Employment with Epilepsy
Let me start by saying how truly blessed I am to work in a company where diversity is taken seriously and protection of those with ADA compliant disabilities is a real thing. Diversity is not just about gender, ethnicity and such. It is also about things like disabilities. But truly, all the differences that make up society, can be seen at the company at which I work.
If you are living with a chronic condition, you need any employer where the culture is supportive and where they understand that just because you are living with a medical condition, it does not dictate who you are.
I have just such an employer and am again, truly blessed. I want to take a minute to provide examples of how my employer and other like this, are helping and can helpful to those with disabilities.
First, I have never been held back because of my condition. I do let people I work with know about the condition because it is important. Those around you need to know if you have a condition that is not immediately evident. They will know if something changes that can alert them to a change in status. This is really important in the case of epilepsy where a seizure can be happening and there be no physical sign.
I have a job that requires a bit of travel. Services such as ride sharing have made this possible for me. I get to cities in which otherwise be unsafe for me to drive. I can use ride sharing services to get around. Before this, there were cabs but ride sharing is more accommodating in many cases.
Many of the trips I take for work involve going out for meals and such. There are some nights I feel like I can go and stay out for dinner but there are others when I know that is not wise. I have never had co-workers pressure me or make me feel like I am losing out because I do not go. I am not one who drinks alcohol and again, never pressure for such. Matter of fact, my co-workers know what I like and some have been known to bring me back dessert (which is always the highlight of my meal).
There is always work to do. In a recent class I was in, I was asked to rank from one to five, five being the best, how our company dealt with Respect of People and Culture. I was able to proudly say 5. Not everyone agreed so while there is work to do, I think the great majority in the room agreed with me. This is important stuff and it deserves the attention of leaders in every company.
If you are working in a workplace where there are people who do not accept your situation or your condition or where you feel you are being discriminated against because of that factor, you should exit if at all possible. Use and all protection which the law may allow. If on the other hand, you are fortunate enough to be in a company where diverse situations are celebrated, consider yourself blessed.