Finding the right job is a challenge for most people. When you’re living with a spinal cord injury it can be ten times more difficult.
There are many additional obstacles wheelchair users encounter in their pursuit of employment or returning to work after spinal cord injury. But if you speak with anyone who has faced those challenges, they’ll tell you it is worth it.
Below is a list of some of the common barriers to employment for people with disabilities, along with solutions that can help remove them.
Lack of Reasonable Accommodations
Finding an employer that’s willing to accommodate your needs can sometimes be daunting, even when you have the skills for the job. Critical factors like an accessible work space, assistive technology to fulfill job requirements, and flexible work schedules all come into play. But you have every right to reasonable accommodations in the workplace. Make sure you know your rights and what laws protect them.
Fear of Losing Benefits
Many people living with spinal cord injuries and disorders are reluctant to pursue a career out of fear of losing Medicare or Medicaid benefits. Programs like Ticket to Work can be a good fit for those who want to improve their earning potential and strive for long-term success in the workplace. And there are other options you should know about.
Nobody Wants to Hire a Wheelchair User
This is a huge misconception. While you may initially be nervous about entering the workforce, there are thousands of companies who believe in the value of inclusion and are looking to hire talented people with disabilities. The right company can alleviate your worries and make you feel welcomed from Day 1. Keep searching…
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed, and at times, frustrated with the job search. Fear not, there are outlets for support that can assist with matching your individual needs, skill set and experience with the right employer. And you will discover new opportunities to grow and thrive on your career path. United Spinal’s Pathways to Employment program is a great starting point, providing access to valuable resources and useful tips and information to begin your journey. Request employment assistance.
United Spinal can also help you find a peer mentor to help set work goals and develop strategies to approach the return-to-work process to achieve those goals. Request a mentor.
We hope the above information will be helpful to you in reaching your goals.