October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and people of all abilities have hopes and dreams of becoming employed. Regardless of their disability, everyone has skills and talents that can be useful on the job. Individuals with intellectual disabilities, for instance, tend to work well with tasks that have consistency while people with physical disabilities are more likely to have jobs that do not require heavy lifting or involve strenuous tasks.
While there is no hard and fast rule about which jobs a person can perform, the availability of assistive technology has made it easier to complete certain tasks. I’ve used programs like Dragon NaturallySpeaking to help with typing and have used apps on my phone to record audio or take notes.
My job at the Space and Naval Warfare Command (SPAWAR) has provided other reasonable accomodations including automatic door openers throughout the building and a spacious cubicle to maneuver my wheelchair. SPAWAR is committed to increasing diversity and has created a team to review hiring policies and procedures for people with disabilities. I’m grateful to be employed by this organization and excited for the ability to help others within the disability workforce.
Take a look at the “Who I Am” video created by the U.S. Department of Labor that recognizes and celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness Month.