Nearly 49 million Americans live with a disability, and as of 2014, the unemployment rate for disabled persons was 12.3%, whereas the rest of the population hovered around the 5.9% range. Finding a job that accommodates various disabilities can be overwhelming at times, but if you know what to look for — and the right places to look — it’s not so daunting.
Because disability comes in many forms, there is no one job that will be perfect for everyone. Some need work that allows them to be in a quiet environment all day, while others need something they can do from a wheelchair. Still, others are looking for a job that will allow them some flexibility and the opportunity to work with others and become more social; here are five of the best in that category.
Dogs are usually very social animals by nature and love nothing more than a good walk in the park, where they can play, run freely, and let out some of the energy that can build up in a day. Puppies especially need a lot of attention and care, but there are times when pet owners simply can’t get away from work or other responsibilities to come home and let them out. Rover.com offers pet owners and responsible caregivers the chance to meet up with one another and decide if the job is a good fit and even handles the financial details, so you can earn money while spending time with a loving animal and socializing at a local park or dog park. If you want to spend even more time with your new furry friends, you can also sign up to be a pet sitter.
While some library jobs require a degree in library sciences, you may be able to work part-time while studying online for your certification. Libraries are quiet, calm places that offer flexibility and the chance to work alone should the day get overwhelming, or an opportunity to work with children and others who need assistance throughout the day.
Working in retail is a great way to become more social, and it also offers some degree of flexibility depending on which stores you look into. Some may be open 24 hours, allowing you a small degree of interaction with others and more time to focus on working alone (such as putting away stock), while others may need cashiers or customer service desk personnel.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a historical town, there may be several jobs available nearby as a tour guide. Having knowledge of various buildings and landmarks is helpful, but many hotels, museums, businesses, and tourist attractions will train guides to take customers on tours. You might even check with new establishments, such as newly-built restaurant or library, to see if they need help with new customers.
Many retail stores, hotels, and restaurants need greeters and hospitality personnel to assist customers upon arrival and help with front-end tasks, such as cleaning, answering phones, and fielding questions. While working with the public can be tiring, the right job will allow you to interact with others based upon your needs.
Finding a job that will accommodate your disability doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. If you’re still not sure which job field may be right for you, sometimes it’s helpful to sit down and make a list of the type of jobs you definitely don’t want first to eliminate a few options and find what’s right for you.
Written by Chloe Pearson