5 Tips on Finding Wheelchair Accessibility at Work

The above picture is of a wheelchair with a background of the outline of an A-framed house.

5 Tips on Finding Wheelchair Accessibility at Work

Did you know that over three million people in the United States use a wheelchair full-time? Employment can, at times, be tricky if you are one of these individuals. 

Finding a job that offers wheelchair accessibility should be easy when you consider ADA and the laws put into place surrounding accessibility; however, that's not always the case. 

If you're on the hunt for a job and you utilize a wheelchair, keep reading for tips that will help you with finding wheelchair-accessible jobs. 

1. Consider the Type of Job

If you're looking for a job in construction, it will be a lot more difficult to ensure that workplace wheelchair accessibility is an option. While you should not be limited by disability and reasonable accommodations are required by law, some jobs will make it more difficult. 

If you want to be a contractor or architect, you should by no means let your disability stop you. However, you also need to recognize that, at times, wheelchair accessibility in the workplace could be an issue on job sites. 

You might also want to consider jobs in construction that are not on-site. This allows you to still be a part of this field. Jobs could include a receptionist, planner, scheduler, and more. 

Going beyond the field of construction, consider the field you want to work in. Is it feasible to make it accessible? If not, how can you still work in that field in a position that allows for accessibility? 

For example, if your dream is to work with families, you may not be able to work for children's services due to needing to enter homes that aren't accessible. Yet, you could receive extra training and work as a family therapist in an office setting. 

Or you might find a job as a social worker in a residential setting focused on the population you want to serve. 

2. Advance Your Education

Advancing your education opens up job possibilities for anyone. As you advance your education, your options for jobs for people with wheelchairs will expand and grow. 

This also gives you the opportunity to really define who you want to be and live your dream job. Granted, furthering your education is not something that everyone wants or has the ability to do.

If you have no desire to attend college for years, consider the field you are interested in. 

What kind of certifications or training courses are available that don't require a degree that could take years? Advancing your knowledge and skills will give you more options as you hunt for a wheelchair-accessible job.

3. Identify Reasonable Accommodations

When you go in for an interview, an employer may wonder how you will be successful in the workplace when you encounter barriers. Job hunting for people with wheelchairs will at times include a process of making sure your potential employer knows you can do the job you are applying for. 

Everyone to some degree needs to prove this; however, you may need to identify more ways that you can overcome barriers. Talk to your potential employer in your interview and address concerns. 

Let them know that you have thought about this type of workplace and that you can easily identify reasonable accommodations that will allow you to complete the job you want. 

For example, if you're applying for a job in retail, there may be times where you need to reach items on higher shelves. If your employer asks about that in an interview, talk to them about accommodations such as reachers or grabbers that you can use to address this concern.  

4. Find Disability Friendly Companies 

As you are looking for a job, consider companies that look specifically to hire individuals with disabilities. These companies look to provide opportunities for individuals who may experience conscious or unconscious discrimination in other offices.

Companies such as Goodwill Easter Seals offer a range of employment options for individuals with disabilities. While you do not need to have a disability to work for companies like this, these companies are very in tune with the needs of individuals with disabilities. 

By choosing a company like this, you know that they will be aware of accommodations that might be required by individuals with all types of disabilities. 

5. Work From Home

Maybe you want a job, but you don't want the messy requirement of dealing with spaces that may not offer wheelchair accessibility. The good news is that more and more jobs are becoming available to get done at home.

With the evolution of technology, your options are far and wide, and you will work from a space you know is accessible. You could work for companies that provide freelance opportunities and set your own schedule. 

You could also apply to companies like Amazon. Amazon provides job opportunities like remote Consulting Services Managers, Program Managers, Graphic Design, Marketing Managers, and more. 

Amazon is the world's largest eCommerce business, and as such, they have the opportunity to provide many opportunities for employees to work from home. 

Amazon isn't the only company that provides work-from-home positions. Many insurance or phone companies also offer customer service specialists the opportunity to work from home. 

Find a Job With Wheelchair Accessibility Today 

Finding a job with wheelchair accessibility should not be difficult. However, it's not always easy either. 

Remember that under the ADA, you have rights, understand those rights and the types of accommodations you need when you head out to job hunt. 

Here at Disabled Person, we are here to support you on your job quest. If you're ready to start looking for a job, check out our employment listings.