if I am physically challenged?
Can I still get a job overseas?
Will it be a
It may be a
problem - it depends on what your personal
challenge/issue is, what your target job is and in which
country you intend to work.
Much of the
world is not physically-challenged friendly.
developing world - where many of the best jobs are
available - sidewalks are often uneven, may have large
holes in them, or sometimes don't even exist. Elevators
are a happy invention of the developed world. Offices or
classrooms can be on the fifth floor of a building with
uneven and steep stairs.
taught at a college in Korea in 1993-4 where he had to
leave a classroom on the fifth floor of one building, go
outside, walk up a hill, go into another building and
back up to a fifth or sixth floor - all in the ten
minutes between the two classes - and no elevators. I
was younger then - and relatively fit - but found myself
arriving in class out of breath and covered with sweat,
sometimes even a few minutes late.
winter the path between the buildings was often covered
with ice, making progress even more difficult.
If you have
physical challenges of any sort, be sure to ask about
the specific circumstances of any job you may be
interested in. While at the same college I wrote about
above, the school hired a significantly overweight
teacher. She, needless to say, didn't work out. Just
too much physical strength and agility required. She
hadn't asked about the physical demands of the job - and
they hadn't thought to tell her.
I worked for
a few years at a school with an older woman who had had
knee replacements. She often had trouble with the
stairs being uneven. In many places, stairs are not
built in a uniform manner, one may be higher or wider
than the next. Stairs may also be slippery, hand rails
may not be provided.
I am happy
to report that the university where I was working from
2003 to 2005, put in physically-adapted bathrooms on
every floor of every building!
Fantastic, but there was NO elevator to get up to the
fifth floor (or any other floor) to use them! Progress
is being made, but in a rather uneven fashion. Some day
- I am sure they will have elevators. But not yet.
the developing world can be particularly problematic.
Buses jolt about, don't come to full stops to pick up or
discharge passengers - it is a tough place if you can't
move quickly. The author's wife, who is not
physically challenged in any way - refuses to use
Bangkok's water taxis. Why? They don't
really stop and if you have a misstep - it's into the
water you go.
I don't mean
to be discouraging - but do look for more developed
countries - or places where everything is on one floor.
It is far
better to have this issue handled BEFORE you get there.