How Those with Disabilities Can Use Technology to Advance Their Careers

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Are you ready for the next step in your career? Whether it’s time to find your first job or advance in your current profession, there are plenty of ways those with disabilities can put technology to use. Here’s what you need to know.

Spruce Up Your Resume

We’ve all seen those resumes that are so neat and organized they almost shine, but when creating your own it’s easy to spend over an hour just trying to get everything to align correctly. Rather than pass on job postings because you can’t get your resume to look clean and polished, use an online resume builder to make things simple. They even have a cover letter builder tool that uses the same template as the resume.

Remember, some applications don’t require a cover letter, but it’s a great place to elaborate on your skills without the restrictions of a resume.

Keep in mind that your resume isn’t the place to disclose your disability, and in fact, you do not need to do so at all. If you require job accommodations, NOLO explains they are required to do so within reason—after you get the job. At the same time, thanks to tax credits your employer can enjoy, you may wish to inform them even if you do not require accommodations. Ultimately, it’s your choice.

There’s an App for That

With the right apps, your phone can truly become an extension of yourself, but you’ll need to make sure it’s not only a smartphone but an updated and reliable one too. This means finding a smartphone with enough power and speed to make entering (and staying) in the career world a breeze. Apps make it easy as well. There are too many to list, but these are a few worth checking out:

  • Ava – This is like real-life subtitles, instantly translating what is being said around you into text. It can be used in a one-on-one interview or a group setting. You can even type out your response and play it on your phone
  • Dragon by Nuance – Whether you’re visually impaired or have a motor skill impairment that makes keyboards and mouse manipulation a challenge, Dragon apps are the perfect solution on your phone or tablet. You’re able to use speech dictation to create reports, spreadsheets, emails, or search the Web.
  • Text to Speech – This is another great app to make communicating with others easy, such as with those who aren’t versed in ASL. All you do is type and hit play, making phone and in-person interviews and meetings stress-free.

Cast Your Net Close to Home

Of course, you can apply to any job that crosses your path, but don’t discount remote jobs. Working from home offers convenience and flexibility, which is particularly beneficial for those who have assistive devices, caregivers, or appointments with doctors and therapists. This sort of alternative work arrangement makes it easy for you to make the necessary workplace adjustments needed to do your job to the best of your ability.

CNBC notes there are plenty of companies that consistently hire remote work such as Humana, Dell, Aetna, and more, but freelancing is an avenue to explore as well. By using a remote staffing firm, you’ll quickly see that you can be or do anything from the comforts of home, whether it’s copywriting, customer service, or even putting your organizational skills to use as a virtual assistant. Best of all, most job boards have apps you can use on your phone, too, so that you can search and apply for jobs anytime, anywhere.

Technology provides an amazing number of opportunities these days. As someone with a disability, there is plenty to put to your advantage. When it’s time to grow a career, take hold of these tech tools to reach your goals.

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