Cerebral Palsy in Adults: How to Approach Your Job Search

The above picture from behind of a man in a wheelchair moving towards a staircase.

Cerebral Palsy in Adults: How to Approach Your Job Search

Cerebral palsy in adults in America is something people will have been dealing with since childhood.

If you are living with cerebral palsy, finding a job can seem like an impossible task. However, there are many resources available to help you find the perfect position for your skills and abilities.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides important rights to people with disabilities in the workplace.

This article will provide some tips on how to approach your job search. We also look at what rights are available to you, and some career suggestions that may be a good fit for you. We hope that this information will empower you as you take the next steps in your career!

How Common Is Cerebral Palsy in Adults?

If you're suffering from cerebral palsy, know you aren't alone. Cerebral palsy is one of the most common disabilities in America.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cerebral palsy occurs in about two per every 1000 US births. Cerebral palsy is more common in boys than girls. It is also more likely to occur if the baby is born premature or has a low birth weight.

What Is the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)?

In 1990, ADA was a civil rights law that was passed. Its purpose was to prevent discrimination against differently-abled people in all elements of public life. This includes in the workplace, schools, on transportation, and spaces open to the general public.

The ADA also establishes requirements for businesses and organizations that provide goods and services to the public.

The ADA covers a wide range of disabilities. Although cerebral palsy is not explicitly listed in the ADA, many people with CP meet the law's general definition of a person with a disability. This means that you have certain rights in the workplace, which we will discuss more in the next section.

What Rights Do I Have in the Workplace?

The ADA gives you several important rights in the workplace. One of the most important is the right to request a reasonable accommodation.

A reasonable accommodation is a change to your work environment or duties that will allow you to perform your job despite having a disability. For example, if you have cerebral palsy and use a wheelchair, your employer may need to make some changes to your workstation so that you can access it.

You also have the right to not be discriminated against because of your disability. This means that your employer cannot refuse to hire you or fire you because you have cerebral palsy. Additionally, your employer cannot pay you less than other employees who do the same job as you, simply because you have a disability.

Things to Consider

While your right to work is important, remember you also have the right to be comfortable in your workplace. This does mean taking into account some of the limitations people with cerebral palsy suffer.

As a condition that affects your motor skills, cerebral palsy can make some workplaces more difficult to navigate than others. If you have cerebral palsy and use a wheelchair, for example, an office with many stairs or no elevator access may not be the best fit for you.

Additionally, depending on the severity of your cerebral palsy, you may need to take frequent breaks or use certain assistive devices. You should take these things into consideration when looking for a job, as you will want to find a position that is accommodating to your needs.

Positions that require long hours on your feet or heavy lifting may also be more difficult for people with cerebral palsy.

Disclosing Your Disability

When you are looking for a job, you do not have to disclose your cerebral palsy unless you need reasonable accommodation. If you feel comfortable disclosing your disability, you may want to do so during the interview process. This will allow your potential employer to get to know you better and understand how your cerebral palsy may impact your job performance.

If you do need to request reasonable accommodation, you can do so at any time during the job application process or after you have been hired. Your employer is required by law to consider your request and provide a written response within a reasonable amount of time.

Some Job Suggestions

Now that we've gone over some of the basics of finding a job with cerebral palsy, let's look at some specific career suggestions. Remember, you are not limited to these options – cerebral palsy should not stop you from pursuing your dream job.

Let's start with the notion of the desk job. Gone are the days of 9 - 5 jobs spent sitting at a desk in a cubicle. With the rise of technology, there are now many jobs that can be done remotely. This means you can work from the comfort of your own home.

In 2022, there's also a huge variety of increasingly interesting and diverse jobs done at a computer, including:

  • Social Media Manager
  • Website Developer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Data Analyst
  • Freelancing

Of course, cerebral palsy should not stop you from pursuing your dream job. If you have always wanted to be a doctor, lawyer, or teacher, there are programs available to help you succeed. The ADA also provides accommodations that can help you in these fields.

There are also programs available to help people with cerebral palsy succeed in medical school. The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) offers an alternate format for people with disabilities. There are also accommodations available during the interview process.

The bottom line is that cerebral palsy should not stop you from pursuing your dream job. With hard work and determination, you can succeed in any career you choose.

Where To Look For Jobs

Strong skills and diverse backgrounds are appreciated by many employers. Disabled Person works with these employers. We put people with cerebral palsy in touch with companies that are looking for talented employees.

Cerebral palsy in adults is not something that should limit your job search. There are many great jobs out there that will fit your passions and skills. With hard work and determination, you can succeed in any career you choose.
To start your job search today you can visit our live Jobs Board right here