Two heads can be better than one. When it comes to accommodating employees with disabling illnesses and injuries, this is especially true. Collaboration is key — on the part of the employee, employer and disability provider — particularly for professions that may have guidelines or restrictions due to the materials they are working with, daily processes or available space.
Imagine for a moment that you’re in pain — a lot of pain. No matter how you sit or position yourself, you seem to still be hurting. You spent months on bed rest and now use a wheelchair to get around, but even though it’s progress, the progress is slow. It’s not just the physical pain that’s an issue — your disability has caused you to be emotionally drained, as well.
I volunteer for a nonprofit organization that helps veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts transition from military service to civilian work. We mentor these brave men and women as they attempt to overcome the barriers in making this difficult transition. Those lucky enough to have avoided physical injury may still have mental injuries from seeing or living through dangerous events. Those mental injuries often translate into post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Of course, you don’t have to be a soldier to have experienced a traumatic event. The National Center for PTSD estimates 7.8 percent of Americans will experience PTSD at some point in their lives. These “hidden wounds” can be terribly debilitating when trying to obtain and maintain gainful employment. Perhaps they don’t have to be.