There is a myriad of different reasons why an individual dedicates their professional working life to working with and directly helping people of all ages with various disabilities, and each one is as admirable as the next.
So, whether you yourself have had personal experience with a disability, or a parent, child or other family member was either born or developed a disability and you have decided to help other people in the same way you helped them, or you are just passionate and dedicated to helping people, then this article is for you. Continue reading to learn of some of the most influential careers working directly with people with disabilities.
Teaching Children with Moderate Disabilities
One of the most admirable, challenging and rewarding careers directly working alongside and with children with disabilities is to become a teacher who specializes in working with children in grades PreK-8, either in self-contained or integrated classrooms.
Aside from an undergraduate degree in either the field of education itself, or a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field, you will then need to successfully acquire a teaching license, such as the Massachusetts moderate disabilities licensure. This will equip you with the extra teaching experience and knowledge needed to make a real difference to the lives of the children you teach.
Another primary job role which results in you working alongside people with disabilities from all cultures and of all ages is that of a rehabilitation specialist. Essentially, rehabilitation specialists are responsible for helping individuals adapt and learn to live with a disability, be that a physical, mental or even sensory one, that they have developed or acquired rather than having been born with. Usually, rehabilitation specialists are required to have a postgraduate master’s degree in counselling, psychology, or a related area of expertise.
Speech & Language Therapist
A career in speech and language therapy will see a diverse daily working life supporting and caring for both adults and children who are experiencing, either on a short-term or long-term basis, difficulties in communicating. Additionally, such therapists also work with individuals who, either for reasons of mental trauma or physical injury, are finding it hard to eat, drink and swallow as well.
Speech and language therapy combines and requires expertise from several different areas, including education, medicine, science, linguistics, and education and typically deals with the following variety of conditions:
- Voice Disorders
- Hearing Impairments
- Learning Difficulties (from mild to severe)
- Developmental Language Disorder
- Language Delay
- Selective Mutism
- Cleft Palate & Lip
Mental Health Nurse
One of the most intensely and most practical ways of helping people overcome certain emotional disabilities and problems is to actively pursue a career in mental health nursing.
Mental health nurses’ fundamental role is to support and promote the full recovery of an individual and to help and aid them to live a fulfilling and wholly independent life after their course of treatment is complete.
The usual route for someone who is dedicated to becoming a mental health nurse is to successfully acquire an undergraduate degree in mental health nursing, after which you will be expected to complete a year’s placement at a mental health unit in a local hospital before becoming fully qualified.