Want to Work From Home? Here's How to Find Jobs for Disabled People at Home in 2020

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Want to Work From Home? How to Find Jobs for Disabled People at Home in 2020

There has perhaps never been more focus on working from home than in 2020.  The worldwide question of how to keep the economy going during the coronavirus has forced everyone, with or without a disability, to find creative work options.

Finding work has always been a bit more difficult for those with a disability.  So far in 2020, the unemployment rate is double for those with disabilities compared to those without (4.4% compared to 8.3%). 

The good news is that there are jobs for disabled people at home. Keep reading for some practical ideas in your job search. 

Know Your Abilities 

While the Americans with Disabilities Act has provided a great step forward for employment issues for those with disabilities, each person must still consider their own situation, abilities, and preferences.

Just because it's not legal to deny someone a certain job only based on disability doesn't mean you want the job!  If you have a physical disability that causes pain when standing for long periods of time, for example, you might want to avoid a job in construction.

Maybe this seems obvious, but it's important to first think through what abilities you have, what would be an enjoyable job, and then start to pursue it. 

If you aren't sure what your interests or abilities are, the following are some good options to consider:

  • customer service
  • data entry (the medical field is especially in demand)
  • writing (technical, business, blogging, etc.)
  • education
  • any job that normally is done remotely

Know Your Rights

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990 and outlaws discrimination against people with disabilities.  This is good news.  

One practical thing this means when searching for a job it that employers can't deny a job to someone just because of a disability.  In fact, there are lots of regulations about when an employer can even bring up a disability.

Generally, an employer can't ask about ability or disability until a provisional job offer has been made.  

Once hired, the ADA requires that reasonable accommodations be made so that a person with a disability can do their work tasks.  Unfortunately, an employer doesn't have to create a telework option, but it is considered a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. 

Finding Jobs For Disabled People At Home

For anyone wanting to work from home, there are essentially three options to accomplish this: look for a new job that will hire you to work from home, do freelance work from home, or, if you're already working, simply ask your employer to work remotely. 

Job Search For People With Disabilities 

You probably know that you'll find many online resources when looking for any type of job. At disABLED person, Inc., our whole mission is to assist people with disabilities to find work opportunities. 

Our website offers employers a place to post job openings specifically targeted for people with disabilities and for job seekers to search for them.  This is a wonderful, targeted, place to start your search!

Before you actually apply for a job that looks interesting and that matches your skillset, there are a  few things to brush up on: interview skills and your resume.

It's possible it has been a while since you've had to update your resume or do an interview.  This isn't bad, but it does mean you'll want to practice beforehand.

Try to anticipate the kinds of questions you might be asked and prepare your answers.  Consider how and if you want to bring up your disability, and you might respond if the interviewer mentions it. 

If you can find a willing partner, you could even do a mock interview.  This practice will build confidence, and projecting confidence during a real interview is an absolute necessity to getting the job. 

An up-to-date resume is another requirement. We can help you do this with our resume-building tool on our website.  

Freelance Work at Home 

Another route to being able to work from home that mostly avoids having to go through the traditional interview process is to freelance. 

For those with a disability, this might be especially appealing because the work is truly valued by ability and the work you produce. You wouldn't have a formal boss and wouldn't have to deal with asking for special accommodations. 

Of course, the catch is that freelancing requires you to have a skill that is in demand.  Some popular freelancing jobs include writing, translation, transcription, photography, teaching, tutoring. 

Potential downsides of freelancing are that there is no guaranteed salary or demand for work, and you'll have to self-promote and be pro-active in getting new clients. The major advantages are that you can set your hours, tasks, and rates. And you can do your work how it works for you.

Ask Your Employer

If you already have a job and want to transition to working at home, there's probably never been a better time to simply ask your employer.  The coronavirus is proving that lots of jobs can reasonably be done from home, and yours is likely no different.

Take advantage of the work from home trend and simply ask for that accommodation. Remember, an employer must make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities, and working from home is one option, even if the company doesn't normally offer telework opportunities.

You Can Find Work That Works For You!

If you are looking for jobs for disabled people at home, this is actually a great time for you.  Many jobs are going online and the opportunities to work remotely are increasing, especially due to the current pandemic.

Our recommendation is to first think about what you can do and want to do.  Then, take a moment and remind yourself of the rights you have as a worker with a disability.  

If it's been a while since you've had to look for a new job, brush up on your interview technique and resume writing skills.

Finally, consider the pros and cons of applying for a traditional job that you can do from home or taking the freelance route. 

We are here to help you find work!  Keep checking back here for more tips and job postings.  We support you!