Written by Timothy A Carey
On the evening of Thursday, October 2, 2008 I was at a meeting about employment for people with disabilities. I can’t tell you what part of the country the meeting was at because it wasn’t physically located anywhere. The meeting was held online in a virtual world called Second Life.
For those of you reading this that do not know what Second Life is. Second Life is a computer program from SecondLife.com that lets you access a virtual world from your computer. People walk around various areas as an animated person called an avatar. You can see other avatars as they go about their business and you can talk to them. People may be from your town or from halfway around the world.
This meeting was about employing people with disabilities online through Second Life. There were people from various places in the United States at this meeting, but there were also some from other parts of the world like the UK. The presenters were from a company called Coraworks. This is an online company that currently employs over 200 people and all of them have some kind of disability. See Coraworks is headquartered in New Jersey, but their employees are scattered across the country. They do have a number of people with disabilities working in Wisconsin (My Home State). After a quick e-mail I found out that a high school friend of mine with a disability work for Corework online (Not Through Second Life).
Coraworks is working to get other companies involved in hiring people with disabilities off site through Second Life and they even provide free assessments. Coraworks is currently in talks with both the republican and democratic candidates for president regarding this untapped potential workforce of 21 million people with disabilities. The presenters from Corework indicated that there are 59 million people with disabilities in the U.S. out of them 21 million could possibly work if they could do it from home. Job possibilities range from data entry to computer programming to architectural design. But really anything that deals with information or some kind of data that can be computerized is job possibilities.
Coraworks did indicate that companies are still reluctant to open up these jobs so people can work from home. The Coreworks representative feels this is because employers would like to make sure their employees are working. Second life and Web Cam could solve this also. I think what will ultimately prove people with disabilities can succeed working from home is the results of their work.
This is just another way Second Life is useful for people with disabilities. If you are a person with a disability and you can use a computer, then you may be able to find employment on Second Life. You should also visit Second Life for recreation, meeting people from around the world, and the medical information located there. If you would like to help navigating through second life, feel free to contact me (Timothy A Carey).