Today, all over the USA, people with disabilities can enjoy the same employment opportunities as the non-disabled. Over the years, legislative efforts have ensured reasonable accommodations in the workplace. And that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to jobs for disabled person in the modern world.
People with physical and psychiatric conditions are succeeding in careers previously thought unattainable. Conditions like blindness or autism are no longer limitations to personal and professional success. And with a little imagination, no condition stands between you and a rewarding occupation.
Every year, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities decreases. Workplaces become increasingly inclusive and digitized as society begins to realize the amazing potential of disabled people. Jobs for the disabled person are now expanding across multiple industries. The digital and technological advances of this era have opened many doors as well.
But things haven't always been so easy. Throughout history, the difficulties faced by disabled people adapting to workplaces were endless. The overtly physical nature of most labor, social stigma surrounding disability and lack of information and resources definitely didn’t help. Yet many were too determined to let their disabilities stand in the way to their dreams. Such individuals provide inspiration with their trailblazing courage.
Disabilities don't mean a lack of competence, and there are many ways in which a disabled person can shine. Across history, both ancient and recent, many noteworthy men and women have set such examples. Their contributions to their fields are significant, but their most significant legacy is as role models. Abandon your preconceptions regarding jobs for disabled people, and let yourself dream big.
Astrophysicist: Stephen Hawking
One of the most renowned theoretical physicists, he had a notorious career spanning over 40 years. A prolific author, Hawking wrote over 200 books and publications. His public appearances turned him into a veritable celebrity as well. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. And that was only one of his many awards and achievements. He was severely disabled by a variant of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). He was diagnosed with motor neuron disease when he was 21. Doctors said he would not survive more than two or three years, but he proved them wrong, and then some!
Beethoven is known as one of the greatest composers in history. He gave his first performance as a pianist at the age of 8. He studied in Vienna under the guidance of Mozart. By his mid-twenties, he was considered a virtuoso because of his brilliant improvisational skills. At the age of 26, Beethoven started losing his hearing. Despite his progressive disability, he created some of the greatest works in the history of music. Among them is the 9th Symphony, the 5th Piano Concerto, and countless classical masterpieces.
Marla Runyan is a 3-times national champion in the women’s 5000 meters. She is also a 5-times gold medalist in the Paralympics. In the year 2000, Marla became the first legally blind Paralympian to compete in the Olympic Games. She also holds many records such as 20000 Road (2003), All-Female Marathon (2002), and the Heptathlon (1996). At the age of 9, Runyan was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a form of macular degeneration. But she's always been able to see her goals through.
Mathematician - John Nash
John Nash was an American Mathematician and Nobel Laureate. His work spans many branches of mathematics and is widely thought of as revolutionary. He advanced differential geometry, game theory, and partial differential equations, among other topics.
From a young age, he performed scientific experiments in his room, pursuing his deep passion for understanding the hidden patterns of nature. He studied Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Mathematics at the Carnegie Mellon University. In 1959, Nash started showing severe signs of paranoia.
He was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia after being involuntarily admitted to a hospital. Following treatment, he checked himself into a facility and received electroshock therapy for nine years. He gradually started recovering during the following decades. His work earned him awards and recognition such as the John von Neumann Theory Prize (1978) and the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences (1994), a testament to what can be accomplished by people with even the most debilitating disabilities.
So, next time you start thinking of jobs for disabled person, take a minute to think outside the box. Focus less on what you can’t do, and more on what you’re truly good at. When you’re doing something you really shine at, you’ll find the world seems to accommodate to your needs. Not to mention the rewarding feeling of knowing you’re doing something you’re great at.