Last month was National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month. I didn’t post about because I didn’t feel I had much new I could add to the conversation. I’d already written about my own struggles finding suitable employment, my battle with the State of California so I could go to college, and the discrimination I faced as an adult with CP and dyslexia who, for obvious reasons, did not do well on written tests. If you missed reading about this part of my life, you can get the story here (and, yes, that’s a snapshot of me with my new college diploma).
Today, I do have something new to add to the discussion about disabilities and employment. Barry Franklin of CounselingSchools.org wrote me a few days ago and asked me to promote some of the information that his organization is trying to get out to people with disabilities, and especially to students with disabilities. To start, they have an interview with Aaron Konopasky, PhD, JD (yes–a doctorate and he’s an attorney–good guy to have on our side!) Here’s a bit about him, quoted from the Counseling Schools website:
Aaron Konopasky, PhD, JD has served as a senior attorney-advisor for the EEOC for 11 years. In addition to his work developing federal regulations and providing sub-regulatory guidance, Konopasky coordinates with other federal agencies on equal employment opportunity requirements. He also does public outreach and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other nondiscrimination laws such as the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Finally, here is a link to the interview. The focus is on mental health conditions, but the thinking applies to any kind of disability. To quote, Aaron Konopasky, again:
To have a disability is to have a major life activity substantially limited in the absence of treatment and other medicating measures. That’s also during an active episode, so if you have something that comes and goes, you’re supposed to evaluate it when it’s present.
Just for future reference, I added some links to Counseling Schools and to the EEOC to the Whispers of Hope Special Needs Resources page.
Onward we go! Remember what I always tell people. If Karen can do it, you can do it, too! I’ll be by your side all the way!