58th Annual international conference / february 18-21, 2021 / new orleans, la

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My son has a diagnosed learning disability and has problems with multi-step processes. Because of this he has been written up in his job. What are his rights as a disabled person? What would be reasonable accommodations that he could request in order to keep his job?

Depending on how old your son’s learning disability evaluation is, he should have the right to request reasonable accommodations to help him succeed in his job. Employers vary regarding how current they ask LD documentation to be, but if it’s was done within the last 5 years, it should be current enough. Some employers will accept older evaluations if the person was an adult when he or she was last tested.

Choosing reasonable and effective job accommodations varies depending on the individual’s areas of strengths and needs. For example, if your son has strong visual skills, it might help him to have written directions and/or flow charts for multi-step processes. If, however, he does better with listening than reading, it might be more appropriate to have an auditory recording of the steps that he can listen to as he works.

There are ideas for assistive technology that may help him at https://ldaamerica.org/category/technology/technology-for-adults/. Also, you may want to explore the information at the Job Accommodation Network at http://askjan.org/ JAN also has a toll-free number so you can call and speak with a job accommodation expert about ideas for effective and appropriate accommodations. That number is 800.526.7234.

My adult son is having problems in his job due to his learning disability. Do I need a waiver to discuss my son’s disability with his employer?

Yes, you definitely need a written release of confidential information signed by your son before you can discuss any disability-related information with his employer. A better approach, of course, is for your son to self-advocate for his needs himself, or at least be with you when you meet with the employer. There is more information about self-advocacy in the workplace at https://ldaamerica.org/self-advocacy-in-the-workplace-requesting-job-accommodations/

How do I find the right career and/or job if I have a learning disability?

It’s important to choose a career or job where you can use your strengths more than your areas of challenges. The ADAAA protects people with disabilities in the workplace, however, so with the right job accommodations in place, you should be able to find a good match with your strengths and interests.

There are a number of articles about learning disabilities in the workplace at https://ldaamerica.org/category/workplace-issues/. Also, the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) at https://askjan.org/ has online information as well as a toll-free number you can call to speak with a disability expert about jobs and disabilities.

What employment opportunities would a student with a Certificate of Completion have?

Students with a Certificate of Completion should be eligible for many of the same employment opportunities as student with high school diplomas, but a good job fit would be something where the student could use his areas of strengths as much as possible. It’s also important to determine appropriate job accommodations and strategies for the more challenging areas.

A good resource for help finding the right job for people with disabilities is your local Rehabilitation Service Agency (RSA) program. Click here for information about RSA and how they can help.

To find your local VR program, click here and choose “State Agencies/Contacts.” Each state’s VR contact information is listed.

You can find more information about Certificates of Completion vs. high school diplomas here.