Living with a learning disability and looking for work? APM is ready to help you chase your career goals and succeed in the workplace.
In this guide to jobs for people with learning disabilities you will find information about:
- Different types of learning disabilities
- Discovering job opportunities and career pathways
- Interview techniques
- Workplace accommodations
- Where to get support if you need it
What is a learning disability?
A learning disability is when someone has ongoing difficulties with a learning area such as maths, reading or writing.
Learning disabilities are sometimes called learning difficulties and are usually experienced throughout a person's life.
Learning disabilities are different from intellectual disabilities. An intellectual disability affects all areas of a person's thinking and understanding and may present challenges with social interactions, communication and self care.
By contrast, a learning disability only affects one specific area of learning.
There are many different types of learning disabilities including:
- Dyslexia - difficulties with reading and writing
- Dysgraphia - difficulties with spelling, handwriting and writing
- Dysphasia - difficulties with speaking and understanding speech
- Dyscalculia - difficulties with maths
With the right support a person with a learning difficulty can excel at school and thrive in the workplace. There are many people who live with learning disabilities and have successful careers in a wide range of industries.
Can people with learning disabilities get a job?
People with learning disabilities can succeed in the workplace just like anyone else.
No two people living with a learning difficulty will have the same experience. For some people, their difficulties may not impact their day to day job tasks. For others, difficulties with reading, writing, speaking or maths can present challenges at work.
Access to the right support and work accommodations can help people with learning difficulties overcome challenges in the workplace.
If you are living with a learning disability and having trouble finding work, you may be eligible for Disability Employment Services. When you register with APM, a dedicated Employment Consultant can help you find employment opportunities that are a good fit for you.
What are good jobs for people with learning disabilities?
There is no one-size-fits all list of jobs for people with learning disabilities. People who experience difficulties with reading, writing or maths can work in many industries.
During your job search it's important to:
- Think about what job types and work environments would be a good fit for you
- Take time to consider your interests, skills and past experience
- Be realistic about your abilities and the challenges you might face in a particular job
- Brainstorm accommodations and technologies that could help you do your dream job well
- Consider if you will need to get further training and qualifications
Talking with an Employment Consultant from APM can help you brainstorm job ideas and career pathways that would be a good fit for you.
An APM Employment Consultant can also help you with:
- Applying for jobs
- Preparing for interviews
- Accessing workplace support in your new job
Read about how APM helped Chris find work at a local tourist park and overcome the challenges of a learning difficulty and anxiety.
Interview tips for people with learning disabilities
Job interviews can make anyone nervous. Taking time to prepare is a great way to help yourself feel more confident going into an interview.
You may wish to tell your employer about your learning disability if it is likely to affect the core tasks of the job. Be ready to explain to the employer why you are a great candidate for the job and how you will manage your challenges.
Don't forget to research the company before the interview. You should understand what they do and what their values are.
When answering questions in an interview, focus on the strengths you will bring to the role. Think of some real life examples of when you demonstrated skills or qualities that are important for the job.
Even if you have limited work experience, you can use examples from any volunteering experience, or some life events.
Practice answering common interview questions like:
- Why do you want this job?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
- Why are you the right candidate for this job?
Discover more tips in APM's guide to interview techniques for people with a learning disability.
Workplace accommodations for people with learning disabilities
Your employer is legally required to provide reasonable accommodations to help you do your job well. They may be eligible for funding from the government to do so.
Everyone's needs are different in the workplace. If you are having trouble coping at work, APM can help you access the accommodations and technologies that will help you feel confident in your job.
Examples of workplace modifications include:
- Predictive text software and grammar check tools to help with spelling and writing tasks
- Providing clear written instructions and colour coding tasks to help with comprehension and memory
- Having a copywriting or editing assistant to help with written tasks
- Specialised calculators and counting aids to help with mathematical tasks
- On screen rulers and magnification tools to assist with reading
- Using a recording device or note taker during meetings
- Checklists and task management software to help with organisation and time management
- Extra time to complete tasks
- Training programs and refresher courses
Get support from APM to find a job and thrive at work
If you are living with a learning disability and having trouble finding a job, APM is here for you. We help thousands of job seekers across Australia find job opportunities and succeed in the workplace. We're ready to help you too.
Our services include:
- Career advice
- Finding suitable employment opportunities
- Help writing resumes and job applications
- Help preparing for interviews
- Workplace support in your new job
Whatever your career goals are, we want to help you get there. Register for Disability Employment Services with APM today to get started.