In the US, individuals with disabilities accounted for 9.4 million, or 6.0 percent, of the 155.9 million civilian labor force.
The three most common occupations for men with disabilities were drivers/sales workers and truck drivers (246,000); janitors and building cleaners (217,000); and laborers and freight, stock, and material movers (171,000).
For women, they were cashiers (195,000); secretaries and administrative assistants (189,000); and nursing, psychiatric and home health aides (172,000). The number of male laborers and freight, stock, and material movers was not significantly different from the number of female nursing, psychiatric and home health aides.
This is a guest post by Darnell Clarke and Daniel C. Steenerson
Disabled employees are just like everyone else. To get hired, they need to show how they can add value to an organization. They still need to answer the questions:
- Why should I hire you?
- What can you do for me?
- And, they need a compelling story which is their Value Added Proposition (VAP). This is the one quality that sets them apart from other candidates.
At the end of the day, every employee must be in the problem-solving business. Therefore, candidates must demonstrate they know how to solve business problems. The employer must understand that the candidate possesses some knowledge or skill that will help them the overcome challenges faced by the business.
Are you a disabled employee?
Below are eight quick tips to help you get back to work faster with a new or existing employer:
When you talk to an employer, you are not required to share your diagnosis or the details of your treatment (although you may volunteer that information).
You should be prepared to tell the employer what reasonable accommodations you will need to return to work; the pace at which you’ll be able to reintegrate into the workplace; and if or how your capabilities will be affected. Keep the conversation focused on job performance.
Emphasize your prior work experience and current medical release to build confidence in prospective employers.
If you have an accepted disability insurance claim, your policy benefits may include a rehabilitation program that lasts 36 months. Program completion is a good way to demonstrate your qualifications to a prospective employer.
If you are returning to an existing job and require modified work duties, you must work with the employer to identify appropriate work. If it is a new or modified job you must ensure that the employer has agreed to the change. Modifying a job is a form of accommodation. Matching tasks with your disabilities is the key to successful reintegration.
Good jobs are scarce! Be willing to accept temporary assignments to demonstrate your abilities and leverage for full time work. Also, don’t overlook self-employment opportunities. Now may be the time to launch that online business.
Strive to seek employment in your areas of passion. That’s where you will excel.
Try your hand at public speaking to raise disability awareness. Join Toastmasters.
Above all, if you are a disabled employee, recognize that you now have a gift – a compelling story and solid proof that you have the strength and fortitude to overcome life’s obstacles. Always believe in yourself; and turn your scars into stars.
About the Guest Post Authors:
Veteran hiring and employment authority Darnell Clarke is the author of “Employmentology: A Practical Systematic Methodology of Finding Employment by a Hiring Manger.” Darnell may be reached online at www.darnellclarke.com.
Foremost disability insurance field authority Daniel C. Steenerson, CLU, ChFC, RHU, is the founder and principal of San Diego-based Disability Insurance Services. He may be reached online at www.DanSteenerson.com.