Whether you’ve had one all your life, or recently acquired one – having a disability and looking for work is extremely difficult.
We face so many barriers just to get started: ignorant and prejudiced interviewers, gaining equal access to job training and knowledge as other workers, getting the proper accessible equipment to help with work, and the list goes on.
I know many people with disabilities who have given up the job hunt and gone to work for themselves.
In this article, I’ll cover several disabilities, the possible jobs for each, any adaptive equipment that may be needed, and any funding or assistance available. Those areas are:
- People with Physical Challenges
- People with Vision Loss
- People with Hearing Loss
- People with Intellectual Challenges
You don’t have to limit yourself to the listings in your category only, go ahead and read all of them as many are possible for any “limitation”.
There are many more opportunities available and with the right adaptations and right mindset, you can work at any job you want.
This group covers mobility challenges, chronic pain and chronic fatigue, and diseases such as MS, ALS and so on.
The adaptive equipment you’ll need depends on your mobility loss. Many of these do not need any adaptations if your upper body isn’t affected.
If your upper body movement is weakened you may get equipment such as switch adaptors, speech to text software, and others. Some keyboard and mouse adaptations are already built-in on Windows and Mac computers in the Accessibility settings.
Working from home in customer service provides you with either steady hours or flexible hours to suit your needs. You work with customers over the phone, through emails, or in live chats. The average full-time customer service representative earns about $30,000 per year.
If you’re proficient at speaking another language, you can make good money teaching it to others. There are several companies such as iTalki online.
Some companies only require a phone while others require a laptop and webcam. The bonus is that you can set your own hours and rates so you can work as often or as little as you need.
If you were working before getting disabled, why not establish yourself as a consultant in your field? Many businesses hire consultants for a variety of reasons and a beginning consultant with a Bachelor’s Degree can earn roughly $60,000 to $90,000 a year.
Many consultations can happen over the phone or be done from your home office.
You can request your current job be adapted to a telecommuting position instead, this saves the hassle of the commute, the formality of having to “look professional” which can be time consuming (and painful to some), and is a real time-saver.
If you don’t have a current job there are numerous listings on various job listing sites available. You can just limit the search to “telecommute”, “remote”, “from home”, or “online” to find them.
The big advantage of freelancing is that you can chose what areas to work in and chose which projects to accept or reject. These projects could be anything from writing articles and blog posts, graphic designing, computer programing and coding, and so on.
Again, you’re the boss and can set your hours and prices. Another advantage is setting the deadlines, you can add a day or two more than you think you can finish, in case there’s needed “down time”.
Many businesses require transcription work, from executives narrating their correspondence, to meeting minutes, to phone calls. The job is simply typing what is spoken. So, good hearing and some dexterity to type is required.
NTI provides work at home positions for people with disabilities. They have worked for over 15 years with employers, Social Security Disability Insurance, and with vocational rehabilitation services that work with disabled individuals.
They match you with legitimate work-at-home opportunities suited to your situation and requirements.
Assistance available for people with mobility challenges are:
- Getting Mobility Equipment & Home Adaptations
- Financial Help
- Entrepreneur Resources for People with Disabilities
This covers anyone with any type of vision loss or limited vision.
Accessible equipment would vary on your vision loss, they could be screenreaders that reads the screen aloud to you, magnification software and devices, and large print modifications. Again, Windows and Mac have these features in their Accessibility panel on their computers.
People with vision loss can pretty much do any job available out there with their adaptive equipment. The major impediment would be transportation and that’s why I’m listing work from home opportunities.
Project Starfish – This is a hiring and training company that seeks ambitious blind, disabled, veterans and more to train for their “digital work pool”. This is great for newly blind, or new to the job force to try as they’ll help you in all aspects of the work field.
CareerConnect – Part of the American Federation of the Blind agency, CareerConnect can help you with a job search, pair you with a mentor, resources, and training. This is a good starting point if you had to leave your current field that was strongly vision-dependent and you need to start over.
Voice-Over Artist – If you’ve got a good clear voice, you can get work in a variety of voice work – commercials, audiobooks, movies, instructional tapes and so on. You’ll need to soundproof your workspace and have a good microphone and computer. Voice over artists can earn about $20 to several hundred dollars per hour.
Computer Support Specialist – If you’re savvy on the computer, you can establish yourself as a computer support specialist working for companies support hotlines. You could also work for yourself as a contractor for various companies instead. Apple frequently has online job offers.
Content Writer – If you have a passion for writing and research, online content writing is a great field to go into. You can either work for one or several companies, or freelance and work per project instead. A full-time online writer can make around $42,000 a year.
Virtual Assistant – Become a virtual assistant for Executives, Business Owners, Salespeople, and other busy folks. Tasks mainly consist of making phone calls, booking appointments, making travel arrangements and other administrative duties. You could work for yourself or an agency and make about $15 an hour.
Podcaster – Knowledgeable in a topic or have a passion to talk about things? Turn that into a steady income by producing podcasts. 9 Million Americans listen to 1 or more podcasts a week! It’s possible to make about $25 to $50 per 1000 listeners.
Assistance for those with Vision Loss are available from:
- Department of Vocational Rehabilitation
- Financial Assistance for those with Vision Loss
- Funds and Grants Available (Education, Work, etc.)
- Assistive Technology Funding
This listing is for those who are hard of hearing, Deaf and late-deafened. These jobs don’t require phone work (or a very minimal need). Because many of these don’t require phone work, no assistive equipment is required job-wise.
If some phone work is required there are captioned phones (that caption what the speaker’s saying), videophones and relay services (that relay either text or sign language to voice and vice versa).
Accessibility options on computers include captioning, flashing the screen instead of sound warnings, and hearing aid or cochlear implant compatibility.
Teach Online – If you’re fluent or a native Sign Language user you can make money from home teaching ASL online. Such sites as TakeLessons, Wyzant, and Chegg (as well as iTalki I mentioned earlier) need sign language tutors.
To find out about these sites check out this post.
Graphic Designer – Have an aptitude for art and design? Work for a design company remotely or freelance on your own designing a variety of products from logos, T-shirt designs, vector art and the list goes on.
A full-time freelance graphic designer could earn around $48,000 a year.
Communication Services for the Deaf – This deaf-owned company has a wide variety of remote positions available in many fields to work online. Jobs such as Career Service Co-Ordinator, Chief Technology Officer, Software engineer, and others.
Their main requirement is that you know Sign Language.
Transfer Photos and Videos – You can get work transferring peoples’ photos and videos onto a DVD as well as transferring old VHS tapes, 8mm, and other family memorabilia to DVD as well.
Online Moderator – Many companies need help moderating their forums, chat rooms, and Social Media pages to remove inappropriate comments, answer questions, and keep conversations going. It’s possible to make $20,000 a year full-time.
Blogging – Create your own website and blog on whatever topic you’re involved in. Write about your disability and educate others in the process.
You make money through affiliate links, sponsored posts and advertising. You can also create eBooks, courses, digital downloads and whatnot to sell on your site as well.
Assistance for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People are:
- Gallaudet Resource List – List of everything you may need
- Grants for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
- iCanConnect – Equipment for those with combined Hearing and Vision Loss
- Financial assistance
This group includes those with developmental delays, brain injuries and other neurological challenges.
Assistive products would vary depending on the individual’s needs. They could be low tech as a notepad checklist to help remember all the things they need to do – to high tech tablets with reminders, calendars and recorded messages.
Photographers— Enjoy looking around and seeing unique things around you? Why not become a photographer and sell your prints online? Sites such as iStockPhoto, Dreamstime, and Shutterstock buy photographs and you can earn anywhere from 15% to 25% of sales.
Website Tester – Surf the internet and get paid for it. You check for how well a website can be used and grade them on it. WhatUsersDo pays about $8 per test and requires an updated computer, high speed internet and a microphone.
Sell your Wares – If you’re great at creating crafts, art, and similar products, you can earn some income on Etsy. It depends on the product and pricing but some popular sellers earn about $1000 a month.
Go to the Movies – Yep, you can get paid going to the movie theater and rating the movies you watch, checking their promotion placements, asking for audience reactions and other assignments.
Dropshipping – If you’re able to find a company to provide and ship products for you. Dropshipping can be a great business to run online. You establish an online store and then contact the manufacturer to ship to the customer whenever an order comes in.
Additional assistance can be found at:
If you doubt that people with disabilities can work or be independent, well you’re reading an article by one. I’m Deaf and legally blind and I work from home working several jobs that I love.
I’m a freelance writer, American Sign Language online teacher, Kindle author, and established and manage my own website. This is on top of being a full-time mother of two teenagers too.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article on legitimate work from home jobs for the disabled and how to work from home with a disability. Thanks for reading and happy frugaling!