technology has made professional pursuits much more achievable. At CreateAbility, we know that technology can go a long way toward helping people with disabilities navigate career challenges and thrive in their professional roles! Here’s how to make the most of technology in your work life.
Network on LinkedIn
For those with mobility limitations, online networking is much more accessible than attending in-person events. Plus, networking online saves time, avoids the hassle of travel, and reduces the costs involved. The professional networking platform LinkedIn is fantastic for digital networking. Set up a LinkedIn page that highlights your skills and accomplishments. Be sure to choose a high-quality photo for your profile and write up a brief description of your expertise. When it comes to networking on LinkedIn, consider investing in the premium version so you can message people directly and see who’s been viewing your page.
Create a Great Resume
As you start connecting with people on LinkedIn, employers will begin asking for a resume. Put together a resume that shows employers your strengths. For example, Abilities.com suggests using action works to communicate your skills and experience. Be sure to include soft skills (your personal attributes) as well as hard skills (your training and education). Keep in mind that you don’t have to mention your disability on your resume, but you can if you want to highlight how your disability makes you the best fit for the job.
Before sharing your resume, convert it to a PDF. PDF is the ideal resume format! The format of your PDF file will show up the same way to anyone you send your resume. Formatting can get messy when sharing other file types like Microsoft Word documents or OpenOffice files. Make use of an online PDF editor to convert files, edit their contents, and download for fast and easy sharing.
Look for Tech Solutions Specific to Your Disability
Countless forms of digital tools and adaptive equipment exist to support employees with disabilities. Look for solutions designed specifically for your disability. For example, those with traumatic brain injuries can use tools like MeMinder and Flourish to remember important daily actions and stay on track toward their goals. People with mobility limitations might want to try specialized hardware and software to make computer work more accessible. Do some research and see what solutions exist out there!
Embrace Remote Learning
Continued learning is an important part of advancing your career. According to eLearning Industry, adult students with disabilities tend to prefer online learning environments better than the traditional in-classroom format. Remote learning offers accommodations for learning disabilities, visual impairments, hearing impairments, and mobility limitations. Overall, learning online is more convenient, flexible, and accessible. Look for online university programs as you plan your next career steps.
Consider Launching a Home-Based Business
If you’re looking for more autonomy in your work life, running your own business could be a great alternative to traditional employment. Consider starting a home business providing a product or service that you feel passionately about. Many online resources exist to help you plan, fund, and launch your new business:
- Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs)
- Small Business Administration (SBA)
- USA.gov – Start Your Own Business
- You can also find many state disability resources for entrepreneurs.
Are you ready to go further in your professional life? Follow these strategies to take your career to the next level! Consider starting a business, revamping your resume, investing in adaptive equipment, and creating a LinkedIn page for online networking. With the right tools and resources under your belt, nothing will stop you from achieving your professional dreams!
CreateAbility offers innovative products and solutions to help people with disabilities thrive in work and life. Check out our solutions to learn how we can serve you!