Finding Employment With a Disability – It Is Possible?

posted by Chris Valentine

If you have a disability and you want to enter the workforce, you might be wondering if it’s even possible to find employment. While it’s easy to say all things are possible, of course, there are certain challenges faced by people with a disability.

Having said that, finding a job with a disability is still doable and there are assistance programs for you to achieve your employment goals. Let’s look at some employment options for people with a disability and what support you can get.

Finding Employment With a Disability – Job Options

The type of job you can do will depend on the type or extent of the disability you have, but there will always be options. Many people with physical challenges are successfully employed in office environments, or even working remotely from home. In this Covid-19 world, so many people have been forced to work from home if they can, that it’s virtually become the norm now.

One vocation that people with disabilities have been very successful in, is a role that enables them to help other people with similar challenges. No one understands those challenges as well as an individual in the same boat. This could be counselling, rehabilitation, physiotherapy or simply running a support group. You might even land a role in helping other disabled people find employment.

If finances and figures are your things, a career as an accountant, financial planner or advisor can prove to be very lucrative. These positions are not physically challenging and nearly every Australian business or individual needs to consult with a financial expert from time to time. Many businesses employ accountants on a full-time basis. This is the perfect job you could do from home, even if employed full time by a company.

Let’s make a quick list of a few more job options:

  • IT specialist

  • Software engineer

  • Pharmacy assistant

  • Customer service/Call centre

  • Market research analyst

  • Copywriter

  • Freelancing

  • And many more…

This isn’t to suggest that the only roles open for people with disabilities are desk jobs. More physical, hands-on work is also a possibility. It really just depends on how restricted by the disability the individual is.

Help To Find Work for the Disabled

The Australian government, through a number of different initiatives, offer assistance when it comes to finding jobs for disabled people. It’s important to be aware that you’re not alone in your quest for a job and that there is assistance available when you need it.

One of the best ways to learn what assistance you can receive and to understand what’s involved in the process is to join a Jobactive provider. These companies are linked to Centrelink and assist unemployed people and those with disabilities in finding a job.

Jobactive providers can even line up free training to improve your skills and increase your chances of landing a role. They are fully aware of the government assistance programs and can guide you through what assistance you may be eligible for.

Likely you’ll need to undergo an assessment first to determine your capacity to work, as well as how many hours per week you would be capable of working. Once that is complete, the appropriate assistance program can be recommended to you, in which case, your Jobactive provider would help you avail of that assistance, as well as try and find you suitable employment.

A key assistance program offered by the Australian government to get disabled people positions in the workforce is a wage subsidy. In this program, if an employer agrees to hire a person with a disability for a particular role, the government will subsidise a significant portion of the wage to entice the employer to hire you. This comes under the DES (Disability Employment Services) scheme.

Another possible option is to work for an employer on a productivity basis, where you get paid based on the amount of work you do per day as compared to getting paid by the hour. This helps keep things fair for the employer, making them more likely to hire a worker with a disability.

The Takeaway

While there are challenges facing disabled people when it comes to entering the workforce, there are still some good job options available, as well as the help you need to bridge the gap from unemployed to gainfully employed.

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