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Remote work, or work from anywhere is a new work model that has gained prominence recently
which allows work to be done anywhere outside the traditional work settings i.e. office settings.
Here, people can work from anywhere such as their homes, shared office spaces or any other
location convenient for them. This work model came up during the pandemic where the world
witnessed complete restrictions in their movements outside of their homes and has been the most
preferred choice of work for both employees and employers alike due to its various advantages (cost
savings in terms of rent, commutation, office utilities etc)

Another important aspect of remote work is that it opened up new possibilities and job
opportunities for people with disabilities. People with disabilities are one of the most disadvantaged
sections of the society when it comes to their employment-

  1. Employers often do not hire persons with disabilities thinking it will impact their
    organizational growth
  2. Employees too have limited opportunities as most of the work places are not disabled
    friendly with physical barriers for them
  3. They are also paid less compared to their peers and other employees
    It is often seen that people with disabilities have been asking for remote work even before the
    pandemic but to no avail. The pandemic brought in the concept of remote work or work from
    home/anywhere and this was seen as a welcoming move by all, especially for the people with
    disabilities. This is something the disability rights movement demanded years before Covid.
    For example, according to Thomas Foley, the executive director of the National Disability Institute
    (NDI), workers with disabilities had been asking to work remotely for decades before the pandemic
    and had consistently heard companies say “no.” During the pandemic, he said that when “we all
    realized that… many of us could work remotely… that was disproportionately positive for people
    with disabilities.”

How does remote work helped people with disabilities: Remote jobs for disability has been a boon
since a large section of the underrepresented people entered the job market. It was seen that
employers were also practicing inclusivity and diversity hiring practices whereby they started hiring
people with disabilities for various roles/jobs and it was seen that such employers expanded their
talent pool by a huge percentage. Moreover, they were also considered inclusive places to work for
and this is something that the newer generations i.e Millennials and Gen Z’s are looking forward to
in their workplaces.
In a lot of ways, remote work provided them with an opportunity to work from their comforts of
their home or any place suitable for them. Earlier, a lot of disabled people found it difficult to work
from offices due to offices not being disabled friendly. Also, regular commutation was a big problem
for most of the disabled people. Thus, remote work eliminated such barriers and they could work as
per their convenience.
Therefore, we can see that remote work and people with disabilities have a positive relationship. For
people, with physical disabilities, they find it easier to work from their homes where they can have
greater control of their surroundings rather than traditional office spaces. Similarly, people with

chronic conditions, like chronic pain and Crohn’s disease face day to day difficulties where they need
to rest or use the washrooms frequently and thus, they might find it easier doing it at homes rather
than at offices. Sometimes, along with physical disabilities, people also face mental health issues
and they might feel lonely or not being included in informal conversations etc which can have
disastrous impact on their health further. Therefore, in such cases, remote work for disability or
work from home jobs for disabled comes as a blessing.
However, remote work and work from home jobs does not solve the problems for people with
disabilities and entry to the job market altogether. Employers and businesses should also take few
additional steps in their culture to ensure that these section of the society does not feel alienated
and is recognized/ rewarded just like the other employees. Some of the steps that employers can
take are-

  1. Sensitizing and creating awareness amongst the employees: Employers and businesses
    should invest in workshops that create awareness and sensitize the workforce regarding
    people with disabilities and how they can follow inclusive practices to make them feel
  2. Using communication as a tool: Employers and business should research and come up with
    the best communication tool to effectively communicate with them and make them feel like
    home with the rest of the team members. Sometimes, people might not be comfortable
    with keeping their videos on during meetings/discussions and employers should treat this as
    a sensitive issue and not force them to do so
  3. Special funds for the disabled people: People with disabilities have special needs and
    therefore employers should provide them with special funds that can help them set up their
    home offices or invest in certain tools/ equipment that can make everyday worklife easier
    for them
    we can say that remote work has lot of benefits for disabled people that allows them
    to enter the labour market and provide them with new opportunities for work. Remote work and
    people with disabilities, therefore has a positive relationship. In addition to inclusive and diverse
    hiring practices, employers should also work on sensitizing the workforce, using effective
    communication tools to make them feel welcomed at work

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