Assistive Tech and Digital Resources to Boost Your Career

People with disabilities have to navigate some unique challenges when it comes to landing a job. Unfortunately, studies show that the vast majority of graduates with disabilities are worried about being a nuisance to employers and fear being discriminated against on the job. Although these concerns can be incredibly discouraging, don't let them stop you from going after your dream job!

Advancements in technology have made it possible for people with disabilities to pursue all kinds of fulfilling careers that may have otherwise been out of reach. People with disabilities can leverage numerous tech tools to overcome many discouraging career barriers. The right tech tools will enable you to find a job you love, work as efficiently as possible, and thrive in your new role.

Remote Learning Opportunities

Advancing your academic skills is an excellent way to improve your career prospects. Regardless of your age, skillset, or ability, you can always go back to school and earn a degree in a field that excites you. For example, you could earn a healthcare degree if you want to work in nursing or healthcare management, a teaching degree if you're an aspiring educator, or an IT degree if you're interested in software development or data analytics.

A woman using a wheelchair and coding on her computer

While some amazing assistive technologies exist to make on-campus learning accessible to people with disabilities, nothing beats the ability to learn remotely. For people with physical disabilities, one of the most obvious benefits of online learning is the ability to attend class without leaving home. There's no need to drive or navigate public transit, and you're free to implement whatever adaptive technologies you need: voice-activated programs, text-to-speech software, braille keyboards, audio recordings, video subtitles, etc.

Attending an online school is also a great option for people who need flexibility. At home, people with learning disabilities can complete coursework at their own pace, review materials as needed, and study in a way that works best for them. People with psychiatric disabilities, such as sever anxiety, can also benefit from the flexibility to tackle schoolwork when they feel up to it.

Remote Employment

It's no surprise that the benefits of online learning extend to online working. Being able to work from the comfort of home, how you want, and on your own schedule is invaluable for people with all kinds of disabilities.

Remote employment has never been so popular. According to CNBC, about 1 in 4 Americans are working remotely in 2021! What's more, the number of people working from home is predicted to increase significantly over the next 15 years. As demand for remote work increases, more and more businesses are likely to offer remote work opportunities to employees. This should be great news for people with disabilities!

While remote job opportunities are easy to find, landing a remote position can be just as challenging as achieving traditional employment. You still have to submit a great résumé and ace your interview. Getting a remote job can be even more difficult because you might have to compete against people all over the world for the job you want! Take advantage of online resources designed to help remote job seekers find promising employment opportunities and stand out in a sea of online applications.

Launching a Home-Based Business

Starting your own business offers the ultimate form of professional freedom. You get to become your own boss, chase a personal passion, achieve financial success, and pursue unlimited professional growth opportunities. And entrepreneurs with disabilities have access to numerous funding resources!

People with disabilities can thrive in many different home-based business models. For example, you could sell your skills as a freelancer, offering services like writing, web development, and marketing to individual clients. Once your freelance business starts to pick up speed, you can always shift gears and turn your solo gig into a full-fledged agency. Some other fulfilling home business models include selling stuff online, affiliate marketing, and producing content like videos and blog posts.

Certain tech tools can help you make your entrepreneurial dreams a reality. For example, automation apps enable business owners to tackle everything from administration tasks to marketing projects as efficiently as possible. And you don't have to do it all alone. Project management tools and communication software make it easy to collaborate with team members from all over the world!

Assistive Technologies on the Job

Whether you're seeking traditional employment or a remote job, the right assistive technologies can make a huge difference in your productivity. Artificial intelligence applications are particularly exciting. For example, Voiceitt is an app for people with speech difficulties, which can pick up an individual speaker's speech patterns and output audio that is more understandable to others.

Vision and hearing disabilities are no match for today's technology. People with vision impairments can benefit from braille note-taking tools and text-to-speech software. You can also find software that translates speech into text – or even sign language! People with hearing loss can also make use of hearing aids that pair with smartphones for frustration-free mobile conversations.

There are also plenty of incredible assistive technologies out there that enable people with impaired motor skills to work efficiently. People who work at the computer can make use of tools like one-handed keyboards and hands-free mice. Assistive technologies have some a long way in recent years. If you're facing a unique problem on the job, there might be a tech solution out there for you. Do some research and see what you come up with!

Whether you decide to go back to school, apply for a remote job, or launch a home business, pursuing your career dreams will be very empowering. Don't let your disability stop you! There are countless tech tools out there designed to help you overcome any obstacles you encounter along the way.

About the Author

Patrick Young is an educator and activist. He believes people with disabilities live within a unique set of circumstances – the outside world often either underestimates them or ignores their needs altogether. He created Able USA to offer helpful resources to people with disabilities and to provide advice on navigating various aspects of life as a person with disabilities.

Most of the stories here on were submitted by readers. Do you have a story to tell? We'd love to hear it. Submit your story here.

Date: 8/24/2021 12:00:00 AM

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