Discover Your Potential and Map Your Success When Disability Knocks

Presenters: Derek Coates, Ben Fils

Session Description: This presentation focuses on situating the employee with the disability as a targeted population at the center of the discussion. The first Learning Objective is to communicate that employees with disabilities are successful with and without accommodation at UC Berkeley. Employees with disabilities can and do Thrive. “Thriving” means engaging in activities that promote Self-Advocacy in ways that advance accommodation success and wellness. Managing the impact of a disability that substantially impacts one or more major life activities can be stressful and counterbalanced by well-developed support networks that facilitate coping paired with understanding the accommodations landscape. 

The second learning outcome of this presentation is to educate yourself so you can make the best decisions when traveling across the workplace accommodations landscape. This outcome focuses on encouraging people to educate themselves about their disability, how it impacts the way they do their job/everyday life, and what kinds of accommodations mitigate barriers. Considering these factors increases the potential for success during the strategic implementation of reasonable accommodations. Employees who understand their role in the interactive process learn how to negotiate accommodations, explore accommodation options, and are better able to make the best decisions regarding their employment needs. The last learning outcome for this proposal focuses on improving and supporting the interaction between a manager/supervisor and an employee requesting accommodations. Creating a safe working setting for people to request accommodations is one of the best ways to ensure success. The cornerstone of success is based on effective communication between manager/supervisor and employee that is collaboratively oriented towards mutual respect and cooperation. The presentation will conclude with a question-and-answer session.

Attendees will:

  1. Understand that employees with disabilities are successful with and without accommodation at UC Berkeley and thrive. 
  2. Know how to how to educate themselves to make the best workplace accommodation decisions
  3. Be prepared to create a respectful and cooperative interactive process interaction with managers and supervisors when negotiating workplace accommodations