According to an article by the World Health Organization (WHO), around 15% of the world’s population is suffering from various disabilities like blindness, hearing impairment, mobility, and other health conditions that limit a person’s ability to function at 100%.
And while world governments provide support programs…
You’re probably reading this because you don’t want to rely on other people’s help forever, and you’re hoping to find ways to earn your keep. For that, we salute you and we want to help you out!
We’ve compiled 24 of the best paying side hustles for disabled individuals. These opportunities have the potential to help you earn a recurring income, despite your current disability challenges.
We say “best-paying” because this list doesn’t contain unreliable and low-paying gigs like paid surveys or mystery shopping. We focused on income opportunities that are actually worth your while.
- Side hustles for people with mobility issues
- Side hustles for people with hearing impairment
- Side hustles for people with visual impairments
- For people with disabilities but can leave home and go outside
Side hustles for people with mobility issues
This section contains potential income streams and side hustles for people with mobility issues and spend most of their time at home.
1. Review books online
This side hustle is perfect for bookworms who just love to spend hours and hours reading books.
There are sites online that will pay you for book reviews.
Some of the sites will even give you a free book, while others still provide a little compensation even if your review is not approved.
So what are you waiting for, make some money now!
How to start?
- Join online book review sites like Booklist, Online Book Club, reedsy, Kirkus, US Review of Books, Writerful Books, Women’s Review of Books, and Publisher’s Weekly.
- Google “review books online” to get more options based on your demographic
2. Online proofreading
As a proofreader, you will help various clients online make sure that their documents, manuscripts, and any written file are free from grammatical errors, spelling errors, and other typographical and formatting errors (e.g. heading, subheading, etc).
The current average rate for proofreading a 500 word article is around $50, although you may find lower or higher rates depending on your clients and demographic.
How to start?
- The best place to find clients is in online freelance sites like Proofreading Services, Upwork, Fiverr, FlexJobs, Toptal, PeoplePerHour, Skyword, Hireable, and SimplyHired.
- Google “proofreading jobs online”
3. Freelance writing
Do you enjoy writing? Can you clearly convey your thoughts and insights via written words?
If yes, then there’s plenty of clients out there who will pay you a good amount of money (and they don’t care about your physical stature) as long as you can provide them with quality articles.
Joanne O’Riordan is a popular Irish activist and sports journalist with no limbs, yet it didn’t stop her to make something of herself. She even does yoga!
But while Joanne’s forte is on journalism, you could write about topics you have the knowledge or interest in. Or if you’re into journalism as well, then you could follow in Joanne’s footsteps (figuratively).
The key takeaway here is to accept writing topics that you have knowledge about, or something you are interested in so that (1) you can provide a quality article to your client and (2) you won’t get bored writing about the topic.
I write a lot and trust me, you will get bored unless it is truly your passion, or you love the topic you’re writing about.
How to start?
- Join online freelance job sites like Upwork, Fiverr, FlexJobs, Toptal, PeoplePerHour, Hireable, Textbroker, and SimplyHired
- Ask some of your friends and family if they could refer you just in case they know someone that needs a home-based writer
- Advertise your services on your social media accounts
4. Self publish eBooks
Self-publishing an eBook could very well be the next milestone to hit if you’re really passionate about writing.
And while self-publishing seems to have fallen on some level of “bucket-list” for many because of the amount of work and dedication that is involved, it can actually become a good source of passive income if you push through.
A good example would be Hirotada Ototake (1), the author of a best-selling book in Japan titled No One’s Perfect (2). Like Joane, Hirotada is born without a complete set of arms and legs yet he rose above he’s a disability and become a distinguished author.
So who can tell you that you won’t accomplish the same feat? You might be even destined for more!
Hirotada was made famous by his memoir and if that’s something you don’t enjoy working on, then you can tinker and make an eBook about something else.
It could be a short story, a novel, a how-to guide, or about various topics that interest you like religion, spirituality, self-help, motivation, etc.
How to start?
- Get a clear idea of a topic you want to write about
- Outline each chapter of your eBook
- Work on your eBook every chance you get
- Join any of the self-publishing platforms like Scribd, Kindle Direct Publishing, MindStir Media, Leanpub, Lulu, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords
5. Teach English online
The demand for online English teachers today has been steadily increasing. But Jack, teaching? What about credentials?
Well, even if you’re not a professional teacher, as long as you’re “capable” of speaking English fluently in front of a computer, you can make money!
Although, it wouldn’t hurt to get a TEFL, ESL, or TESOL certification as they improve your chance of getting hired immediately and getting a higher pay rate.
How to start?
- A fast and reliable internet connection is a must since you will be conducting live video classes
- A decent working computer and a quire workspace
- Join educational platforms like Gogokid, iTutorGroup, Duolingo, VIPKid, Teach Away, and EF Education First
- Google “teach English online” if you want to get more options
Another good thing about this side hustle is that you aren’t limited to teaching only English to kids and adults.
If you speak other languages like Cantonese, Russian, French, Italian, or Spanish, there’s a huge demand for teaching them online as well.
6. Become an online tutor
You may not be Stephen Hawking, but if you have an academic degree, an area of expertise, or certain skills, then you can impart your knowledge to other people and earn money by becoming an online tutor.
You can teach school subjects like Mathematics or Physics or you can teach other skills based on what you know and can do like playing guitar, knitting, sewing, drawing, etc.
How to start?
- You must have a fast and stable Internet connection
- A working computer and a regular work station at your home (preferably someplace quite)
- Join online tutorial sites like SkillShare, Udemy, TutorMe, Wyzant, Clarity, Coach.me, WizIQ, Teachagora, and Evisors
- Google “online tutor jobs + country/region”
7. Work as a remote (home-based) customer service representative
You can apply to become a home-based Customer Service Representative (CSR) for various brands and telecommunication companies.
As a remote CSR, you will help customers with questions, give information about products and services, take orders, process returns, and handle various complaints from the comfort of your home.
Remote CSR’s earn between $10 to $20 an hour depending on your experience, demographics, and clienteles.
Some companies even give incentives, insurance, and benefits to their remote employees.
How to start?
- Find remote CSR jobs on sites like Indeed, Upwork, Fiverr, FlexJobs, Toptal, PeoplePerHour, Hireable, and SimplyHired
- Some companies might require previous experience but many will hire complete beginners
- Google “online customer service representative jobs” or “remote customer service jobs” to get more options
8. Work as freelancer online
Aside from the things we’ve covered so far, there are plenty of other ways to make money online from home.
Some of the most in demand freelancing skills are the following, take your pick:
- Data entry (copy and paste jobs)
- Virtual assistant positions
- Bookkeeping and accounting
- Graphic designing and editing
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Video editing
- Audio and video transcribing
- Logo designing
- Social media marketing
- Website development
It has become a norm for companies and businesses to hire freelancers today and thanks to that, it has never been easier to get an online job based on your current skills, knowledge, and capabilities.
How to start?
- A working computer unit and a steady Internet connection is a must
- Join sites like Upwork, Fiverr, FlexJobs, Toptal, PeoplePerHour, ZipRecruiter, and other sites we’ve mentioned above
- Google “work online + country/region” for more options
- Check this out for step-by-step tips on how to build a successful online freelancing career
Blogging can be a very lucrative side hustle for you or your family member. It is easy to start and very flexible.
Some of the most successful and popular blogs owned by people with disabilities are The Squeaky Wheelchair (3), Tales From The Crip (4), Legally Blind Bagged (5), and Slow Walkers See More (6). These blogs tackle topics about disability, and you can do the same thing to support other people with similar challenges as you.
But the good thing about blogging is that you can also make it about something else rather than your disability. You can start a blog based on your passion, hobbies, interest, and skills.
10. Affiliate marketing
If you’re wondering how some people are making a lot of money online, affiliate marketing is one of the answers. With affiliate marketing, you can make passive income online without selling and owning any products.
What you need to do is simply recommend (promote) products and services to other people. When a sale is made by your referrals, you earn commissions.
Here’s how affiliate marketing works and why we believe it’s one of the best ways to make money online…
Affiliate marketing works side by side with blogging, and you can maximize the potential of this opportunity by starting your own blog.
When it comes to making money, your income in affiliate marketing will depend on the niche you’re in and the affiliate products you are promoting. There are millions of affiliate products that you can promote in your blog and you can find them by joining an affiliate network.
Side hustles for people with hearing impairment
This section contains side hustles for people that have hearing impairment or completely deaf. What’s not mentioned on this section but is relevant to you is #9 and #10 above.
11. Freelance graphic artist
We already included this under online freelancing but we feel that this is a very good way for people with hearing disabilities to make money with. There are plenty of clients you can find online that are in need of a skilled graphic artist and designers for their businesses.
So if you have a creative mind and you know your way around various image editing software like Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, ACDSee or Canva, then you can start making money immediately.
As you can see in the image above, freelance online graphic artists charge anywhere between $35 to $100 an hour. (image from Upwork)
How to start?
- Find clients on sites like Upwork, Fiverr, FlexJobs, PeoplePerHour, SimplyHired, Hireable, and Toptal
- If you have a blog within the creative or art niche, you can post your portfolio and advertise your services in your blog
- Advertise your services in your social media accounts to attract local clients
12. Design t-shirts online
This is closely related to #11 but nevertheless, this is another good way for graphic artists to make money on the side.
And aside from t-shirts, you can also upload your designs to sites like DesignByHumans, Fine Art America, Redbubble, Society6, and Custom Ink. These sites will print your design on mugs, apparels, caps and you get a share for each merch sold.
13. Sell stock images online
If you have a passion for photography and you have the ability to capture amazing moments and breath-taking scenery using your camera, then you can sell your images online.
How to start?
- You must have a decent camera and photography equipment
- Signup and upload your images on sites like Adobe Stock, Shutterstock, DepositPhotos, Alamy, and 500px
- Google “sell photos online” to get more options
You can also show your work on your blog (start a blog) and even offer photo coverage services for weddings, birthdays, prenups, and special occasions – if that is within your abilities.
14. Sell your crafts online
Photos and graphic designs aren’t the only things you can sell online.
If you have skills like knitting, sewing, or you know how to create any DIY crafts, you can sell your work online as well. You can sell your crafts on sites like Etsy, eBay, GCL Craft Mall, Artfire, and indieCart.
In fact, you can also sell pastries and home-made foods if you know how to cook. Just be mindful of some local restrictions about food handling. You can post some of your cooking using your social media accounts.
Furthermore, you can also sell any of your products and crafts on your own blog, as long as it is related to your blog’s niche.
15. Start an eCommerce business
Speaking of selling things online, a good way to make money with this opportunity is by starting your own eCommerce business – if this is something that really interests you.
As long as you can manage to navigate through your computer and set up your online store.
There are three popular ways to start an eCommerce business today – Amazon FBA, Shopify, or drop-shipping.
Starting an eCommerce business with Amazon FBA or Shopify basically means buying interesting products in bulk from countries where production costs are low. Then you resell those products at marked-up prices for profits.
Meanwhile, drop-shipping has a little different approach.
Let’s discuss each of them.
Amazon FBA vs Shopify
Amazon FBA – The good thing about starting an eCommerce business with Amazon FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon) is that you can piggyback on the popularity of Amazon itself to get eyeballs on your products.
Millions of people visit Amazon every day so even without doing much advertising or marketing work yourself, there’s a good chance that you can get sales.
Another great thing about FBA is that most of the responsibilities of the store owner are taken care of, including order placement, shipping, payment processing, and even housing your inventory.
Shopify – On the flip side, Shopify is a platform that will provide you the tools and the system to create an online retail store from scratch. It is a good option if you’re planning to establish your own identity and personal brand of products online.
Some people prefer Shopify vs FBA is because Shopify store owners have 100% control of the selling process, e.g., offering product upsell or downsell, a feature you can’t offer in FBA.
But as a Shopify store owner, you will have to learn how to market your products, advertise your brand, and drive traffic to your online store. You also have to handle logistics, manage pricing, setup payment gateways, and even provide aftersales services.
Of the two eCommerce platforms, Amazon FBA is a much practical choice for beginners in our opinion. And if you want to learn how to get started, you can do so here.
That being said, starting an eCommerce business with Amazon FBA or Shopify requires a hefty upfront investment.
And if you’d rather keep your savings for now but you really want to sell interesting products online, you can try drop-shipping.
Drop-shipping is an eCommerce business model where you won’t need to pre-purchase or own any products that you want to sell. You just have to signup and create a seller account in drop-shipping sites like Oberlo, AliExpress, BigCommerce, or create an eBay seller account.
After that, you will then need to find interesting products that you want to sell. Then, you have to contact suppliers and manufacturers that are willing to drop-ship the products for you.
Once you have these things in place, you just have to find good images of the products you are planning to drop-ship and post them on your retail store.
When a customer orders the products you sell, you will then contact your suppliers (or manufacturer) and let them fulfill the order of the customer, handle the shipping and payment process. You just get to keep your profits.
16. Work as a special education teacher
Another good side hustle for you is to work as a special education teacher for students with similar disabilities.
Being in the same shoe, you know best how to connect with kids and students who have to endure the same disability as you.
You can teach sign language to your students and once they know how to communicate effectively, you can then provide them with education in other subjects as well.
How to start?
- You must have a bachelor’s degree and special education teaching license
- You must pass your country or state’s required tests for special education teachers
- Apply at school that offers special education classes
- Google “become a special education teacher + country/state”
Side hustles for people with visual impairments
Now, if you are reading this section, you probably know someone with visual impairment, or you are not 100% visually impaired.
17. Work as a massage therapist
In my place, I often find a lot of blind massage therapist and they do a good job too!
If you have no issues in giving other people a good foot massage, then this can be a good way for you to make money.
What I like about this gig is that you can choose to work on spas and massage centers, or you can provide your services at your home. You can also offer on-call home massage services and charge an extra fee.
Although, be mindful that some cities do not permit anyone to just run a massage business in their home, so be properly guided.
How to start?
- Many countries and states do not require you to train and obtain a massage therapy license for foot massages, but it’s better to you get one (if you can) to avoid future issues.
- Depending on what country or state you’re in, you can obtain a massage therapy license in a matter of weeks
- Fees for massage therapist application and certification vary depending on demographic but you can find info by searching online e.g. “massage therapist certification cost + country”
18. Work as a radio personality
If you have a well-modulated voice and you can articulate words clearly…
Another side hustle that can be done is working as a radio personality.
This is especially true if you’re a smart and witty person with a genuine sense of humor. As a radio personality, no one really cares if you are visually impaired.
And if you think about it, it’s rare for people to see a radio personality and you don’t need to make appearances yourself. What matters is that you know your way around a microphone and you know how to connect and entertain your listeners.
How to start?
- Visit local and community radio stations
- Check sites like ZipRecruiter or Craigslist to find potential radio gigs near you
- Start a Podcast. Check sites like Soundcloud or Podbean.
19. Start a YouTube channel
This side hustle list for the blind wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Andrea Boccelli, a blind musician, writer and musical producer that has sold more than 75 million records.
Another example is Kodi Lee, a blind and autistic singer who stunned the crowd of America’s Got Talent.
If you happen to have a passion for music, you can sing well or you can play musical instruments like piano, guitar, or violin, starting a YouTube channel is a good potential income stream.
You can record videos of your performance and upload it on your channel. If you are really talented, you will surely gain a following and it will open up doors of opportunity for you.
Of course, considering your visual impairment, you may need a family member to help you with this gig (probably someone who is reading this).
You can earn money with YouTube by affiliate products, getting sponsorship, selling your own merchandise, or via Google AdSense.
20. Teach how to play a musical instrument
If you are good at playing a musical instrument, you can make money by teaching other people your craft.
This could easily be another topic for your blog or Youtube channel.
Nevertheless, if you prefer teaching other people how to play an instrument the traditional way, you can offer personal guitar or piano lessons (or whatever instrument you play) and make money while doing the thing you love.
How to start?
- Inform your family, friends, and neighbors know about your services
- Advertise on your social media, blog, or YouTube channel
For people with disabilities but can leave home and go outside
While this is closely related to #19 and #20, busking is only a valid option for people with disabilities who can go out.
Of course, you must be a good singer and you can play an instrument for this gig to work. Play on the streets alone or with your posse and for a few hours, you can have money to take home.
How to start?
- Get the necessary licenses (or permit) required to perform on streets legally
- Pick a good spot in the city where a lot of people pass by
22. Become a tour guide
If you happen to live in a touristy area, you have no trouble interacting with people, and you’re capable of showing and guiding them around tourist spots, you can become a tour guide.
It’s always good to have a story or two about local myths and legend to pique the interests of your visitors. If you do a good job, you’ll likely to get a lot of new friends and earn a good tips on top of your basic tour guide fee.
Furthermore, becoming a tour guide is not only a good way to earn an income but also a way to develop your speaking and storytelling skills, which can be useful for side hustle #23 and #24.
23. Emceeing/event host
If you have charisma and you are confident to speak in front of a crowd, you can become an emcee or an event host.
It doesn’t matter if you are disabled, if you know how to make people laugh and keep gatherings alive, you can get recurring gigs and earn an income.
Emcees usually get paid anywhere between $100-$500 each event.
How to start?
- Start somewhere, maybe speak for free in small gatherings to develop your skills
- Watch videos of popular speakers to learn how they handle themselves in front of a crowd
- Once you’ve made a reputation as a good emcee, host, or speaker, you can then charge a fee
24. Public speaking gigs
Take your emceeing or hosting skills to the next level and entertain a much bigger audience.
Regardless of your disability, as long as you know how to speak, entertain, motivate, and inspire people in front of you, this might be the side hustle you’re looking for.
Ryan Niemiller is a stand-up comedian that has no hands, yet now earning millions since his appearance in America’s Got Talent.
And who doesn’t know Nick Vujicic or Jeff Steinberg (aka the Tiny Giant)?
These people are missing an arm, a leg, or all of them, yet they use their skills in speaking and storytelling to overcome the challenges and rise on top of their disabilities.
How to start?
- Start small, maybe give free inspirational speeches in your church, school, or on family gatherings
- Once you’ve established a reputation, use social media and the Internet to find paid speaking gigs
- Create a blog or a YouTube channel to establish your brand and reach more people online
So, how do you like our 24 best side hustle ideas for disabled persons? We hope that you found a few that you want to start right away.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. If you have anything to add to this list, we would appreciate if you can share them in the comments section below.
Our goal is to help people all around the world with disabilities to find suitable side hustles.
Keep looking at the brighter side of life, and whatever your plans in the future, you can do it!
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