Disabilities and employment
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition where low blood levels of glucose are caused by a shortage of insulin. Diabetes is treated through diet or through supplementary insulin, either through oral medication or injection
How does diabetes affect people in employment?
With correct management, diabetes often causes few problems for people at work. In some cases people may experience an episode of hypoglycemia where their blood sugar levels drop and they need to eat or drink to increase their sugar levels.
Services provided by the Diabetes Federation of Ireland www.diabetes.ie significantly impact on the cost of care for people with diabetes in Ireland. The provision of local peer support throughout the country encourages and educates the person with diabetes on managing their condition more effectively.
What is epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder and people affected have recurring and spontaneous seizures.
How does epilepsy affect people in employment?
People with epilepsy may have a seizure at work. Seizures vary widely and may be difficult to spot. As the impact of epilepsy varies greatly it is important to discuss the person's individual experience of epilepsy with them and ask them what accommodations they may need.
www.epilepsy.ie provides support for those with the condition and awareness for those around them.
What is a hearing impairment?
People who are deaf or with a hearing impairment have some form of hearing loss. Some people use hearing aids of one form or another. Some people use Sign Language or lip reading to communicate.
How do deafness and hearing impairments affect people in employment?
With training and accommodations there are very few jobs which deaf and hearing impaired people cannot do.
There is a wide range of equipment and support workers www.iase.ie, www.irishdeafsociety.ie, www.deafhear.ie available to enable people to work. Medical Card holders may be entitled to get equipment free of charge.
What are intellectual disabilities?
Intellectual disabilities affect people's intellectual capacity and their capacity to learn new or complex information. The cause of many intellectual disabilities is not known and in many cases there are no visible signs of the impairment. Intellectual disabilities are different from learning difficulties or disabilities, such as dyslexia, which affect the way in which people learn rather than their capacity to learn.
How do intellectual disabilities affect people in employment?
Many people with intellectual disabilities want to work and make loyal, reliable and enthusiastic employees. Intellectual disability affects each individual differently - do not make assumptions about what a person can do but rather work with them to identify their strengths. Some people with intellectual impairments, but by no means all, may take longer to learn new tasks, need longer to complete a task and require more supervision.
www.iase.ie is a membership orsanisation which provides services, information and advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities.
What are learning difficulties?
There are a number of conditions which affect the way people learn. The most common of these is dyslexia.
Learning difficulties are different from intellectual disabilities because they are not related to a person's intellectual capacity.
Dyslexia is a difficulty in processing information and can affect reading, writing, and spelling, and numeracy, time-keeping and personal organisation.
Dyspraxia is a developmental disability which affects motor functions and process planning.
People with Aspergers Syndrome may also have specific learning difficulties, as well as problems with reading and interpreting social cues. Aspergers Syndrome is a form of autism, which is a lifelong disability that affects how a person makes sense of the world, processes information and relates to other people.
How do learning difficulties affect people in employment?
Dyslexia affects people in different ways. Many people will have found their own ways of managing its impact on their lives during their education or with an earlier employer. Some may not know that they have dyslexia.
A job coach who understands the employee's job and the tasks they are required to do will be able to suggest ways in which an employer can make accommodations and support a person with dyslexia to perform well at work.
www.aspireireland.ie. The Asperger Syndrome Association of Ireland . Aspire provide support for those with the syndrome and their families. The Association has developed support, educational and training services for people affected by the syndrome and their families
www.dyspraxiaireland.com The Dyspraxia Association of Ireland promotes awareness to create a better understanding of the difficulties children and parents face, they lobby government departments and relevant bodies in the areas of education, health and therapies etc
www.autismireland.ie Irish Autism Action provide a range of services which includes awareness raising, early detection diagnosis, education support, advocacy, counselling, helpline, home based support, transition planning, social housing, research information and advice for families upon receiving diagnosis.
www.dyslexia.ie The Dyslexia Association of Ireland aims to promote awareness of Specific Learning Disability (SLD/Dyslexia) and to serve the needs of people with this difficulty.
What are mental health and addiction issues?
'Mental illness' or a 'mental health problem or disorder' can refer to a wide range of conditions which can have an adverse affect on a person's sense of emotional well-being and quality of life. Mental illness, where someone experiences intense psychological or physical symptoms, often occurs as isolated or discrete episodes.
Common mental illnesses and mental health issues:
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Post-natal depression
- Bi-polar affective disorder (previously manic depression)
- Emotional/ behavioral difficulties
How do mental health problems affect people in employment?
Mental health problems are no indicator of a person's intellectual abilities or ability to think clearly and rationally, when they are well. Many people with mental health problems manage their condition without medication. Many people want to work and research has shown that employment is often good for people's mental health and that, when employers are flexible, the impact of the condition at work is negligible.
www.mentalhealthireland.ie Mental Health Ireland (MHI) is a national voluntary organisation. The membership includes mental health professionals and lay people who provide care, support and friendship for the mentally ill. MHI aims to promote positive mental health and to actively support persons with a mental illness, their families and carer's by identifying their needs and advocating their rights
What is a visual impairment?
There are many causes of vision loss and blindness. Some visual impairments and blindness is congenital (from birth, or beginning during the pre-school years). However, most visual-impaired and blind people lose their sight in later years, some through accidents. Visual impairment ranges in effect from total loss of vision, which affects only a small number of people, to some useful sight, limited central vision or vision to the sides or blurred or patchy vision. Others have a form of colour blindness, where they have difficulty distinguishing between ranges of colour.
How do vision impairments affect people in employment?
People with vision impairments can undertake most jobs. People with visual impairments can benefit from training and support and with the use of assistive technologies. They may use a cane or guide dog to get around and may use a particular computer programme or use Braille to access the written word.
National Council for the Blind of Ireland (NCBI) www.ncbi.ie. The NCBI provides information, advice and support from nationwide rehabilitation, mobility and community resource workers as well as trainers in the use of adaptive technology.
What are mobility impairments?
Mobility impairment can be caused by a wide range of conditions, and includes not only people who use wheelchairs, but also those who use walking sticks or other mobility aids, or may simply need to rest more often. Others may have mobility impairments which affect the use of their arms.
How do mobility impairments affect people in employment?
People with mobility impairments may require adaptations to improve the accessibility of the workplace and their workstation. They may also require assistance or accommodations if travel to other locations is required in the job.