It’s not easy starting a new job… especially when you have a learning disability.
Do you remember how you felt on your first day of work? You were probably equal parts excited and nervous, eager to soak up as much as you could and anxious to do a good job. That day might’ve been so packed with trainings and meetings that you barely remembered having lunch. What started as a fresh notepad became a chaotic collection of hurried scribbles by 5:00, which you would constantly refer back to for dear life in the following weeks.
Learning disabilities are common
Starting a new job can be intense. Now imagine you had a learning disability. Depending on the nature of your disability, it could be significantly harder for you to navigate interviews, let alone your first day on the job. An article from The Atlantic cites that between 10 and 15 million Americans struggle with learning disabilities and aren’t getting the assistance they need at work. Of course, there’s the issue of disclosure. Many people who are learning disabled are understandably reluctant to inform potential employers of their situation for fear of judgement or discrimination. They are unsure of if and when they should disclose their disability, which makes it difficult for organizations to know which services to provide.
Types of learning disabilities
Learning disabilities can also take many forms, and aren’t always easy to recognize. Some involve difficulty with reading and writing, such as dyslexia and dysgraphia respectively. Others, like dyscalculia, make it tough for people to do math. Autism and ADHD can also affect a person’s ability to learn new tasks and integrate into a new working environment. Despite these difficulties, people with disabilities have a lot to offer and represent a fresh perspective in the workplace.
How your organization can be more accommodating
No one should be made to feel like they need to hide their disability, whether it be learning or otherwise. Organizations should take extra steps to reassure prospective and new hires that they can and will make accommodations where possible. If your organization is looking for ways to create a more inclusive work environment, sign into your LifeSpeak account to watch our video about promoting diversity in the workplace. Please click ‘Book a Demo’ below if you don’t have an account.
Also published on Medium.