Changing Careers During COVID-19: The Window of Opportunity for Remote Work (Session 12C)
Main Topic: Employment
Session Type: Skill Share
Gaining employment for people with severe disabilities has traditionally presented numerous challenges. These challenges include lack of dependable transportation, delayed and poor implementation of reasonable workplace accommodations, and attitudinal barriers and social stigma associated with people who experience a disability. In prior PacRim conference presentations, we have discussed topics related to the provisions of reasonable accommodations, building more inclusive post secondary learning environments, and creating a more diverse, inclusive and equitable society. The global pandemic caused by COVID-19 has shined a brighter light on some of these challenges with the reduction of public transit services and even fewer job opportunities for people with disabilities. However, COVID-19 has created some significant positive changes for a more inclusive work environment and remote work opportunities. This presentation will provide an overview of careers that are hiring employees to work partially or permanently remote, the skills necessary to obtain these types of career opportunities, how a person with a disability can start “right now” to obtain or transition into a remote career, and participate in an engaging questions and answers (Q&A) with the presenters who have a disability, and have careers working remotely. COVID-19 sent many knowledge workers home to work remotely. Roughly about 30 percent of the U. S. population was able to transition from working in the office to working at home. This transition opened a window of opportunity and minimized some of the challenges people with disabilities often face when seeking employment. Employees with disabilities who could work from home no longer had to worry about lengthy commutes, irregular or poor paratransit services, or limiting their job search to areas that were accessible via public transportation or other manageable transportation options. Employers provided equipment for all employees to work from home including employees with disabilities or allowed employees to use their existing assistive technology at home. They no longer balked at the idea of an employee with a disability needing to work from home or having an alternative work schedule to work around medical appointments or situations. These changes (in some environments) also changed how we communicate, dress, and engage at work. Thus creating a window of opportunity for people with disabilities to become employed or change career paths. This presentation will show how a person can use their existing education and skills sets, add additional skills, or gain new skills and credentials through online learning such as Webex, LinkedIn, Coursera, or professional continuing education courses through most colleges and universities. There are careers in certain financial, computing, informational technology, and health care industries that have experienced an increase in job opportunities for remote work. We will share our own experience as people who experience a “targeted” disability and work remotely, and provide information for attendees to start their own path towards remote career opportunities.
- Attendees will learn about career opportunities in specific fields that will enable them to work remotely (i.e.: at home).
- Attendees will receive information about necessary skills, and be able to discuss with presenters how to leverage their disability to their advantage to pursue or change careers.
- Attendees will learn about and receive valuable resources they can immediately use to start the transition to a new career!
Keywords: Employment, Career, Remote Work, Coding, Online Education, Professional Education Certificates
Ms. Synge TysonUsercessible, LLC - Accessibility Consultant and Researcher
Ms. Synge Tyson, MA, OMS, CPACC is an Accessibility Consultant and researcher. She holds six degrees, a paralegal certificate, is a Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC), and a User Experience Certified (UXC) practitioner. She has held positions as a paralegal in the area of civil litigation, an Orientation and Mobility Specialist with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Reasonable Accommodations Coordinator within federal government, and Research Faculty at the Georgia Institute of Technology (GA Tech). Currently, she is an Accessibility Consultant working in User Experience (UX) for a fortune 500 company in the United States.
Dr. Vincent MartinUsercessible, LLC - Digital Accessibility Engineer
Dr. Vincent Martin is a usability and accessibility engineer and developer. He holds seven technical degrees in STEM related fields, and has held positions of research scientist and rehabilitation engineer. He is the first totally blind graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology (GA Tech), Paralympian (1996, 2000, 2004), and record holder.