[nfbwatlk] {Spam?} {Disarmed} Fw: Disability.gov Blog Update: Career Connection Series: The Pleasures and Perils of Working from Home: Is Telework for You?

Lauren Merryfield lauren1 at catliness.com
Thu Feb 24 04:34:30 CST 2011


Disability.gov Blog Update: Career Connection Series: The Pleasures and Perils of Working from Home: Is Telework for You?Hi,
Just a note: NTI, when I contacted them, said they didn't have any jobs available for blind people who use JAWS.  
thanks
Lauren
February 18, 2011
Career Connection Series: The Pleasures and Perils of Working from Home: Is Telework for You? 
By Raymond E. Glazier, Ph.D., Director of the Abt Associates Center for the Advancement of Rehabilitation and Disability Services and Member of the Work Without Limits Initiative

What's a person to do who yearns for the self-respect, satisfaction and, yes, income that a job would provide? Telework often seems like a good solution, but there are several things to consider when thinking about beginning a career that involves working from home.

Beware of 'Work from Home' Scams

There are a lot of 'Work from Home' scams you may encounter in classified ads, on the Internet and in spam e-mail. Most of these 'business offers' promise great monthly income, but ask for cash up-front to bankroll a 'starter kit.' Don't send money to any of these come-ons without verifying the legitimacy of the company with the Better Business Bureau and/or your vocational rehabilitation counselor. And before trying to start your own home business, get some good counseling (from a place like your local Small Business Development Center) on how to develop a sound, workable business plan and adequate financial backing. It's important to realize that the failure rate for start-up businesses is more than 90 percent, so proper planning is essential.  

The Difference between Telecommuting & Telework

Telecommuting is a growing phenomenon that benefits workers with and without disabilities, accommodating persons with disabilities ranging from agoraphobia to multiple sclerosis (MS) to quadriplegia. Progressive employers, in industries that can accommodate this practice, have harnessed new technology to enable employees on travel, or otherwise out of the office, to perform their usual job duties from a distance. In many service industry jobs, there is no reason for office confinement, given the ready availability of cell phones, fax machines, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and computers with Internet access. Don't assume the job you want can't be performed mostly from home; ask your employer or potential employer if telecommuting is a possibility as an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 'reasonable accommodation.'

Telework refers to jobs that are performed entirely from home using technological hookups - for example, call center positions in work like customer service, word processing, computer programming, accounting, billing, claims processing, data entry, dispatching, editing, order fulfillment, researching, report writing, scheduling, medical transcription, graphic design, auditing or record-keeping.

Below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of teleworking: 

      Telework Benefits
     Telework Downsides
     
      Fewer distractions and interruptions
     Social isolation, no peer interaction
     
      No commuting time or expense
     May want face time with manager / supervisor
     
      No dress code (work in your pajamas)
     Can be hard to 'get in the mood' for serious work
     
      Scheduling flexibility
     Line between work and home life is blurred - can't get away from it
     
      Part-time work income opportunity
     Limited advancement opportunity
     

Different Telework Opportunities

Be aware that turnover in the call center industry is high (30 percent per year), partly because many call center agents cannot tolerate this type of work on a full-time basis and 'burn out.' This works to the advantage of job seekers with disabilities in two ways: 1) There are a goodly number of job openings at any given time, and 2) The industry standard is now part-time employment, which accommodates the limitations and the work intentions of many persons with disabilities. But these factors also mean that call center employers' demands may be especially difficult to meet for workers with disabilities. A national survey by the MA Work Without Limits initiative (http://www.workwithoutlimits.org/) found that 70 percent of call center workers with disabilities were dissatisfied to some degree.

A fairly new business model is the education and training/job brokerage organization, typified by the nonprofit National Telecommuting Institute (NTI) of Boston. NTI most often places telework trainees with disabilities in one of its contractual call center operations for businesses and government agencies. For example, one may assist with booking reservations for a business or taking tax form orders for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). NTI, in most cases, functions as a virtual staffing agency to the hiring organization and is the consumer's employer of record. NTI operates nationally as a Ticket to Work Employer Network (EN) and typically receives referrals from state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies that support consumers interested in telework from home or through direct applications from its website (www.nticentral.org).

NTI only accepts applicant trainees when it has job openings identified through its job development activities with employers. Applicants for training must have a good telephone voice, a pleasant conversational manner, enjoy working with people to solve problems and be able to reliably maintain an agreed-upon work schedule. The training that NTI and/or the employer provides assumes a basic level of computer literacy and working knowledge of standard business software and communications protocols.

If telework appeals to you, check out information resources on the Internet and discuss the options with your VR counselor or clubhouse peers. Again, beware of any work-from-home scheme that asks you to provide money up-front for training, equipment or materials.

Raymond E. Glazier, Ph.D., often telecommutes from his home, both out of necessity and as a convenience, in his position as Director of the Abt Associates Center for the Advancement of Rehabilitation and Disability Services in Cambridge, MA.

**This post answered the reader-submitted question, "I am disabled. I, like others, am on a quest to acquire a job. My disability will only allow me to work from home. Therefore, the big question is-iIs there a job(s) out there for me and how do I attempt to acquire this job? Thank you! Leanne W." 

Posted by Stephanie B on Feb 18, 2011 7:00:00 AM in Career Connection Series, Employment, Guest Blogger 

Technorati Tags: disabilities, disability, employment, job accommodation, telecommute, telework 

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I was delighted to see this subject. I enjoyed helping others and REALLY missed the financial freedom. When I became ill, getting me in stable health condition was enough and now I am really looking forward to Step 2. I'm going back to school and I look forward to once again getting back to work. Now, with this article I have a few new places to look. You'd be amazed at how many people, who willingly take the spot as the "go to" person for handicapped issues have little or no experience in dealing with handicapped people. 

Posted by: Francesca T. | February 18, 2011 at 02:31 PM 

It was with great interest I read this article. I'm a
person w/ multiple, nearly-Incapacitating dis-Abilities. While concurrently, I've always been convinced I do NOT BELONG, nor should have to BE on SSDI/SSI and all other so-called "Entitlements." For over twenty years I've been proposing the concept I call "Supported Self-Employment(r)(c)," whereby--rather than wasting thousands and thousands of taxpayers dollars, on those who COULD work, should they have the assistance of a full/part-time assistant with strong organizational skills; allowing the dis-Abled individual to be able to flourish in what they DO BEST. In my case, it is creating piano/synth music that is beautiful, writing, poetry, and public speaking.

The BIGGEST BARRIER(s) to me, that do sabotage ALL the efforts I've made over the years, has been my living with "Attention Deficit Disorder" (messy, disorganized, easily distracted, easily side-tracked, not detail-oriented, forgetful), Post-Concussive Syndrome-x 4 (no short-term memory), Aphasias of speech, memory and hearing - the latter frequently causes others to believe me either Retarded or Deaf. I'm neither. PCS/TBI also causes Cognitive Impairments and a host of other seemingly-insurmountable "barriers," and truly I refuse to believe this to be true in all cases - PROVIDED we obtain that much-needed "2nd Brain" to make-up for our misfiring/malfunctioning frontal lobes. I know this to be true, because whenever I've allowed all else to "go to hell in a handbasket," and hyper-focused on a SINGLE task for a short length of time (around 3 wks is my avg limit), I've been able to do amazing things, from obtaining radio airplay of my debut CD in '94, to self-publishing a book in '95, making a lengthy appearance, and having my signature song (Blue Tears) used as the show segment's soundtrack on a PBS show; obtaining a college degree in Journalism, a Post-Baccalaureate in Music Composition, Worldwide Scoops (twice, at least) for my Alma Mater's Newspaper; and while living in Texas in the '90s, I was considered an expert on issues pertaining to Mental Health. I am also an Award-Winning Photographer/Writer. I'm even an RSROA Bronze Medalist in Roller-Skating Dance (1977, Billings, MT), and Figures (1977, Seattle, WA). Does a person like me truly belongs on SSDI/SSI? Ok! So, I'm also a person who lives with Manic Depression, Fibromyalgia, OA Asthma, PTSD, 2-plus diagnosed conditions, not all of which can be treated, but c'mon. All I NEED is a Personal Assistant to keep my life straight, and the artist in me - desperately yearning to be a CONTRIBUTOR, not a loathsome DRAIN on taxpayers' dwindling funds - can basically DO that, which I CAN do Best!!! Why? Pray, tell me NO ONE has yet come up with such a simple concept, as I've BEEN proposing 21 years? Why do people think the late Actor Chris Reeves managed to accomplish so much, AFTER becoming totally paralized? He had the resources to have 4 FT nurses, 2 Personal Assistants, and a host of other help. Was he so much more special than the rest of us, rotting away, without doing what we so desperately wish to accomplish? I cannot work for others, that's a given. That however, does NOT make me an Invalid! 

Posted by: Clarisse D. | February 18, 2011 at 05:13 PM 

I just started teleworking about 4 weeks ago. I work by earning commission pay only. My first check was $200 less than what I was making getting up to go into the facility to work. 

I'm expected to work longer hours (nearly 12 daily) with much less pay? It's unreal!

Posted by: Sherri | February 18, 2011 at 10:03 PM 

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----- Original Message ----- 
From: Disability.gov 
To: lauren1 at catliness.com 
Sent: Friday, February 18, 2011 5:08 AM
Subject: Disability.gov Blog Update: Career Connection Series: The Pleasures and Perils of Working from Home: Is Telework for You?


Career Connection Series: The Pleasures and Perils of Working from Home: Is Telework for You?   


By Raymond E. Glazier, Ph.D., Director of the Abt Associates Center for the Advancement of Rehabilitation and Disability Services and Member of the Work Without Limits Initiative 

What's a person to do who yearns for the self-respect, satisfaction and, yes, income that a job would provide? Telework often seems like a good solution, but there are several things to consider when thinking about beginning a career that involves working from home... 







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