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Adults in The Workplace
In the work environment we all have to evaluate how well we are performing and what we can do to improve our effectiveness. For people who are also managing LD and/or ADHD, it is a good idea to implement a Success at Work Plan to ensure you have chosen a good career to match your individual profile, and have strategies and accommodations in place to help you to meet your potential in the workplace.
With each new job or role, you may need to go back to that plan and update your skills and strategies. Most regions will have employment resources and support service providers available to assist you.
FIND HELP – Employment Services lists government support and employment agencies in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Success At Work Plan
Understand your learning profile, including your aptitudes, strengths and challenges.
You should review your psycho-educational assessment to understand your learning profile and how your Learning Disability and/or ADHD may be impacting you as an adult. Understanding how your brain processes information, learns, and remembers can help you to decide which strategies and accommodations will work best for you.
Service Providers: Educational Psychologist, Learning Strategist, ADHD Coach
Match your career choice with your interests, aptitudes, and strengths.
Service Providers & Resources:
-Career Counsellors and Employment Agencies can help you to research careers that match your interest and aptitudes and they can direct you to further education and training
-Governments provide career planning and training support.
-Colleges & Universities (post-secondary) have guidance counselors and Accessibility Advisors to support students with disabilities. (see Post-Secondary Education)
Education & Training
Pursue education and training to develop job specific skills.
Service Providers & Resources: Governments and Employment Agencies provide career planning and training support.
Strategies help you to be more effective in completing tasks. Strategies may be as simple as having a system for prioritizing tasks, keeping track of information, taking notes at a meeting, choosing ways to remember instructions, and strategies for being organized.
Assistive Technology: There are many apps and computer software applications, such as Microsoft OneNote, that can assist you to be more effective at work.
Service Providers: Career Counselors and Agencies, ADHD Coaches, Learning Strategists
A work accommodation is an adjustment to a job or work environment that makes it possible for an individual with a disability to perform their job duties.
Accommodations may include specialized equipment, modifications to the work environment or adjustments to work schedules or responsibilities. If there are specific accommodations that you need an employer to help you with, then in some cases you may need to share (disclose) that you have a disability.
Service Providers: Educational Psychologist, ADHD Coach, Community programs for adults, Employment Agencies
Disclosing That You Have Disability
Sharing, or Disclosing, that you have a disability can be a difficult decision. Here are some things to consider:
Should You Disclose?
It is a personal decision as to whether you choose to inform your employer about your disability and when you choose to disclose. It can be a tricky decision because LDs & ADHD are invisible disabilities and the challenges they may cause you at work might range from subtle to more severe. Their impact at work will also depend on your role and expectations placed on you.
When to Disclose
You can disclose your disability when you apply for the job, during the interview stage, or if you feel it is necessary while working in the position. You may decide to wait and see if you will need to request specific accommodations at work that would require you to disclose your disability.
If you choose to wait, you may want to give yourself time to implement some strategies yourself, evaluate their effectiveness, and consider what specific accommodations you may need.
How to Disclose
If you disclose your disability to an employer, frame it as a constructive partnership between you; accentuate your skills and strengths and how you contribute to the organization. Then identify specific accommodations that would help you to reach your potential and minimize the impact of your disability in the workplace.
Understand Your Rights
Most governments have laws in place to protect individuals with disabilities against discrimination in the workplace and that require employers to provide reasonable accommodations that do not put the employer in ‘undue hardship’.
Employee Rights in Alberta, Canada
Speaking Up for Yourself – Advocacy Support
If you shared (disclosed) your disability with your employer but your requested accommodations are not being implemented or you feel you are being discriminated against because of your disability, then you can access an advocate to share your complaint with and help facilitate constructive conversations.
Remember though that your requests for accommodations must be reasonable, and the requests don’t put the employer in a position of undue hardship. Most governments will have advocates in place to support you.
Advocacy Support in Alberta, Canada
LEARN MORE – About Adults in the Workplace
Check in regularly to see new articles and resources about topics related to Adults in the Workplace.
Talking to Your Employer
ADHD In the Workplace
Article by HealthyPlace: Top Ten ADHD Traps in the Workplace By Kathleen Nadeau, author of ADD in the Workplace
Accommodations in the Workplace
Accommodations: Working with Your Disability
by Alberta Government (alis)
Assistive Technology in the Workplace
CTD Webinar: Succeeding on the Job: Using Technology to Boost the Skills Employers Want
This webinar presents tools and strategies to support essential work performance, such as being on time, communicating, following directions, staying organized, and completing tasks. Assistive Technology Specialists from PACER’s Simon Technology Center explore a wide range of technology including smartphone apps, wearable devices, a smart pen, and alternative computer access.