Asian man in a wheelchair at work

Abilities and Disabilities at Work

Michael Feeley
2 min readMar 14, 2022


RECENTLY PEOPLE HAVE approached me with questions about finding work when they see themselves as different, personally challenged with autism, ADHD, down syndrome, blindness, and other physical or emotional handicaps.

How people see abilities and disabilities in the workplace are fortunately changing and a question I’m thinking about and asking is:

How can you see a life limitation as a strength, an advantage, a gift to other people, and not as adversity or detrimental?

Diversity — Equity — Inclusion (DEI) is essential, especially as people seek work and ableism is opposed.

You see changes in advertising, modeling, TV, movies, companies, not for profits and much more.

If you Google “People with Autism,” you meet these people:

Dan Aykroyd

Susan Boyle

Albert Einstein

Temple Grandin

Daryl Hannah

Sir Anthony Hopkins

Heather Kuzmich

All of these people perform well at something with what might be seen as a limitation. No one is pointing fingers or shaming. Instead, these people’s courage, heart, and desire to use their lives and work to help others is awe-inspiring.

How much does this open your eyes and encourage you to see people with disabilities differently?

We each have the choice and opportunity to change a mindset from shame to pride — disability to an asset — weakness to strength and pride.

Some people and companies care about what you can offer them as they put together a team of different people with valuable skills.

It takes work and time to find the right fit, and I believe we are all up to it.

Do the research. See what other people are doing, happy and prosperous working with life challenges, and be inspired.

You do not need to define yourself by disability.

You are not alone. Connection, collaboration and compassion are essential to living your best life with dignity.

Thanks — Michael (he, him)