The Best Tech Tools For Professionals with Disabilities

By Patrick Young,

Man in wheelchair working at a computer workstation

Getting and keeping a job you like is difficult for anyone, but it can be incredibly hard for someone with a disability. Having a sight, hearing or motor-function disability doesn’t make it impossible to get a good job, but it can be considerably harder. Fortunately, this age of technology has ushered in a wide variety of tools that can help professionals with disabilities.

One thing to keep in mind is that your phone can be instrumental in both using these technologies and in securing your career path. It’s your connection to everything important during your entire career, from job hunting to job advancement. Invest in an upgrade if you’re using an older model, and if you are tight on data, consider looking into pay as you go phone plans. It’s a great way to get exactly the data package you need for the time period you need it.

Smart Technologies That Help You Find Work

The process of applying for work is something most people take for granted, but it can be especially difficult if you have a disability.

Job tracker apps such as Huntr make it easy to keep track of all the jobs you’ve applied for in one place. No need to switch from site to site or keep every email. All the contacts and correspondence to any job you apply for is easily accessible and at your command.

Talking on the phone to schedule an interview can be a huge ordeal when you have certain disabilities. The RogerVoice app puts captions to voice calls so you don’t miss a word. Hearing-impaired people can make regular cell phone calls to anyone that understands sign language, and read their words with voice-recognition software.

People with motor-function disabilities use Dragon Naturally Speaking to help search the web for job opportunities, report research and anything else. It is voice-recognition software that employs voice commands for those who have trouble using the keyboard. Capterra explains this program is a leader in the industry and is favored by attorneys, physicians, and others in the professional sector.

Smart Technologies That Help You Advance in Your Career

Most workplaces are not entirely accessible to disabled people, making it harder to advance in our careers. The Americans with Disabilities Act made it illegal to discriminate against employees and job seekers with disabilities. This includes implementing structural and technological changes needed to employ them, and many of those options are low-cost. Don’t hesitate to ask for tech tools like these if you’re climbing higher in your current organization.

The HearYouNow iPhone app is useful for those with hearing disabilities who do not use a hearing aid. When used during a meeting, it takes out background and foreground noises to focus on the speech.

BeMyEyes is an app that helps visually challenged people navigate the world around them. Volunteers answer video calls from users who need help reading something, gauging distance, getting directions or anything else a seeing person can assist with. American Foundation for the Blind explains this is a powerful platform for users that’s well worth considering.

JAWS is a computer screen reader for the visually disabled. It reads what is on the screen and provides a Braille output system for many of the most widely used computer systems. Every action on the keyboard results in an audio confirmation making it simple for visually impaired workers to work on a computer.

America has made great strides in inclusion for the disabled workforce, but there is even more work to be done. Great things are on the horizon. New technologies are developed all the time that enable everyone to enter the workforce and share their talents with the world, so take advantage of these wonderful tools and further your career.