July is Disability Pride Month, which celebrates people with disability, including their diverse identities and contributions to society. As Jobedge is a Disability Employment Service, we recognise the importance of this month and of supporting the disability community in Adelaide. Our aim, always, is to assist individuals with disabilities in finding and keeping meaningful work long-term, and working with you so we can Progress Together.  

To celebrate this month, we’re bringing you expert advice from resident psychologist Carolyn Mounce. Jobedge has collected your frequently asked questions about working with a disability and put together this Question and Answer (Q&A) blog to give you these answers, all backed by science. Keep reading to see what wisdom Carolyn has to share!  

Q: “How do I know if an employer is disability friendly?”

A: One of the advantages of working with a Disability Employment Services provider like Jobedge is that they can help you find the right employer.  

Many job advertisements now share if they are disability friendly. If you’re unsure, the simplest way to know is to ask. Call the business to share your perspective and ask about their work environment. Here’s an example:   

“I’d like to learn a bit more about your business. Would you describe your workplace as disability friendly? If so, can you share why and how?”

Q: “Do I need to disclose a previous workplace injury?”

A: It is completely up to you what you choose to disclose to an employer.  

If you have limitations in the work you can reasonably complete, sharing your injury or illness can help an employer prepare or modify the workplace to better support you.  

Use your judgement when deciding if your circumstances need extra allowances to prevent further injury and make your workplace safe and enjoyable.

Q: “I’ve received a recent diagnosis – is it still possible to take on work?”

A: It certainly is possible to work with a disability or illness – even if you haven’t fully grasped how it affects you yet. In fact, regular work can be helpful in setting and maintaining routines.  

As you come to understand how your disability affects you, it’s a good idea to be upfront with your employer – this will establish trust and will ensure that you are not unjustly labelled as unmotivated.  

With your employer’s assistance, you may be able to create small break times during the day (including at lunch) to recover your energy or complete exercises. You can also ask to make changes to your workspace to make it more comfortable for you.  

There is no reason why you can’t continue to enjoy your work with the right support.

Q: “How do I ask for a slower working pace without risking my job?”

A: Your need for a slightly slower pace can be an asset to an employer and should not be seen as a weakness on your part.  

When talking to an employer, it helps to come up with the problem (the pace is too fast) and a solution (I work better when things are explained step-by-step and I have a timeframe to meet my targets).   

Focus on the strengths you can bring with this change of pace! Here are some examples:  

“I’m really committed to work, but I work best when I can slow down and put a clear plan in place.”  

“I take pride in my work and want to produce the best work possible by avoiding errors or taking shortcuts.”  

“Slowing down will bring out the best in me, which means I can deliver the best for the company.”

How Jobedge Can Help

Our Jobedge Mentors are experts when it comes to reaching your job goals and helping you realise your full potential.

As an organisation, Jobedge aims to Progress Together. We are committed to collaborative and inclusive discussions with all job seekers, our stakeholders, our local South Australian Community and at every level inside our organisation.

If you’re looking for advice and support in finding work with a disability, get in touch with us today.