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8 Ways to Navigate A Disability At Work

Disability at work

Navigating a disability at work takes courage. But the good news is you don’t have to do it alone.

Whether you suffer from a physical disability or a learning disability. There are steps you can take to run your career like a business despite your disability.   

If you’re feeling unseen and underrepresented at work. Don’t let it discourage you.

With the right attitude and strategy in place, you’ll get through it.

So to help you get started, here are 8 ways to navigate a disability at work.

8 Ways To Navigate A Disability At Work

1. Know What Support You Need

To be able to properly carry out your responsibilities you may need an extra hand.

It could be a pair of medicated glasses, hearing aids, headphones, etc.

You have to find out what will improve your productivity at work and help you better adapt to your environment.

And once you figure it out you can either get it or talk to your employer about it.

2. Find Your Tribe

Finding a community of people who understand you, are willing to listen and help and who may be in a similar situation will certainly improve your work experience. 

The importance of a community should never be underestimated.

Surrounding yourself with allies or a support system would take away or reduce the emotional burden that comes with trying to fit into work.

It is best if this community consists of your colleagues as this would make it much easier for you.

3. Communicate With Your Team

Even if you may like to work alone, having the support of your team will definitely be of great advantage to you.

This is why you should talk to your team about what works best for you, so everyone can work together seamlessly.

Get to know the people on your team as they get to know you.

Together you all can figure out what style of working will benefit every single person including you.

But the catch is you have to be patient. It can take weeks to months especially if you have a large team.

But not to worry, eventually, all your efforts will definitely pay off.

4. Double Down On What You’re Good At

It’s very common for a disability to make you very good at certain things. It could be exceptional leadership skills, editing skills, etc.

Whatever it might be, figure it out, and don’t be afraid to exploit it.

Doing this is one way to empower yourself in a situation where you may feel disadvantaged.

5. Know Your Rights

Know your rights and don’t ever be afraid to speak up if they’re being violated.

Never mind if people call you a “Karen”. It’s very easy to suffer discrimination in the workplace, so you must know your rights.

If you’re based in the US, make sure you’re familiar with The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which bans discrimination against people with disabilities in several areas, including employment.

6. Find The Right Match

Disability or not. Everyone has the potential to excel if placed in an environment that aligns with their strengths. That’s why it’s important to find a career that’s the right match for you and your unique skill sets. Check out this article if you think you might be in the wrong career!

Signs You’re In the Wrong Career.

Just like a relationship won’t work if everyone involved isn’t a match, you would never thrive in your workplace if both of you don’t match.

No matter what you do, it’ll be extra hard for you to fit in and showcase your full potential.

It’d be like a toxic relationship where no one is happy and no one is thriving.

So to make fitting in and navigating your workplace easier, it has to be something you love or are passionate about.

This way you’ll bring unique and top-notch skills that’ll make you stand out in your workplace.

Your passion for your job will prompt you to put in the extra effort, pay more attention to detail and deliver only quality work.

7. Take Advantage Of Technology

If there are apps, devices or tools that’ll make working with your disability easier don’t hesitate to use them. As long as you’re not breaking any law of course.

Technology has made numerous things so much easier and everybody could use a little help once in a while. So don’t be afraid to take advantage of whatever help that’s available.

8. Give Yourself Some Grace

Last but not least, give yourself some grace for how far you’ve come. Navigating life with a disability takes courage. So take some pressure off yourself to get it right all the time. Instead, admire your resilience, perseverance, and your progress.

Check out these daily positive career affirmations if you need some words of inspiration to start your day!

How To Support Colleagues with Disabilities

Here are some ways you can support colleagues with disabilities;

  1. Create a welcoming environment – before you can assist a disabled person you must first make sure they are comfortable enough to open up about their disability. You should create an inclusive work environment and support disability awareness.
  2. Make Accommodations – Disabled people could require specific equipment, designated parking, service animals, etc. If you want to help them you have to provide these accommodations. You should to each disabled employee or colleague to figure out the best way to help.
  3. Give Them Respect – their disability doesn’t make them any less human so you must ensure you and everyone else treats them with respect.
  4. Make Physical Building – if your building has anything that may make life difficult for a disabled person, you have to be rid of it. Like replacing stairs with ramps.

Navigating A Disability at Work

There are tons of famous and legendary disabled people like Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Franklin D. Roosevelt, etc. Having a disability at work is not a hindrance to achieving great things in your career.

With the help of a support system, and the right resources in the right career you build something amazing for yourself. It may not be easy but it’s certainly possible.

Join our NetWerk® Community, where you get access to different resources that help you navigate your work life in the simplest way ever.

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Shop Our Products

The Modern Guide To Leading When You’re Not The Boss

The Ultimate Guide For Building A High-Value Network

ATS Friendly Templates To Share Your Achievements With Ease And Sophistication

Your First Line of Defense Against Underemployment

Your First Line of Defense Against Underemployment

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The Modern Guide To Self-Promotion

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A curated collection of must-have tools to get you promoted

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Your First Line of Defense Against Underemployment

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About Peace Eke-efeme

Peace is a writer for NetWerk® who believes words hold the greatest power imaginable. Her articles are here to make you the best version of yourself one sentence at a time. Connect with Peace through her website!

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