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How Those with Disabilities Can Use Technology to Advance Their Careers

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Many adults live with a disability that impacts major life activities. One activity that is commonly affected by disabilities is finding and maintaining a job. Fortunately, technology offers a broad variety of tools that can help individuals with disabilities job hunt, interview, and advance in their careers. 

Read on below to discover a few of our favorite technological tools for helping those with disabilities excel at their jobs.

JAWS

Job Access With Speech ("JAWS") is a screen reader for use by computer users with vision loss. If vision loss prevents an individual from seeing content on their screen or navigating their device with a mouse, JAWS is a great tool to help.

JAWS provides both speech and Braille output for many PC computer applications. This allows individuals with vision loss to navigate the internet, write documents, read email, and create presentations – all essential skills for the workplace.

JAWS offers business licenses, enabling businesses to make this software available on a broad basis for any employees with vision loss.

Immersive Reader

Many individuals suffer from dyslexia or other learning disabilities that may limit their speed or comprehension of written documents. Microsoft offers a free tool called Immersive Reader that can help these individuals. 

Immersive Reader interacts with documents by highlighting words, reading text out loud, breaking words into syllables, and increasing the spacing between lines and letters. This tool is an opportunity to increase comprehension and enhance text reading, regardless of the worker’s age or ability.

Microsoft Immersive Reader can help people prepare for job interviews by allowing them to review and comprehend materials and information about their potential employers. Once in the role, they can continue to use the tool as needed to help speed up their review of text-based documents.

Dragon Anywhere: Dictate Now

As MacWorld explains, Dragon Anywhere offers high-quality dictation services, including apps for mobile devices. For individuals whose ability to type or interact easily with a computer is limited, dictation is an essential function of their workday.

Dragon allows users to dictate documents with no time or length limits via its mobile app. It also has editing, formatting, and sharing capabilities. With Dragon, any individual can create documents, fill out reports, and complete paperwork using nothing more than their voice and their phone.

HearYouNow

Many people may have hearing difficulties that don't benefit from a hearing aid. Perhaps they have limited hearing that only affects their ability to hear in noisy situations like in a bustling meeting or when open space work offices get loud. In these scenarios, the HearYouNow app provides a perfect and discrete option for amplifying hearing.

The HearYouNow utilizes technology to create a personal sound amplifier. The app can be customized to adjust the sound performance to each individual's specific needs. It even allows the user to choose whether to focus on conversations that are near or far and to replay the last 20 seconds if a part of the conversation was missed.

It’s obvious that technology is making huge steps in bridging gaps faced by individuals with disabilities. For example, beyond apps, technology allows us to easily connect with freelancers, potential employees, and fellow business owners. For example, you can use online job boards (and online job board apps) to find virtual receptionist agencies to assist you with office-related tasks that can be handled remotely. What’s more, you can connect with disabled individuals looking for work in your industry.

For those living with disabilities, technology offers an abundance of tools that can enhance your career path. Contemplate how these options could help you. You’ll see your career advancing in no time!

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Posted by IRL Staff

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