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Job Searching with a Disability: Tips and Resources

Job Searching with a Disability: Tips and Resources KnowledgeToWork.com
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Posted in category Job Searching by

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), and to celebrate this year’s theme of empowerment, we want to share some job searching tips and resources for job hunters who have a disability. Job hunting includes many challenges for all job seekers. If you’re one of the 19% of Americans with a disability, you may face additional hurdles while job searching. In this post, we’ll discuss some of those challenges and share tips and resources that can help the process go smoothly for job seekers. Whether you’re looking for full-time jobs or part-time jobs, we’ll discuss everything from job hunting websites to job candidate rights under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) to tips for navigating job interviews with a disability.

Tips for Job Searching with a Disability

  1. Focus on your strengths. Focus on what you can do, not any challenges that may stand in your way. Rather than spending precious space in your cover letter or critical time in your interview discussing your disability, use that time and space to highlight the skills, achievements, and experiences that make you an excellent candidate for the position. Be sure to talk about work you’ve done in previous jobs, internships, apprenticeships, or volunteer positions as well. Sharing how you’ve been successful in similar positions to the one you’re applying for helps show employers that you can be effective in that role.
  2. Know your rights. As you begin job hunting, you’ll also want to make sure you thoroughly understand your rights as a job seeker and as an employee with a disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) outlines which questions employers are not allowed to ask in a job interview, the accommodations employers are required to provide to job candidates and employees, and what actions are required of the job candidate or employee to get those accommodations, as well as other information on hiring, promotions, benefits, pay, firing, accommodations, and what qualifies as discrimination.
  3. Do your research. Read the description for the position you are applying for and the skills required in that position carefully. Before investing your time in applying for and possibly interviewing for a position, you want to know that you can perform the work required and think through any accommodations you may need to be successful in that job role. This will be crucial for the next tip.
  4. Be confident. Since you know that you can perform the work required in the position, don’t be shy about it. Your attitude is what will win over employers. Show employers that you thoroughly understand the job requirements and explain to them exactly how you will do the work. If you show that you’re comfortable and confident you can be successful in the position, employers will be too.
  5. Disclose when needed. You can’t get accommodations from an employer without disclosing a disability. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need when you need it. Research any accommodations you will need ahead of time so you can tell employers exactly what to provide you with.
  6. Prepare. Be sure to spend some time preparing for the job searching process itself as well. Brush up on your soft skills, cover letter writing, resume tips, and practice job interview questions.

Resources for Job Searching with a Disability

There are a number of websites, tools, and resources available with the aim of assisting individuals with disabilities find and achieve employment. We've listed some for you below:

  • Getting Hired: Search engine for locating jobs for veterans and other individuals with disabilities.
  • abilityJOBS.com: Job searching website for individuals with disabilities.
  • Disability Job Exchange – Job hunting website for people with disabilities as well as getting resume tips and career advice.
  • Job Accommodation Network (JAN) – An online network of individuals with disabilities that share their experiences with workplace accommodations, ideas that have worked for them, and suggestions of specific tools they use.
  • Project HIRED – Project HIRED offers various services and training programs to help individuals with disabilities on their path to employment.
  • U.S. Department of Labor – Resources to help individuals and veterans with disabilities find job hunting tools and resources, job training, and employment.
  • U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – The EEOC’s page on disability discrimination discusses workplace discrimination that occurs against someone with a disability by an employer covered by the ADA or the Rehabilitation Act.
  • A Guide for People with Disabilities Seeking Employment – Job searching guide for people with a disability created by the Social Security Administration, EEOC, and the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • ADA National Network – This website provides information, guidance, and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) – The AAPD is an organization of people with disabilities to connect them and help promote change in order to increase their political and economic power. The AAPD also has a career center that includes tools, resources, and job listings. The AAPD also offers a summer internship program for college students and recent graduates with disabilities.
  • CareerOneStop – The CareerOneStop website offers a great deal of information for job seekers with disabilities, including information on the ADA, disclosing a disability, job accommodations, and tips for job interviews with a disability.

Job Searching Resources on KnowledgeToWork.com

KnowledgeToWork.com also offers many resources that can help you on your path to find a job. We focus on work-based learning, which means all our tools and resources are designed to help you find a job or advance in your career (did I also mention our site is free?).

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), and to celebrate this year’s theme of empowerment, we want to share some job searching tips and resources for job hunters who have a disability.


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