Dear Gritty VA:
I am with a state vocational commission that enhances employability, maximizes independence, and assists in the development of the capacities and strengths of people who are blind and visually impaired. Would it be possible for a person who is blind or visually impaired to do the job as a virtual assistant. Many of our consumers have the skills and desire that is needed for these types of jobs. With assistive technology, such as a screen reader for the computer, accessibility is not a problem. –CD
Great question, and thanks for asking.
In talking about Virtual Assistance, there are some basic understandings that first need to be met. Virtual Assistance is not a “job.” Rather, Virtual Assistance is the profession of self-employed administrative professionals.
If you are asking in the context of whether someone with some physical challenges could be a self-employed administrative professional (a Virtual Assistant), and have their own business providing administrative support to clients, my answer would be absolutely! as long as they are masterfully skilled, have the extensive, necessary real-world administrative experience, and are equipped with whatever assistive technology they will need to communicate with clients and perform services.
If you are asking the question within the context of a “job,” then we aren’t talking about Virtual Assistance, but rather remote working/telecommuting. In that situation, the person is an employee of a company and is supervised, directed and paid a wage dictated by the employer. Since that is not Virtual Assistance, I cannot be of assistance there. My suggestion would be to search under the keywords “telecommuting.”
Caveat: Most telecommuting jobs advertised on the Internet are scams. Typically, they will require a fee upfront and the person never receives the materials. Or they might receive materials, and it turns out to be bunch of worthless information. Or, they take the "training" or jump through whatever other hoops they just paid their hard-earned money to jump through, and then are never given a job and/or never hear from the company again. If someone is interested in a telecommuting job and not going into business for themselves, my advice would be to contact virtual staffing agencies or larger brick-and-mortar companies and explore opportunities with them.