Evolution of technology and the future of work for people with disabilities

The evolution of technology and digitalization has been gaining speed and reforming the societies and economies since the industrial revolution. The development of the tech world is empowering the disabled individuals by creating new and better platforms and transforming the systematic of the workplace in the near future.

The future of work lies within the dynamics of technology and science; allowing human race to evolve at a fast pace. As this happens, the accommodation of the digital tools for the disabled individuals will create a positive impact on the career opportunities through better accessibility. As Niels Bohr, a Danish physicist quotes: “Technology has advanced more in the last thirty years than in the previous two thousand. The exponential increase in advancement will only continue.” The capacity of technology has a significant role in reforming and re-creating the platforms hence, the change at work place is likely to take place.

Critically, the evolution of technology will not only bring about the advancements in fields such as mechanics and engineering but it is most likely to reshape all our careers and create jobs that don’t exist now. This is where potential opportunities will arise for individuals with disabilities. Due to emerging technologies that improve accessibility and usability, more job opportunities will be created for the disabled individuals, hence allowing people with disabilities to enter the workforce; whether it be the field of engineering, architecture, science, medicine, education, fitness, programming or even creative arts.

According to MGI study:

“We find that about 60 percent of all occupations have at least 30 percent of activities that are technically automatable, based on currently demonstrated technologies. This means that most occupations will change, and more people will have to work with technology. Highly skilled workers working with technology will benefit. While low-skilled workers working with technology will be able to achieve more in terms of output and productivity, these workers may experience wage pressure, given the potentially larger supply of similarly low-skilled workers, unless demand for the occupation grows more than the expansion in labor supply.”

Furthermore, our workplace has been reshaping since the Industrial revolution and has created accessible platforms for people with disabilities, in all fields. “In a recent global survey of job seekers conducted by LinkedIn, 37 percent of respondents said their current job does not fully utilize their skills or provide enough challenge.” According to MGI study, education systems need to move ahead of time and establish an approach where students are aware of the term technology and that the missing gap while searching for jobs in the future can be filled. This calls for a need for the development of learning platforms that allow individuals to up skill themselves at a regular pace as the workplace evolves. Addressing such needs has been at the forefront of the work done by ARISE Impact.

ARISE Impact deploys self-learning as an intervention to empower people with disabilities to improve their skills.

In fact, the era of technology has re-enforced the need for skills required from the individuals dealing with disability for the technology-based jobs by the help of digital assistive tools such as voice recognition, customizable web interface, color-coded keyboards, assistive learning devices and so on. Numerous people with disability have become part of the IT field and have shown their incredible skills in opting for career paths such as social media marketer, digital marketing specialist, blogger, app developer, freelancer, and so forth. This indicates that while technology evolves, it is integrating the needs of people with disabilities. As a result, technology has impacted the lives of the disabled individual both at home and workplace. Individuals with disabilities can thus self-learn the skills required for jobs by signing up for learning modules such as those of ARISE Impact (Act to Rise for Innovation in Special Education Impact), that allow them to learn anywhere, anytime. ARISE Impact believes that: 
“This opens them up to explore and teach themselves new concepts — a much needed skill in an ever-changing business world.”

As we look further into the evolution of technology — we come across various platforms empowering disabled individuals like self-employment, freelancing, selling products online –in easier words, one can benefit from the opportunities created. “A 2011 study by McKinsey’s Paris office found that the Internet had destroyed 500,000 jobs in France in the previous 15 years — but at the same time had created 1.2 million others, a net addition of 700,000, or 2.4 jobs created for every job destroyed.” The question that presents itself is: has technology enabled a better platform for the disabled individuals? 
In order to maximize employment and make room for the disabled individuals at workforce, there are plenty of social networks which provides services and resources for job seekers online. In relation to this — BBC writes in an article: “In doing so Think Beyond The Label, removes many of the stigmas that can often keep disabled people distant from the workforce.

“The greatest thing about these online career fairs is that it doesn’t require businesses to travel, and it doesn’t require people with disabilities to travel to a space.

“So it breaks down any kind of inhibitions an employer might have, or a person with a disability might have for that matter, in connecting with employment.”

A key component, Ms Otto says, is in selling the different perspective an employee with disabilities can bring.

“I always like to say, if you want to hire someone who thinks outside of the box, then hire a person with a disability — because they have to live outside of the box.”

Evolution of technology has likely taken over the world, and to look at it positively — we must comprehend the need of a better workplace for the disabled individuals and the nature of the workforce environment should prevent from underestimating the digitalized skilled jobs. 
“Technological evolution is the result of our own desire to lead a better life.” R.S Amblee

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