Sharing Your Accessibility Needs
As a youth with a disability, you might wonder how to identify your accessibility accommodations to a potential employer. You know your own strengths and weaknesses better than anyone else. You are the expert about you!
However, there are several assumptions made about your abilities and performance level by people who don’t know you. Studies show most business owners assume a number of false ideas when it comes to employees with disabilities.
They believe you:
- Have higher rates of calling in sick or not showing up for work
- Will quit the job more often than employees without a disability
- Demonstrate lower performance levels
- Are expensive to accommodate
Other data about businesses:
• 70% report having no idea how much it costs to accommodate an employee with a disability
• The average guess is $10,000
These attitudes are misconceptions. Here are some real facts:
of people with disabilities require NO COST to the employer
of people with disabilities require LESS THAN $500 to the employer
of people with disabilities require workplace modifications at all
Busting more Myths.
There is a solid business case for hiring and supporting workers with disabilities.
Workers with disabilities generally:
- Remain loyal to the job as a long-term employee
- Call in sick less often than other employees
- Complete more tasks in a timely manner
- Have a positive impact on other employees
You will have your own comfort level around asking for support. And asking for your needs does takes practice. However, learning to be your own self-advocate is one of the best skills to develop so you can become more independent.
You’ll also be part of a growing community helping to bust myths and misconceptions about people with disabilities. Your voice can help change attitudes so more people realize we are all capable.
Remember, it is important to emphasize your strengths and successes, and list any strategies or accommodations that have worked for you in the past.
Ultimately, only you can decide the time, the place and the amount of information to share with others.
Identifying your needs.
This section outlines some of the accommodations you may choose
to identify to an employer while maintaining the position you can perform the job. This is only a sample of needs you can disclose. Remember, some things will work better for you than others.
Hearing or Blind Low-Vision
- Assistive devices or communication technology
- Screen magnification software
- Increased lighting
- Speech to text or screen reader software
- Reduced background noise from traffic, machinery, heating and ventilation, large crowds
- Braille display
- FM amplification devices
- Captioning services
Canadian Hearing Society
ADHD and Mental Health
- Flexible work hours
- Breaks or check-in by mentor
- Safe/quiet spaces
- Support staff
- Strategic seating during meetings
- Scent-free environment
- Visual supports for tasks
Physical or Mobility
- Ensure space for mobility devices such as canes, prosthetic limbs, scooters, or wheelchairs
- Extra time to travel
- Permitting service animals
- Need for ramps, access to stair lifts or elevators
- Accessible transit and parking
- Hallways and open spaces are wide and obstacle-free
- Height adjustable desks or work stations
Learning or Cognitive Disabilities
Ensure space for mobility devices such as canes, prosthetic limbs, scooters, or wheelchairs
Extra time to travel
Permitting service animals
Need for ramps, access to stair lifts or elevators
Accessible transit and parking
Hallways and open spaces are wide and obstacle-free
Height adjustable desks or work stations
Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario