Working With A Disability: Simple Principles To Know

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It’s important to recognize that being disabled is not necessarily a binary – between “functional vs. disabled.” Many people who are otherwise “functional” might have conditions to manage that affect their working ability, while many who have diagnosed and managed disabilities can still work effectively with a little accommodation to help them.

You should know that you’re never “asking for too much” in requesting these accommodations, many anti-discrimination laws provide guidance to employers on how to accommodate you, from providing disability access at work to ensuring your working requirements are accommodated.

If you’re recently dealing with a newer disability or a progressive condition, you may need to rebalance your perspective regarding work and how you properly invest in it. Of course, making sure you gather all the support you’re entitled to, from disability aid to sponsored equipment or making use of a medical supply near me is crucial.

From there, you might wish to consider some of the following principles to keep yourself productive and focused:

Communicate Openly With Your Employer

This will be part of an ongoing conversation. If you have a condition like fibromyalgia, it might be that you seize up and struggle with pain, which can affect your working capabilities until your medication kicks in. If you need to adjust your working hours or use disability equipment like specialist keyboards for your computer, then that can help. Communicating openly and honestly will help them understand how to accommodate you, and believe it or not, many are absolutely willing to assist in any way they can.

If Necessary, Educate Colleagues About Your Disability

Now, having a disability doesn’t mean you have to be a mouthpiece for every piece of activism those with your condition might be involved in. But it can be helpful to discuss how and why the disability affects you at work, and what that means for their cooperation with you. For example, you may remote work more often, which means clearly placing your video conferencing hours in your Teams biography. You may be clear that you have medical information available in a bracelet if you suffer an epileptic fit. You have nothing to be embarrassed about, and colleagues often feel much more empowered if they know how to better conduct themselves around your condition.

Set Realistic Goals & Expectations

Ultimately, a disability is just that, a disability. While there are a great number of disabled professionals absolutely excelling in the job market, well-being and personal care are far more important. For that reason, it’s important to be clear about your working goals. Perhaps this year, you hope to go from part-time to full-time where you can. Perhaps you’re more suited to a remote job. Perhaps you need to lessen the amount of business trips you take this year. If you’re planning a major surgery or healthcare pursuit this year, you may need to discuss this with your boss. Never feel difficult, this is about maximizing your output without denigrating your health further.

With this advice, you’re certain to work capably despite your disability and thrive as you were always capable of doing.

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