Life isn’t always fair. We could go on about the various situations and give examples on why exactly life isn’t fair, but that seems like a waste of time. It’s important to look ahead no matter how unfair you think life is, and that even extends to your work. While many people with disabilities are discriminated based on their inability to work, others push themselves to try and regain the life they used to have.
People that have recently developed a disability often find it difficult to integrate themselves back into their work. However, many employers are taking it a step further by actively welcoming employees with disabilities, and even going so far as to change parts of the workplace in order to suit the disabled working population.If you’re thinking about trying to regain your independence, then here are a few ways to cope with life as a disabled worker.
Understand what help you can get
Make sure you speak to your employer about the benefits you can receive and when it’s appropriate to take time off. If your disability is a debilitating condition that could cause you to collapse or stop working, then you will likely be given a lighter role that doesn’t involve too much stress. This is to prevent you from injuring yourself. If your employer doesn’t seem to care and treats you unfairly due to your disability, then you may want to contact a personal injury lawyer especially if they lair their hands on you.
Disabilities mean that others will need to help you with certain things. As long as you have understanding colleagues behind your back, it’s easier than you think to integrate yourself back into the workplace. Just remember that support comes in many shapes and different forms. It could be advice you picked up from the internet or it could be someone with a similar disability offering helpful tips over a chat messaging program. Either way, try and remember that help is around the corner whenever you need it.
Let your employer know
The worst thing you can do is keep your disability a secret from your employer. They are obligated to know because they’ll start to make changes that can accommodate your needs. For instance, if you feel like the stairs are difficult to climb because there is no side railing to hold onto, then your employer should quickly call a contractor to have it fixed so that the stairs are safer for you. Similarly, you may be given standing or sitting desk depending on what your height is and how you prefer to work on the computer.
Another good way to let your employer know is to confront them and give them some advice on how to deal with your disability. For instance, if you can’t do certain things that are crucial in the workplace, then you may be asked to skip them in favour of something else. If you don’t let your employer know, then they’ll keep treating you like a regular employee and, depending on your disability, that might not be the best idea.
Some employers will likely ask you questions during the interview process about your disabilities. You should never lie about your condition if you want the job because your employer needs to work around your condition in order to fit you into the role. Some employers are far more understanding than others and it would be a bad idea to tell a lie during this. You may also need to bring medical forms to prove your claims.
Your Disability Doesn’t Affect Your Worth
Many people feel like because they’re disabled, they’re inferior to other workers. This couldn’t be any less true. Of course, if you have a bad back then you probably won’t be carrying things like the younger and stronger members of staff are. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with your thoughts. Having a disability doesn’t mean that you’re no longer worth anything in the workplace. Having a disability just means that there are some things you can and can’t do.
If you’re accepted into a workplace then try and ignore your condition unless it regularly pops up in conversations. You want to be able to work efficiently and be productive, and in order to do that you’re going to have to put your disability aside in favour of putting your work out there. In short, don’t let your disability have a negative effect on your ability to work and don’t let your colleagues affect you with negative comments.
What Are Reasonable Adjustments?
Disabled workers typically need to request adjustments before they’re accepted into a job. To give you an idea of the ratios, here is some advice that you’ll want to follow.
- Adding additional services and equipment – whether it’s railings on the stairs or cleaning up the lift so you can get up and down without much trouble, make sure you speak with your employer about this. In terms of services, it’s not unlikely to hire a doctor or a nurse that can help you take care of your disability as you work.
- Changing your workplace to fit your condition – as mentioned before, you should have the option of installing a stairlift or other pieces of equipment that will help you do your job. Another good idea is to add different chairs and tables that will fit your posture.
- Flexible working times – flexible working times are preferred by people who enjoy picking when they work. This is great for remote workers and also freelancers. If you want to sound even more reasonable, then consider asking for a laptop or some kind of service that allows you to work from the comfort of your own home.
Ergonomic equipment – lastly, we can’t forget about ergonomic equipment. Whether it’s a special keyboard that allows you to type without hurting your wrists or a chair that fits almost identically to the curvature of your spine, there are plenty of ergonomic things you can request from your budgeting manager to make your life a little bit easier.