When I retired from corporate life in 2004, I decided to accept a long-standing invitation to join the board of trustees for a computer school for the blind in Manila. It blew me away to see how the blind, just using software, were able to effectively access the computer and the internet. But I then learned that hardly any of these blind graduates were employed.
I decided to work on finding a solution to this problem and began a recruitment company, hiring two blind graduates. As they began to work for my firm, it dawned on me that all their work could be done from home.
This was the "big bang" that started a virtual employment ecosystem at my company that employs those with disabilities. In its basic form, it is really nothing new.
Teleworking has been around since the 1990s. In 2010 the number of people who worked from home in the United States was 9.4 million. This was a huge surge from 2.5 million just two years before. Teleworking removes the two most significant barriers to employment of people with disabilities: commuting and an accessible workplace.