Employment prospects for people with disabilities are growing, aided by the growth of the Internet and a related movement by employers to create more remote and telecommuting jobs.1 Many employers are eager to hire disabled employees, not only out of altruism but also because doing so allows them to apply for work opportunity tax credits from the Internal Revenue Service.
Employers are also often interested in hiring particular types of disabled people. Some prefer to hire disabled veterans, while others might focus their hiring on the elderly or people with mental disabilities.
Employers are required by law, under the mandates of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), to provide reasonable accommodations for the disabled both in the workplace and during the interviewing process. Hiring qualified disabled employees for telecommuting or remote jobs is ideal for them, because fewer workplace accommodations are required.
How to Find the Right Job for You
Take a personality test. Personality and career assessment tests are wonderful tools for helping to decide what sort of job would be right for you. Taking them for yourself will enable you to explore different career options; many employers also request that job candidates take personality and other psychological tests in order to gauge their strengths and predict whether they would fit well into their company culture.
Make a list of your skills. Write down a list of all of your professional hard skills (that you have achieved through your education or training) and of your soft skills (interpersonal skills like good communication, dependability, and flexibility). Then, review job announcements to see how your skills measure up to those requested in the “Preferred Qualifications” sections of ads.
Be willing to develop new skills. Although you probably have many of the competencies that employers are seeking, it never hurts to expand your skillset. For instance, if most of the interesting job ads you read request that you know a specific computer program, you’ll garner an excellent return on your investment of time and money by learning the software.
Continuing training also demonstrates to employers that you are open to acquiring new skills in order to add value to their organization.
Think about your schedule. Many telecommuting jobs require that employees be willing to work odd hours or swing shifts. Before you apply for jobs, think about the hours you would be available to work and decide whether you have the flexibility to work at night or on the weekends.
Avoid scams. Scams are very common on job sites that advertise telecommuting positions. Although the remote job sites listed here have been vetted, you should nonetheless be thorough in checking the credentials of any employer with whom you choose to interview. Here are tips about how to avoid hiring scams.
10 Top Job Sites for People with Disabilities
The following job boards are designed to optimize the career search process for disabled job seekers. When visiting these sites, enter keywords such as “remote,” “work from home,” or “telecommute” into the search filters in order to narrow the field down to telecommuting opportunities.
AbilityJobs self-professes to offer a lengthy resume bank of active job seekers with disabilities, and caters exclusively to employers specifically looking for disabled employees.
The site is quite user-friendly, with large text and buttons to navigate each page. If you are a job seeker, the site will ask you to create an account and post your resume. Disabled job seekers can create their account free of charge and view open positions by company, or create job alerts for their profession of choice.
2. CareerCast Disability Network
CareerCast allows disabled job seekers to search for open positions within specific industries, or to search by keyword and location. While creating an account is free, the site also lets users find and apply for jobs without creating an online account.
Like Ability Jobs, CareerCast job seekers can create their online account and set up alerts for jobs specific to their industry and location. There are “extras” by way of job search tools available to members. Additionally, disabled job seekers get access to a variety of informative content to assist them in their job search.
3. Disability Job Exchange
This site works similar to CareerCast in that users are not required to create an online account to view jobs. Users may even upload their resume without creating an account, if they’re just passively looking for work.
While there does not appear to be a job search by industry, Disability Job Exchange still provides an easy-to-use search tool by keyword and location. Also, the site offers many of the standard job hunting tips, such as vocational training, interviewing, and resume building.
AbilityLinks caters primarily to employers seeking disabled employees and sponsors. On the surface, this can appear discouraging to job seekers, but it is quite the opposite. Typically, a job board nurturing strong relationships with employers and sponsors means that job seekers are better and more quickly matched.
Therefore, this site brands itself as a “disability employment community,” hosting a job board, resume bank, virtual job fairs, and more. This community extends to disabled-owned businesses and advocacy groups fighting for the rights of the disabled.
5. Enable America
This site is not strictly a job board. Instead, it is a richly informative site for disabled job seekers. On the home page, Enable America features employers going above and beyond to hire and serve their disabled employees, as well as educating readers regarding relevant legislation and training pertaining to the disabled workforce.
At first glance, the site appears to only cater to disabled veterans, but that is not the case. Enable America’s resources apply to all job seekers with disabilities who wish to enter (or re-enter) the workforce.
DisabledPerson’s website is well-organized, fully accessible, and even fun to navigate. Aside from the usual job search by keyword and location, the site has sections for available jobs organized by states, by industries, and more. For example, according to Disabled Person, the most disabled employee-friendly states are California, Texas, and Florida.
While the job board allows users to peruse open positions, they are required to create a free online account before applying. Disabled job seekers can also learn from relevant articles on the site, including a “Marketable Skills” section, to help them hone their employability.
7. The Sierra Group: RecruitDisability.org
RecruitDisbability.org looks and works very similarly to CareerCast above. The site provides the standard job board where users can search by keyword and location. Users need to create online accounts in order to access all features, including job alerts and a resume building tool.
Disabled job seekers can use the site to find disability-friendly employers, industries seeking disabled workers, and even a salary comparison tool to help them understand what pay structures are competitive for their skills and experience.
8. Getting Hired
Getting Hired looks and feels much like AbilityJobs. The site is easy to navigate, clean, and uses large letters if one’s disability affects their ability to see and use screens. Also, Getting Hired allows for three different viewing options on the top right-hand side of the screen.
The website features all the standard job board options, including keyword search, industry, and company categories. Users are required to create a free account to find open positions. Disabled job seekers will be able to find “trending jobs” displayed on the home page. And finally, Getting Hired hosts a number of virtual job fairs for members.
9. Land a Job
This site is primarily for disabled job seekers that qualify for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration. Land a Job specializes in helping the disabled claim their benefits while simultaneously job hunting for that ideal position.
Counselors at Land a Job are available to guide users through their IWP (Individual Work Plan), which is typically required for those receiving disability from the government. Additionally, the site offers an online course for job hunting, including how to interview and build a resume. All services on Land a Job are free to disabled job seekers.
10. USA Jobs
USA Jobs is not a job board specifically for disabled job seekers. However, an entire section of the website is dedicated to disabled job seekers. This site posts government jobs, and while government jobs can be more difficult to acquire (due to multiple screenings and security clearances), benefits are usually much better than what is offered in the private sector.
Among the other job board sites, USA Jobs thoroughly covers the process of Schedule A eligibility, which provides opportunities for candidates without them having to compete for the job. Proving your Schedule A eligibility can give disabled job seekers an advantage over their peers, particularly when it comes to government jobs.
KNOW YOUR VALUE: Employers are generally eager to hire people with disabilities, both out of altruism and because this enables them to claim tax credits from the IRS.
SHARPEN YOUR JOB SKILLS: List your job skills and look for opportunities to develop new ones that are in demand by employers in your industry.
EXPLORE MULTIPLE JOB SEARCH SITES: There are many job boards dedicated solely to helping people with disabilities find employment. It’s well worth it to explore all these sites and post your resume on them.