In the comfort of his own home, Sam sits at his desk typing away at his computer. He’s not surfing the web or checking Facebook. He’s at work. For some people, working from home or telecommuting, is an ideal situation. As the number of people working remotely continues to increase, employees like Sam are realizing the benefits!
One of the most obvious benefits of the at-home work environment is the amount of flexibility it allows. Employees have the ability to work at times of the day that are convenient for them and their employers. In addition, many people who telecommute appreciate the decreased need for traveling–and transportation can be one of the biggest work-related challenges faced by people with disabilities. Finally, telecommuting also enables employees to creatively address some of the other difficulties that may be faced as the result of having a disability. For example, email, text messages, or instant messaging allows people with hearing or speech impairments to effectively connect and communicate with their co-workers.
Companies like WeCo, a web-based business, are utilizing this type of flexible work environment and providing innovative work solutions for people with disabilities. WeCo’s goal is “to foster accessibility, awareness and independence for all people, regardless of their disabilities.” They put this into practice by using the expertise of adults living with disabilities to test web pages, guaranteeing that they are accessible before the websites are launched to the general public. Sam’s position with WeCo involves testing the various web-pages that are sent to him via e-mail, ensuring that they are accessible and that all the links are user-friendly. Once he has navigated throughout the site, Sam completes online forms and surveys and reports on different aspects of the website. Sam enjoys the independence that he is afforded in this position, but still connects monthly with his team over the internet to discuss any problems or concerns the group is having.
Telecommuting has been a tremendous opportunity for Sam–who might be overlooked by traditional businesses–to share his gifts and talents, and November will mark his one year anniversary as a Certified Test Consultant (CTC) at WeCo! By the end of October he hopes to be promoted to Senior CTC.
Telecommuting offers the promise of new careers for people–with and without disabilities–by reshaping the work environment and changing how and where people work. With more and more businesses realizing the numerous advantages of remote work environments, many companies are also recognizing the value of including people with disabilities in their workforce. Hats off to companies like WeCo that are embracing these opportunities and reaping the benefits of having great employees like Sam!