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    • #29965
      Madison Parrotta was confident that she would find a job she was passionate about just as easily as she could sign her name.
      But she was wrong.
      Not only did she not get hired due to blatant ableism, but her SMA was progressing. For a while, Madison gave up on what she wanted. But then the pandemic happened and she realized two things: she could have a fulfilling career in a remote working world, and her disability was an asset. Madison wrote about why disabled representation was important to her on cover letters and talked about it during interviews.“My SMA is a part of who I am, and I’m better for it, but it’s not the only part.

      Now back to our SMA community, how has your experience been, when looking for a job?

      Click here to read the rest of Madison’s story and find out more about her views on life with SMA.

      SMA News Today’s 31 Days of SMA campaign will publish one story per day for SMA Awareness Month in August. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #31DaysofSMA, or read the full series.

    • #29972
      Alyssa Silva

      I hope Madison was able to find a job! Unfortunately, her story is common in the disability community. I’ve been fortunate to work remotely here and in my other job as Chief Creative Officer for an adaptive intimates brand. The only other job I had was being a virtual assistant for a friend who owned a gym that was remote, too. My experience thus far has been positive, but I know that’s not the case with everyone.

      • #29980
        Blake Watson

        Awesome! I think the remote work trend is extremely beneficial to people with disabilities looking to work. I feel like I got lucky that I accidentally discovered web development and that the software development industry in general embraces remote work (with some exceptions).

    • #29979
      Blake Watson

      I’d really like to know if Madison has/had success! I love seeing my fellow SMAers get jobs—I think we’re smart, creative problem-solvers and often a boon to the organizations that hire us.

      Job hunting can already be tough and SMA certainly makes it tougher. But if working is something one feels like they can and want to do, I think it’s worth pursuing.

      This will depend on what career field one chooses, but my advice is to do as much as you can to demonstrate your existing skills. For example if you’re in art, graphic design, writing, or computer programming (just to name a few), you have an opportunity to pick up skills on your own and put them to work for you by using them on your own projects and creating a portfolio of work. This is, in my opinion, one good way to get around biases and prove yourself on merit (not that I’m defending said biases, but showing your skills, if possible, is a good strategy regardless of the employer’s biases).

      I wish the US had better policy around PCA funding and income/resources requirements, but there are ways to do follow the rules and still make a good wage. But that’s a topic for another day. 😄

      • #29981
        Alyssa Silva

        Great advice, Blake. I’m sure this will resonate with many. Thank you for sharing!

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