While doing my yearly review learning at work I did a module on dealing with customers with mental and physical disabilities, visible or non-visible, with respect and consideration. While it is very important for people who deal with the public to have that consideration wouldn’t it be grand if they treated their employees the same way?
Not to say they do not, or at least in some places and most definately with visible disabilites… as I recall I was told there could be no considation for a condition like mine, being pain and neurological issues, but if I needed ergonomically correct office equipment they would get right on it. Oddly enough they didn’t even do that.
You see most companies have a policy of non-discrimination against people by age, sex, race and disability. I question however if they have any training for managers and up on how to treat people with disabilites, visible or non-visible.
It seems to me if they understood the psychology of the chronically ill they would not screw up so much in helping those individuals adapt and excell in a work enviorment. I mean We know what it feels like to feel trapped, angery, fustrated, depressed and insanely guilty when it comes to our relationship with work depending on the day, the pain and the expectations.
We understand how much of an impact a manager has on a disabled employee when they make any sort of vague threats, ultimations, or comments on how they are not meeting expectations. It is idiotic to tell such a person that they Must do certain things and the Must be present at all times and their performance Must be error free. You cannot treat them like they need an attitude adjustment or that they are irresponsible children.
The mental and emotional impact cannot be denied even for those of us who manage to remain positive in regards to life and pain management. Worse of course when we are feeling particularly ill or in more pain to have such treatment. And such treatment would not even be seen as wrong by most people. But it is. They should want to empower that employee to find ways to adapt to the enviroment, to manage stress and to find those small compramises that will get that person through the rough times. That is something an employee can do, since that is what we try to do with every other aspect of our lives, we simply do not have the power to do so with infelxible employers. So it simply makes sense that it would be incorporated into management learning. Otherwise policies will be interpretated as people see fit and people with disabilties fall through the cracks.