According to the United States Department of Labor as of June 2014, the unemployment rate for persons with disabilities was 12.9%, which is twice that of persons without disabilities. According to Jon Viera, Assistive Technologies Specialist, Disability Services, Rollins College, it is important to combat these statistics that are against persons with disabilities by ensuring a, “creative, proactive approach when in the job market, and coming to prospective employers with solutions.” As a job seeker, it is at your discretion when to self-disclose your disability. With this self-disclosure, it is helpful to provide suggestions on accommodations you can be provided in able to perform the essential job functions. In addition to this approach, use your disability as a positive. For example, “Even though I may not be able to do x, because of this, I am really great at y.”
Jon closed with one last piece of advice, “own the disability, it is as much a part of you as your hair color.” Jon provides great insight due to his experience with Disability Services and with identifying as a person with a disability. No matter what the circumstance, employers are always seeking an employee who is confident and comfortable in their own skin.
Jon provided a very comprehensive list of services to assist.
Department of Labor-Office of Disability Employment Policy
Americans with Disabilities Act
Access Lynx *serves Orange/Seminole/Osceola counties, but most areas have similar programs.