Is It the Season to Transition to Telework as an Individual Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired?

Photo of home office with a wood desk facing the window with a laptop and cellphone.
Photo of home office with a wood desk facing the window with a laptop and cellphone.

Dreadful COVID-19 ushered substantial heartache, fear, trials, and deviations to our routines—an enormously wearisome season to be sure. But its wake hasn’t been wholly abysmal. Have you recognized the response to COVID opened the door to normalizing and expanding telework opportunities? If you’re keen on the benefits of working remotely part- or full-time, and if it is conducive to your line of work, it may be the time to pursue it with creativity and self-determination.  

Normalizing Telework 

When the government encouraged teleworking, many offices shifted their operations, meetings, and conferences to virtual platforms. It turns out this forced “experiment” was, generally speaking, successful.  

While only anecdotal evidence, I am repeatedly hearing the likes of,  

  • “We’ll continue teleworking twice a week even after the pandemic. Our team has found it beneficial.” 
  • “I applied for a job out of state and was told the job is now permanently remote. I won’t even have to move—I’m shocked!” 
  • “My entire interview process was over Zoom! I was told nobody is in the office now, so if I am hired, I can work remotely for a few months, too.” 

Benefits to Telework 

You don’t need me to tell you there are benefits to these expanded teleworking opportunities! But I’ll highlight a few. 

  • Say goodbye to the time-consuming commute—which is often, but not always, longer as a non-driver. 
  • You would no longer be limited to working in cities with excellent public transportation.  
  • You don’t have to surrender your position due to a move. As a military spouse who moves every one to three years, I know this benefit well.  
  • You have access to worldwide job opportunities without relocating.  
  • You can more easily seek part-time work or projects in addition to any current position. It may be an opportunity to gain experience in a new field or acquire new job skills. 
  • You’d have the flexibility to contract for several companies in lieu of one full-time job. 

Acquiring a Telework Position 

There are also benefits to the current virtual interview process. It may be a season for expanding your job search from the comfort of home. Cast a wide net, but be sure to tailor your resume, cover letter, and “sales pitch” to each individual position.  

Certainly, apply to remote positions, but don’t limit your job search to them. Apply for positions you know are conducive to working from home. 

Consider how you can confidently “sell” not only yourself, but also the concept of converting the position to full or partial remote work. Let the employer know how both you working for the team and the role being fulfilled at home will add value and reduce cost. 

Perhaps you can share you already have job accommodations in your personal office, and your expertise is now available to their company despite living in a distant city or state. 

Converting to Telework 

Now, perhaps you already have a position and have, due to COVID, been working from home on a temporary basis. If this is working well for you, reflect on how you can “sell” continuing to work from home.  

You may ask to continue working from home one or two days a week. If the request is approved and you continue performing well from home, you may ask to increase your days working from home. 

With creativity, confidence, and self-determination, you may find the current climate ripe for transitioning to telework opportunities. 

Additional Telework Resources 

Learn more about virtual work experiences for blind and low vision youth. Sign up for “Can’t Touch This” Virtual Transition Programming for Students with Visual Impairments on Jan 26, 2022 03:00 PM ET. Register HERE.