Diversity In The Workplace
Posted 06 December 2011 - 10:01 AM
Posted 07 December 2011 - 10:06 AM
I have narcolepsy (with mild cataplexy) and I consider myself to be a diversity candidate. Our brains work differently than those of non-narcoleptics. Unusual REM activity and the naps (or micro sleeps) that our sleep/wake cycles usually require correlate with a high degree of creativity. Not necessarily art, but creative problem solving. I think PWN have a little magic. :-)
The way I see it, we live in a post-industrial society that emphasizes individual independence rather than community or extended family networks. All adults are expected to work 40 to 60 hours a week--more hours than that if you are a homemaker, or caring for a family in addition to working outside the home. Most people in the US take maybe a week (or two if they're lucky) of vacation a year, and generally fitting in requires owning a lot of material possessions. This sedentary lifestyle also coincides with high rates of malnutrition (especially obesity), sleep deprivation, and poor health.
Because of my narcolepsy, I cannot maintain that lifestyle or meet those expectations (not without a lot of help).
My treatment consists of meds, restricted activities, daily exercise, and strict sleep, nap, and eating schedules. I require more flexibility at work (accommodations) than what's considered normal for people without disabilities.
Even following that treatment, I am not able to fully take care of myself. For me, in the context of our culture, this means I am a person with a moderately severe disability.
Not sure if that's the feedback you're asking for, but I wanted to contribute to the conversation. Thanks!
Many employers pursue a diverse workforce. There are laws (in the US) and such that prevent discrimination based on disability. I've noticed that on certain online job boards, one can identify themselves as a "diversity candidate." What does this mean? I'm not sure whether I should consider my self a diversity candidate, as I've never requested accommodations. Sure, I might have momentary lapses in consciousness and the condition has considerable effects on my personality and behavior, but not out of control like it use to be. It's just that I'm a little lost on this diversity and EEO stuff. Does anyone have experience in this area?