When searching for employment for people with disability, you may encounter a stigma—even if your condition does not impede your ability to execute job duties. It might be discouraging, but the best part is that many businesses recognise that individuals with disabilities constitute a potential, underutilised talent pool.
Moreover, people with disabilities had a lower unemployment rate, indicating that businesses are recruiting with an inclusive workplace. Still, seeking work might be challenging. If this is the case for you, taking effective steps and using accessible resources will make your search less stressful. We’ve compiled tips for employment for people with disability to help you out.
Know Your Rights.
It is essential to note that laws exist to help seekers of jobs for people with a disability. You may apply for employment and go into interviews with confidence if you are informed of your workplace rights.
Specifically, one law prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities and provides equality in the workplace. It also demonstrates that employers must provide “reasonable accommodations” for disabilities and prohibits employers, among other things, from asking inquiries about your disability or demanding medical exams. This implies that you may refuse to answer some protected questions at an interview (or on the job), but if you do, do it professionally and politely.
Look Out for Inclusive Employers.
Checking to see whether the organisation is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE) is one strategy to determine if a job is suited for you. Federal rules define an EOE as “an employer that agrees not to discriminate against workers based on race, gender, age, colour, national origin, age, religion, or genetic information.”
In addition, many job advertising and corporate websites will include information on the employer’s EOE policy. It’s also a positive sign if the firm emphasises an inclusive working culture in their job postings or on their “Careers” or “About” pages. You might also want to inquire about the company’s culture and inclusiveness efforts during your interview. The interviewer’s reaction will indicate if you’d be a suitable match.
Know the Accommodations You’ll Need.
Determine the accommodations you need to thrive in a specific position before starting your job search. An employer must offer reasonable adjustments to allow a disabled employee to perform essential work responsibilities.
For instance, will you need video relay service (VRS) technology or speech recognition software in your work area? Before taking a job, communicate the adjustments you need to an employer. There is no shame in asking for what you need to achieve; therefore, don’t be afraid to express your requirements, whether for an interview or a job.
Be Honest About Your Disability in an Interview.
Talking about a disability in an interview or elsewhere is voluntary. However, it is prohibited for an interviewer to inquire about the type or degree of your disability. Nevertheless, an interviewer may ask questions regarding your capacity to fulfil job tasks and expect you to explain how you would do so. Being honest and open in these instances is essential, and doing so will indicate your capability.
Also, please inform the interviewer if you will be bringing an interpreter, guide dog, or other assistive equipment to the interview so that they may prepare properly.
Play Up Your Strengths.
Use the cover letter and resume to promote yourself by citing previous employment achievements. Include measurable results, such as customer satisfaction and revenue growth increases. If you’ve never worked before, volunteer work and hobbies may give you valuable experience and abilities; include them in your job search. Being explicit and providing a clear strategy demonstrates confidence, a key attribute to emphasise in an interview.
Pursue Job Training Programs.
If you’re still sharpening your skills or just starting your profession, look into employment training programs for persons with disabilities. The employment training program will prepare you for the jobs available in your chosen sector. They might be as wide or as particular to the area as required to overcome job hurdles.
Apprenticeships provide more in-depth on-the-job training and prepare candidates to join a specialised field. They combine full-time employment with training so that you may begin your career with the skills you need to succeed.
On the other hand, gig work, volunteering, internships, part-time positions, and freelance jobs are alternative types of employment to look into throughout your search. You can consider these, particularly if you’re unclear about the professional route you want to take, want to figure out how to utilise your skills best, or want to gather more knowledge for your resume.
Similarly, search for employment in venues designed expressly for disabled job seekers, such as social networking sites and job boards. The advantage of these disability-specific services is that they either concentrate on employment from firms that are prioritising individuals with disabilities.
A disability does not have to prevent you from finding work. If you follow these tips for seeking employment for people with disability, you’ll be ready for anything your job search brings you.