Disabilities, Self-Advocacy and Workplace Accommodations
Self-advocacy is an important skill to develop for any Georgia State student, but it is especially crucial for students with disabilities when it comes to looking for a job and being able to tell people what is needed as an accommodation. A study done by Lindsay Cagliostro and Carafa found that there are various barriers to individuals disclosing in the workplace. Some of them are advocacy skills, lack of support and discrimination (2018).
To begin, the student should know their rights. It is essential for a person with a disability to be up to date and understand their rights as it pertains to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the revised Americans with Disabilities Act Regulations implementing Title 2 and Title 3. For more information, visit www.ADA.gov.
To begin setting up workplace accommodations, a student must first understand themselves and the challenges that may interfere with workplace productivity. Identify the physical space the work will take place in and brainstorming ways to accommodate to be productive is a proactive self-advocacy technique.
Another important consideration is why, when and how to disclose a disability in the workplace. Disclosing is known as the act of making it known to the employer, specifically to receive accommodation. It is a highly personal choice to decide when and how to disclose a disability in the workplace. It is essential to consider if disclosing will be helpful to have equal access at any stage of the job-seeking process. Remember to phrase the accommodation requests in a professional, courteous but direct manner, while also being ready to offer specific information regarding accommodation needs. Once the brief request is made, it is helpful to follow up with those who assisted in meeting the reasonable accommodation to let them know you appreciate them making this accommodation.
Reference: Lindsay, S., Cagliostro E. & Carafa, G. (2018) A systematic review of workplace disclosure and accommodation requests among youth and young adults with disabilities, Disability and Rehabilitation, 40:25, 2971-2986, DOI: 10.1080/09638288.2017.1363824