Seeing disability as a gift really helps you appreciate the world around you. Before having ganglion cysts on both my wrists and cyst removal and carpool tunnel syndrome I didn’t appreciate how good I had things or how blessed I was to be able to complete a small task like handwashing dishes or tying an email without pain. Now with the limitations that my carpool tunnel has provided me I really appreciate and rejoice in my ability to do a small or medium size task. When I finish I often have some soreness, but knowing I have regained the strength and dexterity to complete them is a gift as is my new appreciation for my ability to complete mundane tasks.
What a great story. I have definitely found that disability can bring people together.
I think disclosing your disability in a work setting is a very difficult decision. In my experience with chronic migraines, anxiety, and depression I have struggled to admit to myself and others that I have invisible disabilities. In college I struggled to admit that I had a disability in general. It wasn’t until I was assigned to read the book “Claiming Disability” by Simi Linton. This book explains disclosing disability to others as a coming out process. I started simply by telling some of my friends and classmates what I was dealing with. I was so scared they would see who I was behind the normal, smart and almost perfect image that I tried to portray. My friends hugged me and told me that I was being silly they still cared about me and would do what ever they could for me. My professors told me I could get accommodations if I needed too.
In the adult world I didn’t disclose my issues in the interview, but did talk to my boss after I was hired. I told my boss that my issues where mostly under control but I would let her know if I was struggling.
My goal is to create a complete list of United States disability resources by state and county. I know this is going to take me quite some time but I am publishing resources as I find them. Please send me any resources you have or feel free to ask me to do research in your area.