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Working to Find a Job

3-D text says "Job Hunting" on a white background.

Job searches can be exhausting, especially for people living with disabilities. The process can lead to feelings of disappointment, anger, apathy, or sadness. But there are strategies and tools that can make the job hunt less stressful or overwhelming. These tools can also help keep job seekers motivated if they experience any of these feelings.

Frustration in everything that comes with a job search is normal – from sorting the seemingly endless job postings, all the way through the interview and job offer. For people living with disabilities, additional steps and barriers often add to this frustration. Especially for people who are blind or have low vision.

Assistive technology can make job hunting a little easier, but issues can still arise. A website might not be fully accessible or is not compatible with the screen reader being used. It can feel like so much is stacked against job seekers who are blind/low vision.

Issues With Websites

Rear view of a woman using magnification on her computer monitor to do a job search.

When an accessibility issue occurs with a website, go directly to the specific company’s website to locate a phone number for the organization. Contact the Human Resources department or hiring manager of the organization you are trying to apply at. Human resources is usually unaware of any accessibility issues and an IT person needs to resolve the issue. Ask if there is an alternative method to apply, while simultaneously advocating for changes to make the website accessible.

Job postings sometimes list “requirements” that are desirable, but not necessary for the essential functions of the job. Sometimes a valid driver’s license is “required,” yet travel is not an essential job requirement or is purely incidental. When this happens and an applicant meets the requirements of the job, address this in a cover letter that accompanies the resume or application. Highlight why you are qualified for the job. State that you do not drive. It is not necessary to say why but mention you do have a valid government issued ID or can legally work in the United States. It can be something as simple as the following sentences:

“Please note that I do not drive and therefore only have a valid state issued ID card. Transportation and mobility in no way hinder my ability to meet the travel requirements of the position.”

Whatever the letter states, make sure it is the truth. Being honest is best practice and being upfront is going to result in better outcomes. There is a time and place for disclosing disability. Generally, a cover letter is not the most appropriate method of disclosure.

It Might Take Some Time. Remember – this is normal.

It will likely be necessary to send out dozens of resumes before getting a single interview when performing a job search. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average length of unemployment in June 2021 was 19.8 weeks (Indeed Editorial Team , 2023). When taking into consideration the average job seeker sends around 10 applications per week (Prostaff, 2023), one should be prepared to have to apply for anywhere from 20 – 80 jobs before being hired (Kolmar, 2023).

Finally, doing research and finding out what resources are available at a local level can provide extra assistance when seeking employment. There might be government or non-profit agencies that can help. A basic Google search should be enough to locate at least a few resources at a local or state level. Don’t be afraid to reach out to national organizations like the American Foundation for the Blind, National Foundation for the Blind, or CareerOneStop as well. There are organizations that can help.

Staying Motivated

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” 

~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Some strategies to stay motivated and retain focus during a job search are useful. Starting a ritual – a series of actions that are taken before beginning a task or activity – can help a job seeker into the right mindset. It also helps establish a sense of routine and focus. For example:

Give yourself the gift of time. Take regular breaks throughout the day to rest and recharge. Consider using the Pomodoro method, completing 25-minute work sprints followed by 5 minute breaks. Using a timer or setting reminders to remember to take breaks.

5-Second Rule: According to Mel Robbins’ book, The Five-Second Rule, this tool helps overcome procrastination and overthinking. “If you have an impulse to act, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill the idea” (Robbins, 2017, p. 43). By counting backwards from five, it initiates a shift in mindset, taking control of apathetic feelings, and leaning into the pursuit of the desired job or career path.

For job seekers living with blindness/low vision and disability in general, awareness of obstacles in the journey helps lead to success. Adopting strategies such as self-advocacy, positive support, and embracing adaptive habits to improve mindset can shift the focus from frustration to fruition.

Finding a job often feels like a job. It requires persistence, patience, and confidence. Job searches are like a marathon, not a sprint. Taking the time to apply to the jobs that you are qualified for, interested in, and genuinely want is worth the effort.

By: Montreece Payton-Hardy & Ken Meeker CPC

About The Co-Authors

Montreece Hardy is a staunch advocate for accessibility, belonging, inclusion, diversity, and equity – ABIDE. Her lived experience is foundational and her passion for creating greater digital inclusion and accessibility. Montreece helps businesses develop effective written and verbal communication related to Disability and Accessibility, and workplace accommodations. She provides training through webinars, open discussions, and one-on-one coaching to leaders across all industries. Montreece encourages leadership and allyship at all levels using evidence-based measurements for success. She possesses the education, training, and experience necessary to provide honest, candid perspectives on a variety of important issues and topics.

A professional waist shot of Montreece a black woman with arms folded across her chest. She has straight dark hair and is wearing a white shirt under a tan jacket.

Ken Meeker is a Certified Professional Coach, owner of Vitality Career Coaching LLC, and member of the NCDA. He specializes in executive and career coaching with a special emphasis on differently-abled individuals who want to return to work. He is a DEI consultant, Public Speaker, and advocates for inclusivity of marginalized groups. Ken is a 2021-2022 AFB Blind Leadership Development Program Fellow and will serve as a Mentor for the 2022-2023 program. You can connect with him on, or visit

a professional waist shot of Ken a white man with arms folded across his chest. He has short dark hair and eyeglasses.  

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Image Descriptions:

  • 3-D text says “Job Hunting” on a white background.
  • Rear view of a woman using magnification on her computer monitor to do a job search.
  • Co-author photo: A professional waist shot of Montreece a black woman with arms folded across her chest. She has straight dark hair and is wearing a white shirt under a tan jacket.
  • Co-author photo: A professional waist shot of Ken a white man with arms folded across his chest. He has short dark hair and eyeglasses.

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