It can be challenging for disabled adults to find employment. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, just 17.5 percent of people who have a disability are employed. Fortunately, programs and federal laws exist to help ensure jobs for disabled Americans. Here are four employment strategies for those who are disabled and seeking work. |
1. Choose the Right Industry
Forbes recently ranked jobs for disabled adults based on positive income and projected growth, avoiding factors that may be detrimental, such as lack of opportunities, constant public content, physical demands, and frequent travel. They recommend embarking on career training focused on fields such as accounting, computer support, management consulting, and data analysis. Vocational counseling is a popular choice among those who want to help others in a similar position find work.
2. Research Government Programs
The federal government has several initiatives that provide jobs for disabled Americans. Because the federal government actively recruits and hires those with disabilities, their job portal at USAJOBS.gov is a good place to start. Certain federal agencies receive incentives to hire those with disabilities through a program called Selective Placement, which allows individuals to bypass the competitive selection process. The Workforce Recruitment Program, a team effort through the Office of Disability Employment Policy and the Department of Defense, connects recent college graduates who have disabilities with positions in the government. Another program for students and recent grads is the Pathways Program, which provides both entry-level government jobs and internships.
3. Consider Telecommuting
Working from home, also known as telecommuting, is a good option for those who have trouble traveling or need to work intermittent hours due to a disability. That's good news since telecommuting jobs are increasingly prevalent as technology advances. Industries that frequently hire home-based employees include online tech support, customer support, writing and editing, computer services, and graphic arts. Avoid work-at-home scams by looking for a telecommuting position with an established company.
4. Know Your Rights
Disclosing a disability to an employer is a personal decision that the employee has a right to make on his or her own time. Doing so in the application process is not a requirement, though doing so can be a benefit for programs that are actively recruiting disabled persons. During an interview, the employer cannot ask any questions about a disability if they do not directly pertain to the qualifications of the position. Most specialists recommend that a disability should be disclosed after an offer is accepted. Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to disabled employees, which may include modification of responsibilities, telecommuting opportunities, flexible scheduling, and other adjustments.
Although it's illegal to discriminate based on disability, jobs for disabled Americans can still be hard to find. These four strategies can help adults seeking work set themselves apart and find the right role in a competitive environment.
To learn more about their options for jobs for disabled adults, readers should visit http://www.otcbc.org/employment-opportunities/.
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