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Technology as a career resource for people with disabilities

Patrick Young

Special to the Village News

Your disability does not have to be a burden that holds you back from career opportunities. When it seems like so many chances pass you by, you have to do what you can to seize them for yourself. Technology is a powerful resource that serves to bridge the gap that seems to divide you and your peers. Once you understand how the latest innovations can empower you to further your professional endeavors, you will be ready to approach your career with newfound confidence.

Remote learning

It goes without saying that education is a valuable, if not necessary, tool for fostering a career. However, your university of choice might be inaccessible to you due to location, cost, or a large number of other factors.

Remote learning is very much a viable option for those who cannot attend an in-person class, ( ). Virtual courses also provide flexibility to students and a wide variety of subject matters to study. For example, you might work toward an online degree in information technology and gain the skills needed to become an IT expert.

Finding employment

The overall work landscape is also something that is constantly shifting more and more toward technologies that enable remote opportunities. If your disability makes commuting and working in a traditional environment unviable, seek out companies that utilize communication software and project management tools to facilitate work-from-home possibilities.

When preparing your resume for a new position, do not neglect the importance of social media in the modern age of work culture. Platforms such as LinkedIn innovate the way you can connect with other professionals and grow your network. Be sure to use a quality profile photo and emphasize your expertise, skills, ( ) and accomplishments. To get the most out of LinkedIn, consider upgrading to the premium version so you can message people directly and review who has visited your profile page.

Assistive technologies

Odds are that your career calls for constant use of a computer and the Internet, especially if you work in a remote position. However, not everyone has the same capacity to use computers without aid. Experts explain that assistive technology is a solution that can help people with disabilities live and work more independently. Some examples of assistive technology devices include:

• Screen readers

• Adaptive keyboards

• Alternative input devices

• Text-to-speech software

Community connections

Living with a disability can sometimes give you the false impression that you are isolated from other people. Technology gives you the ability to stay connected and up-to-date with the latest community happenings in your area, ( ).

You can also find groups of like-minded professionals through social media pages and popular blogs within your niche. You might even consider using a beginner-friendly site builder ( ) to create your own web presence, particularly if you aim to become an entrepreneur. All of the resources at your disposal will help you build a network that can empower you in your career and personal life.

Most everyone struggles in their professional career if they attempt to go at it without any help. You might feel like you have to find success solely by your own abilities to prove that you are capable even with a disability, but that is not the case. The latest innovations in technology and the connections you can form with other professionals are available to you for a reason. You can prove your worth in the business world simply by using those resources to the fullest.

Patrick Young is an educator and activist. He believes people with disabilities must 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.


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