Reasonable Accomodations in the Workplace

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ZenaWP
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Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 884
   Posted 4/29/2009 11:18 AM (GMT -6)   
I am in HR so I have studied the ADA and reasonable accomodations but am having a hard time knowing what reasonable accomodation will help me the most.  I hate to ask for something and then have it not help and have to ask for something else.  Has anyone here requested reasonable accomodations at work due to your arthritis and, if so, what did you request?  Did it work?  I sit at a desk all day and think I may need a more ergonomic workstation, but want to sound a little more sure when I request it.  Any input is much appreciated. 
Crohn's Disease, Acid Reflux/Gastritis, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Endometriosis, Arthritis, Depression/Anxiety.  Too many meds to list them all.  =) 


Judy2
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Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 9287
   Posted 4/29/2009 12:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Refer yourself to your state Vocational Rehabilitation program. (In some states it falls under Workforce development.) They should be able to provide an evaluation to determine what sorts of accommodations will work best for you. There is usually no charge or only a minimal one for this as it's a Federal program.
Judy
 
Moderate to severe left-sided UC diagnosed 2001.
Flared for 5 years, finally in remission with Remicade since March 2006.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from steroids.
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ShellySoreBelly
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 201
   Posted 4/30/2009 5:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Zena -

You and I are a lot alike. I have Crohn's and Arthritis and work in HR as well. I've been open with my manager about my conditions and have provided her pamphlets on symptoms, etc. I'm sure it's all still foreign to her, but I think it's a good idea to to appear that you're trying - trying to do everything you're supposed to. When I fall short, the dialogue has already been started for me to explain why. When I get a flare (like now), I find a way to mention that at some point. I'm crohnically late to work everyday but I haven't rec'd a write-up. It's been addressed w/ me, but she knows why the morning times are hard for me.

I sit all day, too. My knees stay blood red right now during the flare, so it's hard for me and very uncomfortable to walk. However, when I have the choice of delivering something down the hall in person vs. putting it in their box, I go ahead and make an excercise out of it. I would also encourage you (if your environment allows) to step outside every hour to get some fresh air. The sunshine seems to help me with depression and mood. Good luck. I'll take some good advice if you have it as well!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Symptoms began in 1996 & Diagnosed April 2005 w/ Crohn's.
Fibromyalgia, Arthritis in August 2005.
34 yrs old - Methotrexate, Humira, Toprol, Prevacid, Methadone, Zanaflex


ZenaWP
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 884
   Posted 5/1/2009 6:16 PM (GMT -6)   

Thanks Judilyn and Shelly. I will research the state vocational rehab program.  Shelly, my boss's daughter has been diagnosed with Crohn's since I started working there (I referred to her to my GI and he diagnosed her immediately) so she is very understanding.  But, I work for a university so they have official processes for everything, including requesting a reasonable accomodation.  I want to make sure I cover my butt because my boss's boss is in the process of laying off about 7 people in my office and, while I'm not on the list yet, I don't want to do anything to make him think I am underperforming (my annual eval was great though, so I think I'm covered for a little while at least).

I ended up raising my chair as high as it could go to help my knees and have just raised everything on my desk with phone books for the time being (my desk is attached to a cube, so I don't think they can raise it).  You are right about the breaks and getting some exercise throughout the day...I am bad about not taking my paid 15 minute breaks but really need to start doing that and get out of my chair periodically.

Shelly, does the methotrexate help you?  I'm getting ready to start it with my humira, I think, because the sulfasalazine raised my liver enzymes and I just had to stop that one (it wasn't helping anyway).  Thanks so much!  Although I'm sorry for you that you are a lot like me, I'm very glad to have someone who understands.  =)


Crohn's Disease, Acid Reflux/Gastritis, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Endometriosis, Arthritis, Depression/Anxiety.  Too many meds to list them all.  =) 


sjkly
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 5/2/2009 8:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Zena. the mtx helped me tremendously (Iknow I'm not the one you asked but thought I would throw that in there) my Rhuemy raised my dose at the last appointment to see if that would take care of the last break through flares-if it had not worked Humira was next. I see her again in 8 days-happy to report no symptoms since the dose increase.

ZenaWP
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 884
   Posted 5/7/2009 12:19 PM (GMT -6)   
sjkly, thanks.  The dr. had to push back my appt so they are calling in the methotrexate for me today. 

Crohn's Disease, Acid Reflux/Gastritis, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Endometriosis, Arthritis, Depression/Anxiety.  Too many meds to list them all.  =) 

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