Looking for work is tough. When you’re building a career as a person with a mobility impairment, things are unavoidably more complex. We’ve put together a list of touchpoints designed to ease some of the stress of the job application process. From how to handle disability disclosure, to finding a portable stair lift and other assistive technology, these resource hubs will get you career-building in no time.
Understanding your legal position
Before tackling the world of work, it’s important to know what laws govern employment in general, and the rights of people with disabilities especially.
- U.S. Department of Labor Employee Rights Resource Page: A great first stop on your knowledge-building journey. This links you to relevant legislative acts and fact sheets and FAQs that make these sometimes lengthy texts easily digestible.
- Dive into detail with the U.S. Department of Justice’s introduction to the Americans with Disabilities Act. It’s written using HIV/AIDS as an example of impairment, but the principles are exactly the same.
Once you’re up to date on your legal protections, it’s time to dive into job listings.
- Every state has a state vocational rehabilitation agency. These are a great place to begin looking for placements and also get support with the process leading up to, and immediately after securing work.
- Private listing sites will be the cornerstone of your job search. Listings on abilityJOBS and the AAPD site are a great place to access posted jobs that are specifically aimed at securing the skills of people with disabilities.
Bookmarking employment resource hubs
If you’re looking for more general resources to give your career a kickstart (and before tackling those listings), you’ve got a number of options.
- CareerOneStop is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor and prides itself on being an all-in-one hub for career exploration, training, and jobs. This isn’t specifically geared to people with disabilities, but they do have a section designed specifically to support people with disabilities.
Join a support network
There’s so much more to finding work as a person with a disability than simply proving your qualification for the job. The emotional and physical impact of the extra variables you have to manage can easily outstrip the weight of the same process on an able-bodied candidate. Joining a support network can be the difference between staying motivated, losing heart before achieving your goal. Go on! You can do it!
- Mobility International U.S.A. is a supportive community dedicated to advancing the rights of people with disabilities in society. You’ll find inspirational stories, useful resources and a special section on employment, with a focus on international opportunities.
- The Social Security’s Ticket To Work Program is a great place to get support when you’re wanting to (re)enter the workforce while making the most of your existing Social Security disability benefits. They’ve introduced a system that ensures you don’t take the plunge without a safety net!
Disclosure and accommodations
Once you’ve landed an interview, you’ll be tackling the more practical challenges of working with a mobility impairment. Most obviously, you’ll probably be wondering how to handle disability disclosure and requesting the accommodations you’ll need to get the job done.
- The Job Accommodation Network provides free advice and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations. They’ll also be able to help with more general challenges to do with your employment as a person with mobility impairment, including how to tackle disclosure to your best advantage.
One cost that could be covered by workplace accommodation is a Mobile Stairlift. Suggesting this portable assistive technology is one way you can demonstrate to prospective employers that you’re an active participant of meeting your workplace support needs. Hopefully, these resources help you formulate reasonable, legally compliant requests for accommodations, and arm you with what you need to stay safe from discrimination. We’re here to help you focus on what’s important: the job at hand! Dive into the details of building a successful career as a person with mobility impairment on our resources page: