Header for Ability Mission

Online Work At Home Business Opportunities: Perfect For People With Disabilities

Updated February 5, 2017

Disabled person working online at home.
Working online at home is the best way for a person with disabilities to work and be independent.

Disabilities or not, you still want to live a purposeful life. Fortunately, many online work-at-home business opportunities exist to help make that happen.

Working online is a great way for those with disabilities to earn money from the comfort of home. You work to your schedule and when you feel up to it.

With no pressure-filled deadlines and plenty of guides out there to help you get set up, it's a non-threatening environment when you have limited mobility.

Online work is definitely accessible, but it's not always the silver bullet either. Online income can be sporadic, and it can take a long time to get up to speed with all the technology, which is constantly evolving.

Along the way, you'll find plenty of scammers and too-good-to-be-true, get-rich schemes that you'll want to avoid. Here are the main things you need to know about the digital world and the opportunities it offers.

World Of Possibilities

Where do I even start? Start with focusing on your strengths and interests. What are you good at? Writing, technology, people, selling?

How many hours can you commit to working a week, and what's your main aim for earning money online?

Once you've sussed out what you'd like to achieve, and what you're good at, it's time to find a role that suits you.

The online world offers loads of legitimate moneymaking options such as:

  • Filling in online surveys, taking part in online usability studies
  • Mystery shopping on brands and businesses (here's a great information page with two Ability-Mission-vetted opportunities you can sign up for)
  • Doing online data entry, being a medical transcriber
  • Selling products online (on your own store, on social media, or on an ecommerce marketplace like Amazon, eBay or Etsy)
  • Doing online copywriting for brands and businesses
  • Blogging -- WordPress is the most popular blogging platform and here's the WP guide to getting set up
  • Affiliate marketing -- earning commissions on links clicked on your site that result in a sale (read more here)
  • Running an online course/operating knowledge groups/tutoring
  • Monetizing a website through content/ads

Most of those routes require a certain amount of setup and training before you can start earning any real money.

If you want to get going as fast as possible, filling in surveys and mystery shopping are probably your best bet. If you want to build a more long-term brand and business where you can have more of a say, go for ecommerce or blogging.

Remember the following before you go down a certain path:

  • Get-rich-quick schemes are a waste of money. Be careful about paying for 'expert' advice and programs that look too good to be true. Here are some tips on how to avoid scams.
  • Building a sustainable income online takes time, money, and dedication. Don't believe the myths about starting a blog and earning six-figure income in weeks.
  • Other than the actual set up and marketing of your online business, you will need to also factor in administration time.
  • Be careful about the tax implications of any money earned online. Keep records of all your earnings and invest in bookkeeping and invoicing software to help you stay organized.

What Works Best For Me?

There are three main strands of earning money online: data entry, writing, and selling. There is some crossover among all three, but it's important that you decide where you'll likely fit in the best.

  • Data entry is probably the option that has the lowest barrier to entry, but you might find the work mundane and not very challenging after a while. On the plus side, you won't have to worry about the hard stuff like marketing and building a brand, and the money is pretty easy and regular.
  • Writing is a great way to be creative and share your stories with the world, but you need to good at monetization and selling to make the most out of it. Blogging for income is very different than blogging for a hobby.
  • Selling products or services online is a lot of fun, and you can use dropshipping and external fulfilment services so that you don't have to actually handle any stock yourself. It takes commitment and time to make a success out of your own online store. Selling on a third party site is a quicker way to get set up.

How To Make Sure Something Is Viable

Make sure the platform, program or company you choose for your online business and career checks out. Here's how:

  • Don't just read the glowing testimonials on their sales page; have a dig around to find genuine comments from people on forums and online. What do other people think of the service or company? Do they have a good reputation?
  • Read all the small print and documentation, and always try to speak to a genuine human being before signing up.
  • Speak to friends and family around you. Do they think it's a good idea? Has anyone else made money this way?
  • Test things out for a few weeks (free trials are great for this). Are the earnings coming in as expected? Have you been slapped with any unexpected or hidden fees?
  • Setting up your own site? Think about how much work and effort you are willing to put into things like web development and site maintenance. The level of work and the costs may come as a surprise. For ecommerce, you have the option of going for a beginner-friendly hosted platform like Shopify, as well as a more complex content management system like Drupal. Both options have their merits. You just need patience (and web development support) to make sure you get your store set up right.

It's one thing to make sure your online business idea is viable. It's another thing altogether to operate your business in such a way that it actually makes you money. See this Work From Home Online Business page to learn how to increase your chance of success by 100X.

Why Is Online Work Beneficial For The Disabled?

Online work can be incredibly freeing and exciting, and it can help you develop invaluable life skills.

  • Online work is easy to pick up when you feel like it, and you can take extended leaves of absence without explaining yourself.
  • It will teach you loads about independent living, money management and investment. You can invest in software and outsource certain tasks so that you don't have to do everything yourself. You can do all the 'thinking' and build a little virtual team around you.
  • There are loads of supportive online communities out there: blogs, forums, websites etc. Use the collective knowledge and power of the people to help you succeed.
  • Popular freelancer sites like PeoplePerHour and Upwork give you a certain amount of security and guarantees, but it’s important that you read any terms and conditions thoroughly. You might even want to get in touch with them to find out if they have any extra provisions for disabled freelancers.

You will need to make sure that you are happy that you are:

  • Computer literate and able to navigate the online world without too much support or at least be willing to undergo some training first.
  • Well versed in English and able to communicate well over email, which you can streamline with the help of voice recognition software like Dragon.
  • Able to be self-disciplined enough to keep to your own hours and work with minimal supervision.

It can be discouraging to get caught up in a scam, so we really encourage you to thoroughly study How To Spot Scams, one of the top resources of its kind.

And here are some great proven options to explore in the context of working while being on Disability:

Speaking of resources, if you diligently follow our help-getting process, lots more become available to you. Not only that, you get step-by-step handholding on how to use the most appropriate. Start here with the Guide...

Get Your Free Help Guide

Kayleigh Alexandra

Much thanks to Kayleigh Alexandra, Content Marketer & Startup Specialist at MicroStartups.org, who authored this article. It ties in so beautifully with the Ability-Mission.org approach to a better life for people with disabilities.

Passionate about writing for the startup and entrepreneurial audience, Kayleigh has recently been part of setting up an exciting MicroStartups.org project, which donates all their website profits to charities that help people reach their full potential.