Disabled Find Work as Agents.

Communications Convergence.
Wednesday, March 01, 2006.

New York Times: Technology helps people with disabilities work from home as telecommuting call center agents.

People with disabilities are finding more work options as remote call center agents, the New York Times reports. "Some call center operators have found that disabled workers stay in their jobs longer and are more loyal than other workers. They also tend to be older and better educated, and they will work for less," writes Times reporter David Joachim.

New, inexpensive technology like broadband connections, text-to-speech software, and alternatives to the mouse are making working from home possible for people with disabilities ranging from blindness to quadriplegia.

The IRS has found numerous advantages to hiring home-based disabled agents, including the fulfillment of the federal requirement to employ some severely disabled people. Remote, seasonal agents are perfect for the job, in part because they can be hired part-time to answer the Monday and Tuesday afternoon peak calls, the Times says.

Telecommuting for call center jobs is a growing trend, writes Joachim:

"The market research firm IDC says that about 112,000 home agents -- both disabled and not -- were working for outsourcing firms like Willow, Alpine Access of Golden, Colo., and J. Lodge of Hammonton, N.J., at the end of 2005. That number is expected to climb to 300,000 by 2010. That does not count employees of companies that hire their own home agents."

The article quotes consultant Gil Gordon: "If you want to find a job where nothing counts but brains and voice, this is it."


End of article.

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