Healthcare careers are fulfilling, can pay well, offer many different types of schedules, and often provide good benefits. Many people choose healthcare careers because they want to help others and participate in meaningful work.
Unfortunately, many people living with disabilities are overlooked or find too many barriers to applying for these types for jobs. Even when a person living with a disability is able to secure a job in healthcare, it is not often that they get to work in direct patient care.
The Americans with Disabilities Act protects people living with disabilities from discrimination, much the same way that people cannot be discriminated against based on race or gender. It also requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for their employees who need them, regardless of their abilities. These accommodations must make sure that a person with a disability can both obtain employment and perform their job duties as well as an employee without a disability.
There are many patient care jobs that are suitable for people living with all kinds of disabilities with a few accommodations. Still, just 4.4% of employed persons living with a disability work in some type of patient care.
This guide will go over resources that can help people living with disabilities get started with a career in healthcare.
USAJOBS.gov Job Search
USAJOBS.gov is a site that can help people with disabilities find employment. They make it easy to filter jobs based on what accommodations can be provided to people living with disabilities.
USAJOBS.gov has selective placement program coordinators who can help guide you through the job application process and answer questions about your specific needs.
When using USAJOBS.gov to find a healthcare job, you may need to get a disability letter from your doctor to show your need for accommodation.
DisabledPerson.com Job Search
Disabledperson.com is a site that lists jobs for companies who seek to hire people living with disabilities. Since 2002, disabledperson.com has listed over 300,000 jobs that have been listed directly from an employer.
This job search website can help you build a resume for free and post it to their network for different employers to view. In addition, they have an employment blog full of tips to help you improve your resume and improve your chances of landing your dream job.
Disabledperson.com also has a scholarship contest for college students. They award $2,000 in scholarship money to the person who writes the most compelling answer to their writing prompt.
National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities
The National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities (NOND) is a nonprofit organization that works to promote equity for people living with disabilities. Their mission is to advocate for both nurses and patients with disabilities.
NOND provides resources for nurses with disabilities, educates employers about accommodations, and promotes best practices for nursing care and employment.
NOND offers workshops and training for companies who are trying to be more accommodating to people living with disabilities. They also offer continuing education courses for nurses and their employers, and have a job board for people looking for a career in healthcare.
Ability One is one of the largest sources of employment for people with blindness or other significant disabilities. They provide employment opportunities for people with significant disabilities by hiring them to provide products and services to federal agencies.
Ability One operates in over 1,000 locations, working with 40 government agencies, in all 50 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico. Nearly $4 billion of Ability One’s services were procured by the federal government in 2021.
Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Loss (AMPHL)
Hearing loss can be a surprising challenge for healthcare providers who need to hear lung sounds, heart tones, call bells, and emergency alarms. The use of masks has been extremely challenging for many people with hearing loss.
AMPHL provides resources for healthcare providers who are hard of hearing or have hearing loss. They provide education, special stethoscopes, and special masks to help people with hearing challenges.
Job Accommodation Network
The Job Accommodation Network provides information and support for employees and individuals related to job accommodations. They provide guidance about requesting reasonable accommodation and what to do if you feel your rights are being violated.
The Job Accommodation Network also provides guidelines for employers providing accommodations and information about what medical documents support an employee's accommodation request.
Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Vocational Rehabilitation Services helps people living with disabilities find resources and complete training they need to enter the workforce. While each state has its own agency, the general goal across the country is to return people with permanent disabilities to the workforce.
You can see Pennsylvania’s Vocational Rehabilitation Services page here, as an example.
Project SEARCH is a program specifically designed for high school students living with disabilities who are about to enter the adult workforce. They help students who have problems with chronic illnesses, traumatic injuries, rehabilitation issues, and other disabilities.
The team at project search believes that people with all kinds of different abilities can excel in the workforce if they are given the proper guidance and training.
Disability and Employment Community
The Disability and Employment Community is a platform that brings people from the American Job Center Network together to help people living with disabilities. They offer training, career counseling, job listings, and other employment-related services.
They also provide educational events for people with disabilities and potential employers, and help people find apprenticeship opportunities that can lead to future employment.
The American Job Center Network also helps employers recruit and maintain employees, and has over 2,000 resource centers across the country.