Getting ready to move is pretty nerve wracking. When you live with a disability, the anxiety can mount even higher. Whether your disability impairs your hearing, vision, or mobility, it can lead to certain challenges that make this stressful situation that much more difficult. If you or someone you know is facing a similar situation, use the following tips to help the process run smoothly. 

Create a Timeline

A timeline is the perfect way to organize your moving process so you can stay on track and not miss a beat. While your instincts may tell you to start with what you can do today and move forward from there, it’s more efficient to work backward from your actual moving day. Set a deadline for each task you need to finish by that day. Some items on your checklist may include: 

  • Create a moving binder where you can keep records, receipts, insurance information, important phone numbers, and any other documents you may get from movers, realtors, and landlords. 
  • Clean out your current home and purge items you don’t need to take with you on your move. 
  • Research and pick a reliable moving company to help with packing and relocating your belongings. Make sure you find a company that is properly licensed and insured. You may be able to find a discount on moving services if you belong to an organization like AAA.
  • If necessary, find medical care providers for you and your family in your new area. Forward your medical records from your current physicians. 
  • If you have kids, organize their school records, and begin the transfer process for their new schools. 
  • Order moving supplies like boxes, tape, packing peanuts, and newspaper. 
  • Have your car checked and tires rotated, especially if your move requires a long drive. 
  • Refill all your prescriptions so you don’t run out during the hectic packing, moving, and unpacking stages. 
  • Put aside money to pay for moving expenses.
  • Make an inventory of your belongings before packing so you’ll know if something is missing once you arrive at your destination. 

Modify Your New Home for Accessibility

Home accessibility is important when you live with a disability. Your new home may need both interior and exterior modifications to help make life easier around the house. Interior modifications may include things like adding handrails and grab bars, especially in dangerous rooms like the bathroom and kitchen. You may also need to move thermostats and light switches lower so they are easier to reach. Exterior modifications may include adding ramps over steps, especially if you are visually impaired or use a mobility aid like a wheelchair or a walker. 

Having these modifications completed before your move is ideal. To help make things efficient, it’s best to incorporate expenses related to your remodel into your moving budget. If you need help covering these costs, look into grants and government assistance provided for people with disabilities. People over the age of 65 may receive funding through Medicare to help cover costs. The National Council for Independent Living is another resource to check into. Furthermore, most modifications you make are tax deductible if you pay for them yourself, so be sure to keep all receipts related to your renovation costs.


Moving is a hectic and stressful event. When you live with a disability, that stress is amplified. It helps to create a timeline of all the things you need to have completed before the move. Work backward from your moving day to ensure you don’t miss a thing. Living with a disability also means you need to make modifications for accessibility around your house before you arrive. Work renovation costs into your moving budget, and check organizations like the National Council for Independent Living to see if you qualify for financial assistance.

Photo Credit: Pexels

Starting a business comes with a lot of responsibility and a lot to think about, but it can be the perfect solution for a person who isn’t satisfied with their career in its current state. For an individual with a disability, it can be a life-changer, because it can allow you to set your own hours, work from home, and/or create a business model that focuses on your strengths and abilities. 

“At almost every event or conference I attend, one of the questions I’m frequently asked is, ‘What kind of businesses do people with disabilities start?’ My response to the question tends to reframe it, because almost any type of business you can imagine a person without a disability might want to start, is just as likely to be a business idea we’ve consulted about. I’m continually amazed at the creativity, vision, and resourcefulness these aspiring entrepreneurs reveal in their ideas,” says Kim Cordingly, a self-employment consultant.

The first step is to do some research on the type of business you want to start. Think about the skills and experience you already have, and consider expanding upon them by going back to school or taking online courses. Being as knowledgeable and prepared as possible will help you during the first year of being a business owner.

Here are some great tips on how to start a business when you’re living with a disability.

Do Some Research

Not only should you be as prepared as possible to run a specific type of business, you also need to be knowledgeable about what it takes to be a small business owner in general. There are many details to go over, such as finding a retail space or figuring out how to work from your home, deciding whether or not you’ll need employees, obtaining licenses and tax forms, and working out health insurance and other benefits. You’ll also need to figure out the legalities of your business, such as whether you will be the sole proprietor or if you’ll have a business partner or investors. 

Get Creative

It sometimes takes some creative thinking to get a business going and make it successful. If you’re looking to make a product — such as artwork, food, or furniture — think about how you can partner with other local businesses who sell similar items, or come up with a way to get your product in front of new customers. For example, if you’re a chef or baker, consider buying a food truck. This would eliminate the need for a big, expensive commercial space and would allow you the freedom to set your own hours. Plus, you could park near a cluster of office buildings, at a local bar, or at a local sports field, and let the customers come to you before you even dive into marketing your business. 

Consider Getting Some Support

Starting and running your own business can be stressful and overwhelming, especially if you’re doing much of it yourself. Consider getting a service animal, which can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. For an individual with a disability, a service animal can be extremely helpful during a major life change.

Starting your own business can be a difficult process if you aren’t prepared, but with a good game plan and some support from friends and family, you can make your business a rousing success. Think about the best ways to engage your community and get active on social media to promote your services in order to get your name in front of as many people as possible.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Pregnancy and parenthood already bring a whole host of challenges, and they might feel insurmountable to parents who have a disability. But research has shown that disabled parents feel greater levels of satisfaction at overcoming their personal limitations, especially after the births of their children.

Parenting with a disability does present some unique conundrums, and preparing ahead of time will let you focus your energy where it belongs — on your newest family member.

Prep Yourself

If you’re pregnant and have a disability that could interfere with a successful pregnancy, schedule a visit with your ob-gyn. Make sure you discuss:

  • How your disability or medical condition might affect your growing baby as well as your own health.
  • What medical tests might be required initially and throughout your pregnancy.
  • How you’d like to approach the birth of your child. You’ll probably create plans A, B, and C — just like any expectant mother.

Prep Your Home

Being a parent does come with its share of trial and error, but there are a few things you can do before you’re home from the hospital with your newborn to smooth the transition and remove some of the worry:

  • Install and/or test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on each floor.
  • Buy a fire extinguisher and store it in an easily accessible place. 
  • Store all medications securely out of sight and out of reach.
  • Prepare and freeze meals that you can defrost and heat up when you don’t feel like cooking.
  • Think about your physical limitations when you’re planning where to put your baby’s crib. It may be easier to have the crib next to your bed for less stressful nighttime feedings and diaper changes.

Adaptive Baby Gear

Babies require lots of equipment. If you’re vision-impaired, use tactile labels for items so they’re easy to identify. If you struggle with zippers or buttons, choose baby clothing that fastens with snaps or velcro.

If you use a wheelchair, purchase a wheelchair-accessible crib that operates via remote control. Bonus: These cribs also work well for dressing a baby and changing diapers. Adaptive strollers for wheelchairs make it easier for parents with mobility issues to tote babies from their homes to their cars and to get around town.

Slings and wraps help you keep your baby close while keeping your hands free. With ring slings, wraps, and other structured carriers, there are plenty of options.

If you’re looking for more ideas, Through the Looking Glass provides exceptional resources for parents with disabilities.

Saving for IVF Treatments

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Survey of Family Growth, 6.9% of women — including those with physical disabilities — received some kind of fertility treatment between 2011 and 2015. That’s over 8 million women who undertook an emotional, expensive journey without the guarantee of a happy ending.

The majority of IVF patients assume financial responsibility for their treatments, although some insurances may cover a portion of the costs. 

Unless you’re one of the lucky few whose insurance does cover treatments, you’ll likely need another plan. Financing options include:

  • Fertility, credit union, and online personal loans 
  • Health savings accounts (HSAs) or flexible spending accounts (FSAs)
  • Shared-risk or IVF refund programs, which help to recoup at least some of your costs if the treatments aren’t successful. Learn more about these programs here.
  • Borrow cash from a home equity loan, retirement funds, or relatives. Do consider those financing options carefully.

Wherever you are in your parenthood journey, create a support network.  Don’t hesitate to reach out and make connections. Friends, family, community organizations, and social services are valuable resources. Join online communities or support groups for other disabled parents. But most of all, enjoy the wild and crazy ride!

Picture Credit: Pexels