This has been an adventure I did not expect. I truly have never been unemployed this long. While I’ve had dog jobs here and there and test scoring for several months, I usually get jobs right away. From Wikipedia:
If the employee suffers a seizure while at work, they could harm themselves (but rarely others, contrary to popular belief) depending on the nature of the work. Employers are often unwilling to bear any financial costs that may come from employing a person with epilepsy, i.e. insurance costs, paid sick leave etc. The unemployment rate for persons with epilepsy has been reported to be between 25% and 69%. The high school graduation rate has been reported at 64%, compared with an overall national average of 82%.
Until now, I’ve defied those odds. I’ve always held a job, sometimes two jobs. Whether it’s the economy, the pills, the side effects, or me, or some combination of all of the above, the struggle to find work has become overwhelming. I never thought I’d say this, but thank God for food stamps. Do you want to drug test me? Be my guest. With the amount of legal things inside me, you bet your bottom pill I will test positive, but now you know why.
Staying in the house with no gas, no money and no place to go takes it’s toll psychologically. I do great work, and want to work. I want to support the economy.
What other types of reasonable accommodations may employees with epilepsy need?
Some employees may need one or more of the following accommodations:
- breaks to take medication
- leave to seek or recuperate from treatment or adjust to medication22
- a private area to rest after having a seizure
- a rubber mat or carpet to cushion a fall
- adjustments to a work schedule
The one request I asked for that caused a stir was to eat alone. There was an unwritten policy that you must eat altogether as a group. I needed the down time to be alone, decompress, and have peace and quiet. I don’t think that needs any further explaining, but it caused a lot of tension because that’s just not how things were done there, pot stirrer that I’m (not.)
So, as I write this more applications go out, more pills get popped and hopefully an employer and I will make a match. In the mean time, I hope you consider supporting The Games My Brain Plays.