The Five Best Degrees For Those Who Want To Help People With Disabilities

Published on: November 05, 2023

Some people are born with disabilities that make it harder to perform the types of daily tasks everyone else takes for granted. Others might develop or acquire disabilities during the course of their life due to accidents or illness. Many students find that it is their calling in life to help people with disabilities. Numerous career paths can be taken by those who want to help others, so it is essential to know what the options are and which degrees are best suited for them. Here are just a few of the best degrees for those who want to help people with disabilities.

How Do I Know If Helping People With Disabilities Is The Right Career Choice For Me?

Before making a career out of helping people with disabilities it is very important to ensure that it is the right line of work for you. While earning a degree can teach you the necessary skills, not everyone has what it takes to put those skills to good use. If you are unsure whether or not you are cut out for this line of work try volunteering first. Numerous community and nonprofit organizations can benefit from the help. In addition to earning practical skills doing volunteer work can also help you determine whether or not you are cut out for the job.

What Skills Are Needed To Help People With Disabilities?

There are different types of disabilities, which means different skills are needed to help people depending on what their disability is. However, these are some of the most common skills that are needed to work in any industry where you assist people with disabilities.

Patience: Some disabilities can add extra barriers to communication and functioning, which means patience is required to avoid frustration.

Empathy: People with disabilities often daily challenges that most other people never even have to imagine, so having empathy with their situations is crucial.

Communication: Communication skills are very important as it is not just about being able to have a conversation with someone but also about making yourself understood clearly.

Collaboration: Working with people who have disabilities often means having good collaboration skills. Helping them often means having to work closely with them, their family members, and your colleagues.

Adaptability: Every day can be different for people with disabilities, so you need to be able to adapt to this. This is especially important when working with children who have special needs.

What Degree Options Are Available For Careers Involving Working With Disabled People?

Social Work

A Bachelor of Social Work degree is usually the minimum requirement for entry-level positions in non-clinical social work. This can be followed by a master’s in social work degree, but keep in mind that different states in the US might also have different license options and requirements to perform social work. A social work degree can be useful for career paths such as a developmental disability case manager where you provide support to patients who are newly diagnosed with disabilities. This job can involve assisting disabled people with filing claims, choosing health care services, and more.


A psychology degree is useful for several different career paths that involve working with disabled people. A bachelor’s or master’s degree in psychology can be used to become a counselor and choose a specialization such as disability. Counselors working in this field help their clients to cope with the short- or long-term effects of their disabilities and to develop a more positive outlook. These degrees are also useful for students who want to become mental health case managers. In addition, those who go on to earn a doctoral degree in psychology can become rehabilitation specialists who can help clients with disabilities adapt to their new lifestyle.

Special Education

A degree in special education is necessary for those who want to work with children and teenagers who have learning disabilities. There are numerous specializations available in this field, which include Autism Spectrum Disorders, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Dyslexia, Emotional Behavioral disorders, intellectual and Development Disabilities, Visual Impairments, and more. In addition to becoming a special education teacher this type of degree is also needed to become a disability support coordinator who is someone working with students who have disabilities to establish their needs in a school environment.

Speech-Language Pathology

A degree in speech-language pathology is needed to become a speech-language pathologist. This profession is for people who want to help those with disabilities related to speaking or hearing. For example, a speech-language pathologist can help someone with a hearing disability to speak in a comprehensive way.

Orthotics and Prosthetics

Completing a master’s degree in orthotics and prosthetics is required to become a prosthetist and help people with disabilities related to their mobility. This career involves meeting with people and fitting them for braces or prosthetic limbs that can help them to better navigate the world around them. Some prosthetists also work with occupational and physical therapists to help patients recover from injuries.


Helping people with disabilities is not an easy career path, but it can be an immensely rewarding one. It takes a special person to devote their life to the care and assistance of people that many others choose to overlook. The best part of the job is that it is possible to help others live more independently and maintain a lifestyle that others might take for granted. Disabilities can take many forms, from physical to learning, mental, and sensory, which means there are many different types of careers available. However, self-care is equally important in these industries, and helping others is impossible if you are not looking after yourself too.

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