It’s important to be sensitive when working with someone who has a disability. You’ll want these tips so you can adjust and overcome any challenges in your workplace!
Workplace challenges for people with disabilities
While there are many types of disabilities, some can be physically or mentally impairing. You might feel frustrated if your condition was new or came from something you did in the past!
The unemployment rate for people with disabilities in America is around 19%, which means they have a greater difficulty finding work than their peers. This is because of the many barriers people with disabilities face at work, such as:
Fear, anxiety or lack of confidence You may be unable to pursue new opportunities or return to your job.
Adapting to new limitations is difficult. As you learn new methods of handling tasks, a new disability can slow you down. You might need to take time to learn how speech-to-text technology works.
Having difficulty finding new jobs. It might be difficult to find inclusive jobs or a job that matches your strengths.
Incorrect Mobility access. Environments that are not suitable for your needs might be encountered, such as buildings with poor wheelchair accessibility.
Inflexible work patterns. You may find it difficult to concentrate on your mental or physical needs while working if you have strict work hours or take breaks.
Attitudes and attitudes of coworkers and employers. Disabling social stigmas can surround your disability. Coworkers and employers might underestimate your abilities, misunderstand or discriminate against.
Working can seem like such a daunting task, but it is important to remember that work provides an individual with their sense of purpose. Even if you don’t enjoy your job or have any passion for what’s being done at the company – which many people never get excited about anyways- having regular paychecks ensures our financial independence and stability within this world where so much changes daily! And when we’re tired from all these life throws us curveballs? Rest up because I promise there will come time where even those feelings won’t matter quite as much anymore.
There are many strategies that will help you find and keep a job that suits you, regardless of your disability. Finding satisfaction at work is possible with self-knowledge, patience and the willingness to advocate for oneself.
Tip 1: Building self-confidence when dealing with disability at work
When it comes to disabilities, people often feel that they lack the confidence and ability. However, there is hope for those who face this challenge as well! These steps can help you gain self-esteem or prove your worthiness in a new workplace by showing how much of an asset you’ll be on their team despite any difficulties.
Accept your disability. Grief can be a very personal and private process. You should not feel pressured or expected to ignore the emotions that come with it- they are completely normal. Try your best to not dwell on what life would look like if things were different because this may only frustratingly remind you how much change is still ahead of us all when we lose something close to us.
Find a relate to people with the exact same disability as you. Many people with disabilities can adapt and thrive in society, which you’ll likely discover. When you feel down, let their stories inspire you or even reach out because nobody understands you apart from the person who is going through the exact same disability as you.
Manage stress levels. It has long been known that stress levels have a direct correlation to your health and your physical being. It is such a big part of our daily lives and is often swept under the mat and unspoken about, but why? If we take the time to calm our mind and quieten the body, our natural body will allow us to achieve anything in the workplace.
Embrace assistive devices. There are a number of tools that can make life easier for people with disabilities, including hearing aids and canes. While these items may not be glamorous in the grand scheme of things- they’re just meant to give you an edge when it comes time for work or public. Don’t let their existence define who YOU really ARE; use them however works best so long as everyone knows what’s going on behind closed doors (or curtains).
List your strengths. It is easy to become obsessed with your disability and all the limitations it presents. Remember that you have many strengths. You should write them down, especially if they are related to work. Despite being less mobile than you used to be, you still have a solid knowledge of your field. Perhaps you have poor social skills, but are able to focus well on tasks that require a lot of concentration. When you are job hunting, or just need to boost your confidence, it is a good idea to review your strengths.
Tip 2 – Be flexible when you return to work
When you go back to work after a break, don’t expect everything will be the same. While it might seem like there are new challenges and frustrations everywhere – an ability or willingness on your part can help make things thrive again.
It’s never too late to seek assistance. You might find it difficult and uncomfortable at first, but with time you will get the hang of things again! If your work environment makes daily tasks challenging or painful for any reason. Don’t be afraid reach out – employers want their employees happy so they can do good work as well.
Refine your goals. The process of adapting is a long and winding journey, full with many obstacles. But don’t let those setbacks bring you down! When setting goals for yourself be patient; know that it may take time before all your hard work pays off in terms or results as well as happiness from achieving them (especially if they’re realistic). And lastly- stay confident throughout any difficulties–we’ve seen what happens when people give up too soon on themselves before even trying new things out because life gets tough sometimes
Use your resources and connections. It can be hard to go back into the office after a tough day, but you have friends and colleagues who are there for support. Turn them in any capacity if needed – talk about your situation or just count on their company when things get too much!
Tip 3 – Search for new employment
You’ll need to spend some time job hunting if you are new to the workforce, or unable to return to your previous role. As you try to find a job that suits your needs, ask yourself these questions.
Which are your strengths? Find jobs that match your strengths and avoid those that emphasize your weaknesses. If you have a hearing impairment and/or anxiety, it will be hard to find a job that requires you to talk to customers. Consider whether you will need to stand for extended periods of time or lift heavy items if you have mobility problems.
Do you want to spend more time at school? Some career paths require a high level of education. Virtual classes may be a good option if you are flexible. There might be programs that offer training for those with disabilities.
Are you looking for flexibility in your work hours or benefits from working from home? You can arrange your work and schedule from home. This type of accommodation might be available in certain fields or jobs.
Which environment suits you best? If you have a sensory disorder, noisy and crowded workplaces can be too overwhelming. People with hearing impairments might find loud spaces challenging. People with hearing impairments will find it easier to work in more quiet, controlled environments.
Tip 4 – Advocate for your needs
It is your choice whether to disclose your disability. If you don’t feel the need to disclose this information to your employer, you can keep it private. If accommodations are necessary, however, it is best to disclose your disability upfront.
Accommodations could be any tool or procedure that allows you to overcome barriers or work patterns that aren’t suitable for your needs. Accommodations aren’t only for current employees. Accommodations can be requested during interviews.
These are some examples of reasonable accommodations:
- Parking reserved for those with mobility impairments
- Flexible end and start times
- To reduce auditory distractions, use noise-canceling technology
- Adapted office layout to accommodate wheelchairs and other assistive devices
- Training videos with captions and visual aids for staff who are hearing impaired.
- For workers with anxiety or learning disabilities, one-on-one meetings are available.
It is understandable that you may be hesitant to talk with your employer about your disability and request accommodations. It’s possible to feel like you will be treated negatively, that your career is going to be affected, or that you’ll get bullied or harassed. You’re not the only one. The good news is many companies are already familiar with accommodating employees and many companies have a disability employment program to allow for positions for people with disability.
These tips will help you make things go smoothly when approaching your employer.
Watch your timing. This important conversation should not be interrupted by your boss. Instead of starting a conversation while things are tense at work, wait until they calm down. Consider scheduling a one-on-1 meeting at the end of each week, for example.
Keep your eyes on the prize. You might feel compelled to give your employer all details about your disability. Maybe you aren’t sure what to say. It is a good idea to keep the conversation focused on your work performance. How are you performing? How can you overcome these obstacles?
Please be specific about how accommodation can assist you in your work. You might say, “If I have noise-canceling headphones, it will help me focus on my work without any sensory issues.”
Request a written agreement. If there are any disagreements, it is helpful to record the details of the accommodations.
Find out who to contact. You might tell your supervisor or HR department about your disability, but not your coworkers. It is important to be clear about the privacy you desire.