Guest Post – Using Technology to Advance Your Career

Readers of my blog know that we have a wonderful grandson who is on the autism spectrum. This is an article by Peter Young, who writes a blog, for people like my grandson. It can be found at http://www.ableusa.info.

On his website, he has several interesting articles. Head over there and see other interesting articles.

Differently-abled individuals can have challenges finding fulfilling work in which their physical needs can be accommodated in an appropriate, helpful, and professional manner. Fortunately, advances in assistive technologies are providing increasingly more options to help those with different abilities work productively in all types of industries. Options also abound for employment options including remote work and home-based businesses start-up.

Hiring and Employment

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) “prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in several areas, including employment, transportation, public accommodations, communications, and access to state and local government programs and services.” As such, most employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees to assist them in performing key functions of their jobs. Most employers are well-versed in rights and responsibilities around ADA compliance, but if you have concerns about being treated appropriately, connect with your employer’s human resources department or reference this guide on tips for talking to your employer.

Assistive Technologies

A variety of assistive technologies are available to aid those who work in office settings and need additional support features to perform job functions. According to Tech.co, featured new products include artificial vision devices, text readers, and voice-recognition software, as well as web readers to aid in internet searches. Other products can aid in providing assistance for those with physical limitations, including specially designed and ergonomic office chairs, desks, keyboards and headsets, and even braille smartwatches and devices that are controlled by eye movements.

Launching a Home-Based Business

Starting a home-based business is another great way to be your own boss and advance your professional career objectives. It also allows you to work from the comfort of your own workspace, which can be an asset if you have mobility issues that make it difficult to travel to meet clients and customers or navigate an office environment. Look into business licensing requirements or permits necessary to launch your operations. In addition to dedicated office space, you’ll also want to open a business bank account, establish an online presence, and develop a comprehensive business and marketing plan to guide operational functions.

Keeping Employees Connected

If you decide to interview prospective contractors, freelancers, or remote staffers to help you build your business, make sure you hire individuals comfortable with working in a remote team environment. Managing this type of team can be tricky, but communicating well can help ensure productivity and collaboration. Consider using project management software or platforms like Slack to create team-wide and project-specific channels and add a newsfeed that keeps everyone in-the-know about important news and information. Also hold regular remote team meetings, as well as 1:1 conversations with direct reports so everyone on your team feels heard and supported. Make yourself available as needed to troubleshoot issues as they arise.

Advanced Education Options

If you ultimately decide to launch your own business, you may find that a business, business management, or marketing degree gives you the educational tools and insights necessary to effectively launch and operate your own venture. Online educational offerings make it easier than ever to complete your studies online from the location of your choosing, often at your own pace. This is a great benefit for parents and people who work while they attend school. It’s also a great opportunity to network with professors and classmates, which can be invaluable when you’re launching a new business.

Options for achieving personal and professional goals and ambitions via assistive technology are continuing to expand. Whether you request modified adaptive tools in your place of work, opt to work remotely, or return to school to learn tricks of the trade for building your own business or advancing in your current role, the options are limitless!

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