Assistive technology has come a long way in helping people with job searches and providing them with years of job security. In fact, there are many tools that can help those with disabilities succeed in their careers. Read on for some recommendations on some of the best options.
Assistive Computer Programs
While it's easy to assume that using computers when you're blind or visually impaired would be particularly challenging, that's not necessarily the case anymore. With today's advanced technology, it's easier than ever for people to download screen reader programs that make their computers more accessible. American Foundation for the Blind explains that screen readers convert whatever is on your computer screen into a form of communication that the person using it can process. This is usually auditory or tactile.
While there are great software options you can download to your computer, when you're on the go, they won't be that much help. Luckily, there are a number of helpful apps you can download to your phone. Be My Eyes is an app aimed at helping people with visual impairments connect with a "sighted volunteer" to distinguish things like expiration dates and color matching. Voice Dream offers different assistive apps that convert text to spoken words and can proofread something you've written via text-to-speech.
Something to consider is whether your phone and data plan can handle adding new assistive apps to your phone and run them smoothly enough when you need to use them. The last thing you want is to run out of data halfway through the workday or for your battery to run out of juice. Make sure you have a data plan tailored to your needs, and a phone that’s up to working as hard as you do.
Your phone should also be easy to hold, which is why PopSockets have risen in popularity. These handy products are disks that attach to the back of your phone, extending out just far enough for users to slip their fingers between the phone and the end of the PopSocket. This allows for a tighter and more comfortable grip. PopSockets can also be used as a stand, propping up the phone on a flat surface.
In need of an upgrade? Tom’s Guide notes the iPhone 12 Pro Max has a super-quick processor, a three-camera system, and a long battery life. What’s more, Apple products have built-in accessibility options, like Assistive Touch and Guided Access, making it a particularly good choice for many users.
Improvements in artificial intelligence (AI) technology in recent years have become commonplace in the workplace and beyond. Voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant have changed the way people with various disabilities handle their professional responsibilities each day. Through the devices’ built-in software, users are able to make phone calls, schedule meetings and appointments, and even check things off their to-do lists.
Know What You Need
It's often necessary to talk with your employer about assistive solutions, and even though employers are required to make adaptations, these conversations aren’t always easy. Thankfully, many options these days are simple and commonplace.
Be ready to confidently explain any of the assistive technology you've tried out so your employer understands that you're entirely capable and that they can trust you to get the job done. Be sure to explain how much this tech will help them to help you. You'll also be able to dive right into work without taking additional time to adjust to new technology you're unfamiliar with.
Searching for a new job or furthering a career can be daunting. Sometimes simple solutions can make a big difference, and there are everyday options available that can make a big difference for those with disabilities. Try out some of these ideas and figure out what works best for you. EG