Many wheelchair users find it difficult to commute to an office. Or in some cases, they can face discrimination and not be easily hired. But the internet has provided many options for everyone, wheelchair users included, to find work that they can do at home. The list of options is actually endless. But here are ten work from home job ideas for wheelchair users.
Teach a language
Is your native language English? You are in luck, because this is one of the most widely sought languages for tutors. But even if your native language is something else, there is still a market for language tutors. Sometimes a certification is required, such as Celta or Toefl. But often just being a native speaker is enough. There are many websites which match students to language tutors. All you have to do is register to get started. Websites like Italki, Tutoroo, Preply are good websites for certified language teachers. At the time that I am writing this, websites like VIPkid, EnglishHunt and Gogokid do not seem to require certification, though college degree and residency in the USA maybe required. I have used Italki to hire a language tutor.
Become a tutor
Do you have a degree in Math, Computer programming, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, etc? Similar to language tutors above, there are many websites that match tutors with students. Some of the most popular are Wyzant, Skooli, CheggTutors and TutorMe. Over the years, I have hired many tutors for my son.
Be a freelancer
Do you have a skill other people would value? Can you draw a logo? Can you write content for blogs or websites? Are you good with social media? Can you make professional videos or design a website? There are many websites for Freelancers such as Fivrr, Upwork and Toptal. I have used Fivrr and Upwork frequently to find freelancers for example to create logos and other graphic designs for my company.
Become a reseller
I have a female friend who has large feet. She had a difficult time finding attractive shoes in shops near where she lived. So, she found designer companies in other locations, mostly in Italy and began importing them and reselling them. Since she buys in larger quantities, her manufacturers gives her discounts. My friend started selling with a website and a Facebook page. But now she has a shop for large shoes.. In fact, this is also a possibility with my company RehaDesign. People and companies buy wheelchair accessories from us and resell them, either within their network or by creating a website or selling them on websites like Ebay or to local shops that sell products for wheelchair users. How do you start? Just find a product niche that interests you. If the product is not easily available possibly other people would have the same interests. The downside is that you need to have an inventory of products and be convinced of your ability to resell. But usually, it is easier than you can imagine. However AVOID multilevel marketing (MLM) companies. The difference is that with MLM there are many people selling the same products to their network of friends and trying to recruit friends to buy and resell. This pyramid almost always leads to disaster. Only buy and resell products that you have an interest in and know other people will also want or need. Before beginning, ask your friends or some shops if they would buy them if you had some to sell. Or if you are good with creating websites, you can start there. Begin with products that are difficult to find locally and start with a small inventory to test your idea and see if it goes well.
Become a manufacturers representative
Many times I am asked how I got started in the wheelchair industry. The truth is that I was living in Europe and I had an interest in medial products. I got in contact with a manufacturer of wheelchairs in the United States that was well known internationally, but was not selling many wheelchairs outside of the USA. I signed a contract to represent them in Europe. Then I contacted European companies and got them interested in buying and reselling this cool brand of wheelchairs. The agreement was that I would earn 10% of all European sales. It was very hard work and in the first year, I made almost no money. But after 2-3 years the income started to become very good. However, on the 4th year, the manufacturing company was bought by another company which had little interest in the European market. They canceled our agreement. Fortunately, by then I had learned a lot about the wheelchair market and had begun to create my own line of wheelchair accessories, which I branded as “RehaDesign”. How can you be a manufacturers representative? I found my opportunity by contacting medical equipment companies in the USA directly. But now, there are websites that help to facilitate this process such as RepHunter and Truity. I have not used them personally. But they look like good options.
Ok, I admit it. I know NOTHING about being an eJuror. I only learned about it when I started to do research for this blog post. But when I read about it sounded really interesting. What is the catch? First, it seems like it is only available in the USA and second, being a white female seems to be a disadvantage since they seem to be in large supply. But a number of websites are looking for online jurors. Some of the most interesting include trialpractices.com, OnlineVerdict.com and ejury.com
Do you have no qualifications, no skills, don't want to teach and have no real interests? Well, there is still an interesting opportunity for you! Websites like CrowdFlower, Clickworker, Toluna, and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk offer “micro jobs” or short term tasks with very low payments. Tasks might include reviewing a new menu or taking some surveys. Payments can be very small like $1 or even less for completing the task. In 2018 “The Atlantic” wrote an article calling Microjobs “A New Kind of Poorly Paid Hell”. Do a google search for that article to read more.
Become A Translator
Are you fluent in more than one language? There are websites that will pay you to translate or use your multi-cultural expertise. Websites like LionBridge, Translatorcafe, Smartling, Gengo will help you put your languages to work for you. However, if you are planning to work as a translator for a longer period of time, I would suggest to create your own website. It will look more professional and help you build up your business for the long run. I have used TranslatorCafe to find language translators over the years.
Be a Profreader
Do you like to read? Did you catch the mistake above? Do you have an eye for detail (I certainly don't). Then you can try your hand (or eye) and proofreading. Basically, you read articles and find errors. Many websites such as proofreadingpal.com, Reedsy. and Wordy are specialized in this area. But the freelance websites mentioned above ( Fivrr, Upwork and Toptal) are options as well.
So far, I have offered you nine options although I promised ten. Why did I stop here? Because the options really are limitless. The tenth idea, is not a specific job. But it is to go a job search website like “Indeed” and click the box “Remote”. Or to go to popular forums like Reddit and participate in their community of OnlineJobs and see what works for other people. These days, especially since COVID, the online workplace is getting more and more popular and more and more work from home jobs are available.