TJStarnes

Work Accomodations

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Does anyone have any REAL life accomodations that I can make for my employer other than "not firing me" when I miss work? What has other employers been willing to do? Medication management is max'd and still have times that I just can't make it to work.

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Does anyone have any REAL life accomodations that I can make for my employer other than "not firing me" when I miss work? What has other employers been willing to do? Medication management is max'd and still have times that I just can't make it to work.

My previous employer had time tracking with one of the items being "unpaid personal time". I don't think it needs to be any more complicated than that?

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You know your boss better than we do. What do you think he'll want to hear? Is he willing to bend to any degree? Are you wanting to show up later (or not at all)? How impressive has your track record been so far? Have you told him you have "narcolepsy" or (better) a "sleep disorder"? Have you been diagnosed?

Every situation is different, TJ. But we've all been in our own simular situations ;)

We're all behind you!

-Stu

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There is a WONDERFUL website called the Job Accommodation Network that is part of a government organization that deals with employment of people with disabilities.

JAN is staffed with people that have a minimum Master's-level competency in designing accommodations for people with medical conditions. It is a reputable organization with research behind it, and your employer would probably put some stock into the recommendations made by JAN.

What I like about the site is that it identifies the specific behaviors that someone with a particular medical condition might have and then accommodations for those behaviors. So "lack of concentration" which might be something that affects people with sleep disorders, ADD, chronic pain, etc is a fairly universal concept with fairly universal accommodations.

Here is their homepage for individuals with disabilities: http://www.jan.wvu.edu/portals/individuals.htm

There is a fantastic page that guides you through how to request and negotiate accommodations with your employer. They don't list Narcolepsy specifically in their A-Z list of disabilities, but they do have a listing for Sleep Disorders.

Here's an excerpt:

Daytime Sleepiness:

Provide a device such as a Doze Alert or other alarms to keep the employee alert

Reschedule for longer or shorter, more frequent breaks

Provide a shift change for when the employee is most alert

Maintaining Concentration:

Provide space enclosures or a private work area or office

Increase natural lighting or provide full spectrum lighting

Reduce clutter in the employee's work environment

Plan for uninterrupted work time

Divide large assignments into smaller tasks and steps

Restructure job to include only essential functions

Allow the employee to listen to music or white noise with a headset

Memory Deficits:

Post instructions with frequently used equipment

Allow the employee to tape record verbal instruction or meetings

Provide written checklists

Allow additional training time

Provide written as well as verbal instructions

Use notebooks, calendars, or sticky notes to record information for easy retrieval

Attendance Issues:

Provide a flexible start time and/or end time

Allow the employee to work from home

Provide a part time work schedule

Provide a shift change

Decreased Stamina:

Provide a flexible schedule

Allow longer or more frequent work breaks

Provide additional time to learn new responsibilities

Provide backup coverage for when the employee needs to take breaks

Restructure job to include only essential functions

Best of luck to you.

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TJ, remember that you have the right to request reasonable accomodations for yourself regarding your medical condition. What is reasonable, of course, needs to be determined by both you and your employer. I hope, for your sake, you have a reasonable boss who will be understanding, compassionate, and willing to work with you on this.

The most obviously reasonable request I think you can make in your case is to ask for a modified &/or flexible schedule. I don't know what you do for a living, but my experience is that this is a pretty simple thing to ask for... and it's hard to imagine many cases where this request would not be considered a reasonable accomodation. Perhaps you may even suggest to your boss that you can make up any time you miss unexpectedly, i.e. work some unscheduled day(s) to make up for an unplanned absence. Of course, as Chuck Z. mentioned, utilizing some "unpaid personal time" may also be a realistic option for you.

I hope that helps... Best of luck to you!

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Does anyone have any REAL life accomodations that I can make for my employer other than "not firing me" when I miss work? What has other employers been willing to do? Medication management is max'd and still have times that I just can't make it to work.

I can get to work, but not on time. My bosses allow me to adjust my schedule to come in later and stay later, as needed. It's really just a 30-60 minute difference, but it really helps.

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:rolleyes: Kimberly,

Thanks for your input. I have had narcolepsy for almost 50 years. I haven't had a job for more than a year sometimes a year and a half. I went to the college counseling center, disability center and so many other places. I never had any information like you shared explained to me.

Thanks.

Sonrae

Accomodations

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That's a tough one. I happen to work in an environment where I make my own schedule and everyone is really supportive of any personal issues that make me miss a day here and there. The only requirment is that I call in to tell them what's going on, and for the first time ever, I don't have to feel guilty about it at all. It's so hard when employers don't understand what N even is, or why it's so impossible sometimes to do anything at all.

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where do you work/what kind of work is it? what is your schedule? also, what triggers you to have bad days that lead to call ins (for me it's getting too much done for five days straight and then burning out- most of the time anyways. sometimes it's random)

The ADA has stated that reasonable accomodation for PWN is that employers allow short "nap" times for employees. Personally, I find this to be unrealistic. Even if my boss were willing to give me this accommodation, I doubt I would want that. No one wants other co-workers seeing you getting a few z's throughout the day, I would hate that. I have told my Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (ORSC) that this not an accommodation I would require. I would much rather prefer that I have the permission to take a 10-20 minute break whenever I felt it necessary.

Law states that you do not have to disclose your disability to an employer, but I think most of us with N realize that it is much better to explain what you have rather than leaving them to assume you are just lazy. So, it is very important that you have an understanding boss that also understands what Narcolepsy really is and how it affects you.

I had a very difficult time in my last job as an Administrative Assistant because of frequent N attacks. The ironic thing was that I worked for a Vocational Rehabilitation company that assisted people with disabilities in finding employment. We were who our clients turned to for this very type of advice and advocacy with employers. My boss, who also happens to be my aunt, was well aware of what I had. Yet she was constantly asking if it was possible that I was misdiagnosed, she kept insisting that I could be Diabetic. She always made the "helpful" suggestions of losing weight, eating better, exercising, sleeping more at night...and there was actually one day when she MADE me take my blood sugar levels right there in the office.

So, it goes to show you that even though they "know" what you have, doesn't always mean they get it.

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