Historically finding and sustaining employment for those individuals with epilepsy has been a challenge. Even during times of economic growth, 20 to 30 percent of people with epilepsy, who are physically able to work, are unemployed. Many of those who are employed have been forced to accept positions far below their ability and educational achievement.
For many people, experiencing seizures has been less of a problem than overcoming negative attitudes about their intellectual and physical abilities. Changes in the law, especially provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, offer new hope in this area, but employers and co-workers must be educated on the new laws and to overcome stereo-types.
The Americans with Disabilities Restoration Act signed in 2008 supports the rights of employees with epilepsy to request accommodations at the workplace to ensure their ability to perform job duties; however many employees are unprepared to have this conversation with their Human Resources representative or manager.
Employment Accommodations Workshop
This free workshop is designed to empower employees (and future employees) to request workplace accommodations, encouraging those with epilepsy to join the work force. The program is led by an employment or ADA attorney.
Lunch and Learn Training
The EFAZ estimates that we receive hundreds of calls annually about employment issues for those with epilepsy. Most of these calls result in one-on-one mentoring that empowers the employee to request the appropriate accommodations; however there are times when it is necessary the Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona to step-in and perform job-site training for managers, Human Resources, or other employees. These one-hour trainings can be tailored for any size company employing those with epilepsy or working with populations who frequently experience seizures. Trainings touch on first aid and seizure recognition, employment accommodations, and empowering employees. For more information or to schedule a Lunch and Learn, contact the Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona at (602) 406-3581 or firstname.lastname@example.org.