Many people with disabilities find it difficult to meet the demands of traditional jobs. However, just because it is difficult to commute or work long hours, this doesn’t mean that disabled people can’t be productive at work.
Although people with disabilities can have the skills, talents and experience that make them great employees, they may also have physical limitations or chronic medical conditions that make it more difficult for them to work in traditional workplaces. Many people find the answer is to work remotely. According to The American with Disabilities Act, telecommuting — or a work at home job — is an acceptable accommodation for disabled people.
- Employment Resources for Persons with Disabilities National Telecommuting Institute, (NTI).
Telecommuting jobs have been scarce for many years and were only available to technical writers and those who are technically proficient. The National Telecommuting Institute, a non-profit, was established in 1995 “to identify and create work-at-home opportunities for home-based Americans with physical disabilities.”
- NTI provides three options for people with disabilities to get work-from home jobs.
- The Staffing Connection offers linkage agreements to Federal contractors which enable them to meet specific hiring guidelines for the disabled. It also helps Americans with disabilities get into these jobs.
- Land a Job has a database that contains over 500,000 jobs in the United States. Register to access the database.
- NTI At Home has a variety of jobs available in customer service, technical support and quality control.
My employment options
My Employment Options is another resource that helps people who are receiving Supplemental Security Income, (SSI Nonretirement), or Social Security Disability Insurance, (SSDI), find work. It provides job placement and other vocational services free of charge in 47 states. This includes telecommuting as well as local community jobs for people who use the free Ticket To Work Program, which is run by the Social Security Administration.
My Employment Options lists many work-at-home opportunities, including customer service, bookkeeping, and technical support.
There are other home career options for disabled people
It’s clear that My Employment Options and NTI provide a valuable service to the disabled. People who require work accommodations due to physical disability or chronic illness don’t have to limit their options. People with disabilities can now work remotely, freelance or start their own home-based business. These are just a few of the many work opportunities available to Americans with disabilities.
- Ask your boss to allow you to work remotely. Telecommuting is considered a reasonable accommodation by the ADA. Disabled workers can present their employers a work-at home proposal if they can do their jobs from home.
- For assistance, contact your state’s vocational rehabilitation office. The U.S. Department of Labor has a list of states and contact information.
- Find a job that allows you to work from home in the field you are interested in. LinkedIn is a great place to look for telecommuting positions. Many of the top job search sites like Indeed and CareerBuilder have listings for home-based jobs. However, it is important to be aware of scams that work-at-home jobs can lead to in order to identify legit ones. FlexJobs is another option. It charges for access but provides thousands of jobs.
- You can freelance your skills to multiple businesses. You can work for multiple companies while working in one job. As a contractor you are able to choose the jobs and companies that you want and be your own boss. LinkedIn can be used to find freelance work, just like it is for finding a job. You can also use Freelancer or Upwork to search for jobs.
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- Start a home-based business. You have complete flexibility in your work hours and responsibilities when you start a home-based business. You can concentrate on what you are best at and create a schedule that suits your needs. Here are tons of tips and resources to help you get started. To get your business up and running quickly, you can also follow our Start a Business in Month guide