Monday, October 22, 2012

More on Navigating Employment and MS

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Earlier this summer, James Crew wrote on common employment issues individuals living with Multiple Sclerosis may face and how to address them. In most cases problems revolved around fatigue, and the solutions centered on an understanding of the person's needs and a willingness on the part of the employer to provide flexibility, both in terms of the work schedule and environment. Further fleshing out this concept, the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) of the US Department of Labor recently released a study demonstrating that job accommodations are low cost and have a positive impact on the workplace.

The main findings of the study are highlighted as follows:
1. Employers want to provide accommodations so they can retain valued and qualified employees.
2. Most employers report no cost or low cost for accommodating employees with disabilities.
3. Employers report accommodations are effective.
4. Employers experience multiple direct and indirect benefits after making accommodations.
5. Employers find JAN helpful during the accommodation process.

JAN provides free consulting services for individuals and employers regarding job accommodations, providing all sorts of resources and valuable insight that help to make the process easy and beneficial for everyone involved, all while assuring ADA compliance. In one scenario described in the study, an employee suffered extreme light sensitivity that often resulted in severe migraines in the office, so to resolve the issue the employer allowed the individual to wear sunglasses while at work. This was a zero cost, ADA compliant solution that left everyone happy. To find more information and examples from the study go here or ask a JAN consultant.  

For further suggestions on how those living with MS or disabilities can best navigate employment and career opportunities, check out the video in this post, the first in a six-part series. Depending on your computer model and browser, you can watch other videos on employment here. To see videos on a variety of other topics related to MS visit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's youtube channel.

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