Tag Archives: Disability

How to Determine Career-Fit: A Guide for People with Disabilities

This is a guest post by, Patricia Sarmiento Who blogs at Publichealthcorps.org.

career clock

Photo by Flazingo Photos via Flickr

What kind of career would be ideal for you? If you’re living with a disability, the answer to this question may seem incredibly difficult to answer. Not only must you weigh your interests, passions, background, and skills, but also your abilities — and in such a way that many other job seekers don’t have to consider.

Doing research about different careers is an excellent way to see what they can offer you and how compatible the job requirements are with your specific abilities and limitations. While looking into these jobs you can learn what the general requirements are, including what kind of education is needed and if work experience is necessary. Below are some suggestions for conducting career research to determine if your top career choices are a good fit for you.

Are You Qualified?

It’s always a good idea to flex your research muscles when searching for a job. Check out the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, for instance, where you can find out all kinds of information on different careers, such as employment projections, which indicate the outlook for different professions in the coming years.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also includes data on median salaries, how many people are employed in a specific career, and 10-year projections on those individual data points. Other helpful information to be found here includes how much experience is needed, what kind of education is needed, and if on-the-job training is commonly offered for certain jobs, which is helpful for planning your educational goals if you have a specific career in mind.

Job boards are another way to examine different careers and what kinds of jobs are available. These Internet sites allow you access to job descriptions and required qualifications such as education and work experience. Sometimes employers also list salaries or salary ranges for certain jobs, which can give you an idea of what to expect if you enter that field.

Is Telecommuting an Option?

A very helpful way to find out about a company is to go to their website, where you can uncover a plethora of information in many cases, such as the company’s vision, what the company does in detail, services offered, contact information, and press the company has received. Then there are the “jobs” or “careers” links, which can usually be found at either the bottom of the page or somewhere near the top of the page, underneath the name and logo of the company. These listings are an excellent way to find jobs as companies sometimes list openings on their own sites without making use of job boards at all. On a company website, you can see specific jobs available all over the country (for national organizations), and the listings will usually disclose if telecommuting is an option. There are more telecommuting job opportunities than ever, which is convenient for most people but can be particularly useful for people with disabilities who may not be able to travel readily to an office every day.

Is The Company Disability Friendly?

There are ways you can research how disability-friendly companies are. One way is to check the Disability Equality Index (DEI), a joint initiative of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), and the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN). The DEI is “a national, transparent benchmarking tool that offers businesses an opportunity to receive an objective score, on a scale of zero (0) to 100, on their disability inclusion policies and practices, and identify opportunities for continued improvement.” The DEI breaks down the survey into 4 categories (with subcategories) including:

● Culture & Leadership
● Enterprise-Wide Access
● Employment Practices
● Community Engagement & Support Services

What Are You Passionate About?

Have you always loved writing? Do you have a knack for computers and technology? Do you enjoy working with your hands or spending time with the public? When you’re choosing a career path, don’t forget to consider what makes you happy. The great news is that today’s sharing economy offers many ways to do what you love from your home while creating your own schedule. For example, if you love writing or graphic design, there are many platforms, e.g. UpWork, that allow you to find clients and opportunities easily. Or if you think working with animals would make you happy, consider pet sitting or dog walking. You can find clients in your area online and grow your own specialized business. Think carefully about what you love doing and figure out a way to incorporate it into your profession…then, as the saying goes, you’ll never have to work a day in your life.

Put these ideas to use to research potential job opportunities and determine whether your skills and abilities are a fit for the career you have in mind, and you’re sure to find the perfect career for you.

For a list of current job posting at Superior Van & Mobility, click here. Equal opportunity employer.

 

Patricia Sarmiento loves swimming and running. She channels her love of fitness and wellness into blogging about health and health-related topics. She played sports in high school and college and continues to make living an active lifestyle a goal for her and her family. She lives with her husband, two children, and their shih tzu in Maryland.

New Hands-Free Wearable Device Support For Wheelchair Users

If you are one of many who have limited mobility and have every ever wished there was an easier way to manage your tablet, mobile phone, or other device, you’re in luck! A new, innovative device will soon be on the market that has been exclusively designed for this purpose, and it has wheelchair users excited.

Sospendo-500x277

 

The product is called Sospendo, and it is being advertised as, “Hands-free wearable support for all kinds of devices.” The Sospendo was the result of a recent Kickstarter campaign where the developers homed in on the disability market as one of their target audiences.

The device is constructed of a lightweight, flexible aluminum which is used to adjust the holder into a comfortable, usable position around the user neck, waist, or it can be made into a stand and placed on a table, etc. allowing for easy device usage. Its hands-free design allows for ease of watching videos, taking photos/videos, and using applications. This close device proximity to the user, even allows for those who require the use of a mouth-stick to manipulate their devices on their own. It is a device that will surely help many regain independence.

To learn more about this innovative new device, or to pre-order one of your own, visit www.sospendo.com.

ADA Celebrates 25 Years – Still a Long Way to Go…

July 26, 1990, George H. W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); a law that paved the way for equal rights and treatment for millions of Americans with disabilities.

ADA 25 Year Anniversary

ADA 25 Year Anniversary

It’s now 25 years later, and yes, a lot has improved; curbs have been reduced and ramps have been built. You’ll even find Braille on  signage and wheelchair lifts on city buses among the thousands of other improvements that have taken place as a result of the ADA. However, as many of the 38 million Americans with a disability can tell you, there is still a long way to go. Not only among the governing bodies of the United States, but among the public and private sector.

Many of the complaints still coming in from disabled Americans continue to revolve around lack of amenities, or amenities that just don’t function. Take for example a hotel chain with accessible rooms. Many of these rooms have what they call a roll-in shower and if you are lucky bars next to the toilet, but what many are still lacking are beds that sit lower to the floor. It’s still to this day far to common to see a business try to be compliant, but fail to wholly deliver, and airlines are not any better.

Don’t even get me started on all the stories circulating around the Internet regarding the experiences disabled travelers have experienced; from blatant disregard of their well-being to  downright humiliation. There are far too many…

As we look forward to celebrating this monumental occasion, we still have come a long way none-the-less.  An American with a disability is far better-off today than prior to the ADA, and things are only to improve as more and more advocates get involved to bring to light the shortcomings of the public and private sector.

If you would like to learn more about the ADA, please visit: http://www.ada.gov/ada_25th_anniversary/

 

Get Involved, Make a Difference – 3rd Annual KCSCI Conference is Coming

KCSCI Logo

SAVE THE DATE

The 3rd annual Kentucky Congress on Spinal Cord Injury (KCSCI) is taking place June 18, 2015 from 9 AM to 4 PM at the Marriot Griffin Gate Hotel in Lexington, KY.

A Few of the Featured Invited Speakers and Preliminary Agenda for the 3nd Annual KCSCI (June 2015):

• Heidi Johnson-Wright and Steve Wright are experts in Universal Design, ADA in built environment, advocacy for Inclusive Design – as it relates to rural communities. Johnson-Wright is an ADA compliance professional and attorney with over 30 years of public speaking experience. Steve Wright has expertise in universal design, master plans, zoning codes, walk-ability, sustainability, architecture, transportation and public policy.
• Lindsey Mullis will present on fitness for people with mobility impairments. Mullis is the Health & Wellness coordinator for the Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky.

This is a great opportunity for those in the surrounding area to be part of an organization dedicated to legislation and advocacy of the SCI community of Kentucky.

To learn more, or to register for this FREE event visit

http://tinyurl.com/qdzn8vv

Why This is Important

Just like anything else, focus of organized effort usually congregates around large metropolitan areas, leaving the smaller, urban areas exposed to unlawful practices, lack of quality assistance, organized care and support programs, but this is where KCSCI comes in.

KCSCI released the following statement:

“Organizations, outreach programs and specialized medical care providers for individuals living with chronic spinal cord injury (SCI) in the Commonwealth of Kentucky have traditionally been unorganized and without a common mission. Importantly, while current outreach efforts appear to have some impact for SCI individuals in urban areas, we wish to build cohesion among this community of individuals throughout the commonwealth by expansion into the more rural areas. We envision congress participants, sponsors, healthcare providers and care givers all exchanging information about programs available to those in need throughout the commonwealth. The community of individuals with SCI and their support systems can be a strong advocacy group given the right organizational structure.”

THEIR MISSION

The mission of the Kentucky Congress on Spinal Cord Injury (KCSCI) is to gather individuals with SCI from around the commonwealth to join in the discussion of critical issues that are important to them and to help draft agendas to be used to legislate changes in our commonwealth for people with SCI. The members of the KCSCI should be strong advocates for the rights of all people with disabilities and be willing to provide peer mentoring for newly injured folks who may need additional support.

RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF KCSCI

•    We have formed an Advisory Board Committee Meeting whose charge it is to identify the top principal concerns of the SCI community that the KCSCI can help (for more information, visit www.karrn.org)
•    Based upon expert advice and careful thought, we have chosen not to file for nonprofit 501c3 status.
•    Our recognition is expanding as we continue to increase our network of people with SCI in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We have an interactive Face Book page and we’re developing a website.
•    After the recent snow storms, we collectively contacted local councilmen and businesses to bring to their attention that the inadequate/improper snow removal from handicapped parking spaces was in violation of laws, in particular for vehicles with ramps requiring room. Fellow member David Allgood also helped us advance this legislation in the Capitol.

For more information you can contact KCSCI President, Jason Jones at jpjones@twc.com or visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/KCSCI

Spina Bifida of Kentucky Walk n roll

Walk n’ roll – Spina Bifida of Kentucky

The 2014 SBAK Walk-N-Roll for Spina Bifida has two locations this year! Both events will be held on Saturday, October 25th, 2014.

Louisville- Verterans Memorial Park in Jeffersontown
Lexington – Shriners Hospital for Children

This family-friendly, leisurely walk creates awareness about Spina Bifida, raises funds for SBAK, and celebrate the accomplishments of the families living with Spina Bifida in Kentucky. All proceeds are used for SBAK’s free programs and services.

Registration for the 2014 Walk-N-Roll will begin at 9:30am on Saturday, October 25th at both locations. During this time, we will collect all pledged and new donations.

SHOULD YOU CONSIDER A STANDING WHEELCHAIR?

With so many reports surfacing that claim too much sitting is bad for you, there has been a significant rise in the sales of standing desks. To that same point, there are also some disabled individuals that are starting to consider standing wheelchairs.

This may seem counter-productive to some, but there is a surprising amount of research that supports the use of what is known as “passive standing.”

In fact, a recent paper released by the Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology of North America (RESNA has indicated that they strongly believe that people confined to wheelchairs can benefit in many ways from routine passive standing. These benefits include, but aren’t limited to:

• Improvements in circulation
• Improvements in passive range motion
• Reduction of skeletal deformities and pressure sores
• Maintaining vital organ capacity
• Maintaining bone mineral density
• Allowing users to reach items they could not while sitting

On top of it all is the obvious freedom of not being forced to sit all day. There is a degree of independence and self-reliance that comes from a standing wheelchair that, sadly, many people with disabilities miss out on.

A standing wheelchair can quite literally out disabled people back on their feet safely and easily. It offers the convenience and mobility of standard wheelchairs while also adding the extra freedom to get out of the rigid sitting position they are accustomed to.

Of course, certain disabilities may not allow or warrant the advantages a standing wheelchair might offer. If you have questions about obtaining a standing wheelchair or wonder if you could benefit from one, you should ask your doctor.

On another note, if you choose one of the standing models and have a wheelchair accessible vehicle, beware. Many of the standing models are much larger and heavier, and may not be compatible with your current vehicles design or setup. Be sure to double check with your vehicle’s manufacturer or local mobility dealer to ensure your new chair is compatible.

ALS Association

ALS Walk

Knoxville Walk
Saturday | September 13, 2014

WALK CHECK-IN: 9:00 AM
WALK STARTS: 10:00 AM
LOCATION: Jewelry Television’s Founders Park
DISTANCE: 1 mile

Development Associate
Monika Hancock
monika.hancock@alstn.org
865-936-3296

More than just a few-mile trek, the Walk to Defeat ALS® is an opportunity to bring hope to people living with ALS, to raise money for a cure, and to come together for something you care about. The Walk to Defeat ALS® is The ALS Association’s biggest annual event, which raises funds that allow our local chapters to sustain care services and support research for much of the next year.

 

MS Society

MS Walk

Walk MS connects people living with MS and those who care about them. It is an experience unlike any other – a day to come together, to celebrate the progress we’ve made and to show the power of our connections.

When you participate in Walk MS, the funds you raise give hope to the more than 7,500 Hoosiers living with MS throughout the state. The dollars raised support life-changing programs and cutting-edge research. Every connection counts.

Register now, connect with others and start fundraising today. Already registered? Check out our Participant Guide or click the Fundraising tab to learn more.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Location: Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, located at 3301 Saint Marys Road in Terre Haute, 47876 View with Google Maps

Event Time: Check-in begins at 9:00 a.m. and the Walk steps off at 10:00 a.m.

Route Length: Walk MS: Wabash Valley features one-mile and three-mile routes, both with rest stops along the way. While both routes are fully accessible, walking is optional. Join us for the fellowship and fun!

Event Contact: Veronica Corona | veronica.corona@nmss.org or (317) 870-2501

Volunteer Contact: Tricia Bishop | tricia.bishop@nmss.org or (317) 870-2501

 

 

MS Society

MS Walk

Walk MS connects people living with MS and those who care about them. It is an experience unlike any other – a day to come together, to celebrate the progress we’ve made and to show the power of our connections.

When you participate in Walk MS, the funds you raise give hope to the more than 5000 people living with MS in our community. The dollars raised support life-changing programs and cutting-edge research. Every connection counts.

Register now, connect with others and start fundraising today.

 

Saturday September 13, 2014

Location: http://paducahky.gov/paducah/parks-general-information
Address: Noble Park Site
Site Opens: 9AM

Walk Begins: 10AM
Route Length: 1, 2 or 3 mile options

Event Contact Name: Mary Carabella
Event Contact Email: mary.carabella@nmss.org
Event Contact Phone: 502-526-5303

 

MS Society

MS Walk

Saturday September 6, 2014

Location: Freeman Lake – Williams Pavilion
Address: 140 Freeman Lake Park Rd
Site Opens:9AM
Walk Begins: 10AM
Route Length: 1 or 2 mile option

LUNCH PROVIDED BY LONGHORN STEAKHOUSE
Special Thanks to General Manager Rob Disney and his staff

Walk MS connects people living with MS and those who care about them. It is an experience unlike any other – a day to come together, to celebrate the progress we’ve made and to show the power of our connections.

When you participate in Walk MS, the funds you raise give hope to the more than 5000 people living with MS in our community. The dollars raised support life-changing programs and cutting-edge research. Every connection counts.

Register now, connect with others and start fundraising today.