Disability Employment Awareness Month 2023
Updated: Oct 19
Did you know that the unemployment rate for neurodiverse people who are ready and willing to work is typically twice that of the general neurotypical working population?
It is so important for workplaces to hire neurodiverse adults because workplaces can have all kinds of minds working together to expand more inclusive companies and organizations.
This year, I've been so grateful to be working as a behavior specialist for a public school district in FL and various roles with Full Spectrum ABA. I went from being a paraprofessional for many years to a behavior specialist for a public school district in FL. As a behavior specialist, I'm helping students learn social, communication, and many other skills and behaviors in school while coaching teachers and school staff.
I began that journey in January of this year. The journey learning my role has not been easy at all. In fact, this position was the first time I had to learn to seek support and workplace accommodations.
At the end of August, during my first month of the school year, I was so overwhelmed in my role to the point that my parents made me talk to my supervisor about my concerns and supports I needed. My mom and I wrote a letter out that expressed my concerns and support that I needed. For example, I needed help knowing which students I should be working with more since so many students get brought up to attention. My supervisor was really happy for me, and I advocated for myself. She created a visual priority system for me to follow and made sure I can reach out to her about any situations with students that come up in which I need help problem-solving with. In fact, my supervisor shared the priority system with the entire team to use. It was so great I advocated for myself!
What kind of workplace supports and accommodations can be in place for neurodiverse employees? Here are some ideas to advocate for workplace accommodations:
Modification of work schedule or policy physical changes to workspace
Equipment and devices
Adjustment of supervisory methods
These are some of many workplace accommodations that can be advocated for by neurodiverse employees.
How can your work become more inclusive and supportive of neurodiverse employees? Share your thoughts in the comments section!