Disabilities can be challenging to navigate not only for the families of those who are dealing with disabilities but for those who have the disability themselves. What can also make it more difficult is when people have disabilities that can't be seen and are physically able (although limited) to go into the workplace.
Despite the difficulties that may lie in front of the employer no employer is legally able to decline one the opportunity to enter into the workplace because of their disability status. In fact, if one is disabled they must first make their employer aware of it and it is the responsibility of the employer to make accommodations for those employees as they need it. The problem often comes when employees don't know how to accommodate the disabled and because they don't know how they neglect their legal responsibilities. Below are just a few ways employees can accommodate their employees who may have disabilities:
Inform Employer of Their Benefits
Often times disabled employees struggle because they can't seem to navigate through their benefit packages. They don't know their options and benefits can become critical especially when you are recovering from a disability and it impacts not only the employee but their families.
Accommodations can easily be made for employees. Some of these accommodations are flex time which gives employees the opportunity to work hours as needed, part time, limited travel and even working completely remote. There are also several employers who will provide a place of rest for employees who may need it throughout the day.
It never hurts to offer someone a kind word especially when they are going through a tough time while at work. Showing emotional and social support makes the environment less tense for those who are dealing with issues as it relates to their disabilities. Some employers even offer to help raise money for employees to help offset the cost of medical benefits. Some other employers also offer the opportunity for people to donate sick time when those who are disabled have used up all of their allocated time.
Refrain from Discriminatory Language
The reason why many employees who suffer with disabilities often struggle at work is because people don't seem to understand what they are going through. While one may not understand they can choose to still be sensitive when communicating with or even amongst their fellow employers. Refrain from using words such as lazy, stupid, dumb, incompetent, crazy etc. when communicating in the work place. What may be easy for one person to do may not be as easy to someone who suffers from any sort of disabling ailment. It is your job to be uplifting not defaming. Not only will this make the work environment a conducive place for everyone but it will also strengthen relationships as employees will begin to look to each other as support system here to build them up and not tear them down.
Does your employer have any procedures in place for those who suffer from disabilities in the workplace? Leave comments below.