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09/11/2023 “Summary on The Best Jobs for the Disabled Community” By Kaylee McGrath

Opening Statement:

I thought it was important to write a summary report to complete my 4-part article series on “The Best Jobs for the Disabled Community” and share other information I found while researching on this topic. Fact, the unemployment rate for disabled Americans has traditionally been much higher than it is for other non-disabled Americans. The COVID-19 Pandemic appeared to have increased that trend, as the disabled unemployment rate rose from 2019’s 7.3% to more than 10% in 2021, and did not improve much in 2022. Unfortunately, this means that the disabled jobless rate was roughly twice that of workers without a disability. Given that extremely harsh reality, it is more important than ever for disabled Americans to understand the job opportunities that are out there for them. Listed below are other important factors to understand and consider.

Do People with Disabilities Struggle to Find Employment?

Given the higher rate of unemployment concerning individuals with disabilities, it is blatantly obvious that many disabled workers are still struggling to overcome barriers.

According to the reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployed disabled community mentioned several challenges that made it difficult for them to secure employment:

· Nearly 10% pointed to a lack of accommodations on job sites

· More than 10% cited a lack of transportation to get them back and forth to work locations

· 12% reported that they lacked the education needed to secure a job

· 79% mentioned their specific disability as a significant barrier to getting the job they wanted

I’m sure the last statistic is the most worrisome for all reading this, since it may suggest that those workers are not receiving the help to locate the jobs that they can perform, even with their specific disabilities. If you have found yourself blocked in your efforts to land a job because of your disability, there is a good chance that you are simply looking at the wrong job opportunities/careers. Fortunately, as I mentioned in my part 1 – of part 4 articles, there were sample lists noting exciting and meaningful jobs that align very well with almost every type of impairment.

What You Should Know Regarding Your Various Benefits:

Can you be on SSDI and still work?

One last thing that all should consider before you explore job opportunities is the question of disability benefits. Some people with disabilities are reluctant to return to work in fear that they may lose access to their needed Social Security Disability Insurance payments.

Listed Below is Good News:

· Even if you are currently receiving benefits for your disability, provisions in the law allow you to still engage in meaningful work and still receive your full benefits.

· An important factor to consider, if your disability involves any type of impairment that might prevent you from working full-time. For example, many people with autoimmune disorders that cause chronic fatigue qualify for disability but might still be able to work part-time. The SSDI rules allow some limited amount of work in those circumstances.

· There are caps on what you can earn in any given month, so be sure to contact your Social Security case manager to explore your options.

· Social Security manages work incentive programs that can provide training and other services to help you attempt to transition back to gainful employment if you identify a job that is especially “In Demand” that can accommodate your disability.

· If the program successfully enables you to return to full-time employment, your benefits will stop. Of course, if your condition subsequently worsens to the point where you can no longer work, those benefits will resume once again.

· The important thing to remember is that you have options to return to work, whether part-time or full-time, even if you are receiving disability benefits.

· If you have any questions, you should contact your Social Security office to learn more about how the process can work for you.

Closing Statement:

I know from my personal experiences with finding a job suitable for my disability was a scary process. I knew I could do more than just the job training I received through DVR (Division of Vocational Rehabilitation) as that training only provided me with learning how to clean CD’s and DVD cases at local libraries, matching clothing sizes to hangers in retail stores, and lastly rearranging items on shelves. Sometimes you just need help looking outside of the box with help and coaching as I did, from my Support Coordinator (SC) and Direct Support Professional (DSP)/Job Coach. What I did realize and learned, as well as my DSP and Support Coordinator was, since my disability doesn’t interfere with my reading, writing, or most importantly with my artistic side (photography), I am successful with blogging, researching, and I’m actually pretty good with a camera. I often teach myself by watching YouTube videos to advance my skills and techniques with photo editing. I also use YouTube and other online mini webinars to enhance my photography skills and learn different styles. Because of my processing and learning disability, I can learn online at my own pace and keep on playing back sections until I completely understand how to do something. As I have mentioned several times in my blogs…you just need to want to help yourself, ask for the assistance you need, and seek the programs out there to help you. At this time, I’m not sure if I will ever be able to earn a good and respectable living, but I am trying my best. As always, if you would like me to write about something specific, please contact me through my blog, and I will share your idea with my manager. Additionally, feel free to become a site member on my “Breaking the Stigma” blog website and ask to be placed on the Moceans’ Center for Independent Living “Weekly Happenings” newsletter that is sent out via email.

Source of Information: Various Google Searches and Added Personal Experience Comments

Until Next Week, Stay Safe and Well!

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