top of page

Navigating the Workplace: A Guide to Self-Advocacy for Neurodivergent Teens and Young Adults


Navigating the world of employment can be both exciting and challenging. Positive self- advocacy is the tool that empowers you to steer through obstacles. As you practice self-advocacy in the workplace, remember that your perspective is valuable, and resilience is key to meeting your full potential. We have created this blog and this free Guide to Self-Advocacy to help you customize the learning environment for your youth with a gifted or twice exceptional profile (2E).


Advocating for yourself in the workplace is essential to ensure that your needs are met, your contributions are recognized and you are able to grow and learn with confidence.

Image of a document titled Navigating the Workplace: A guide to Self-Advocacy with a white arrow and a Click here text box.


WHAT IS THE DUTY TO ACCOMMODATE WITHIN EMPLOYMENT SETTINGS?

Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, employers have a duty to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities to the point of undue hardship, to make sure they have equal opportunities, equal access and can enjoy equal benefits.


The Goals of Accommodation:

  • Respect for dignity

  • Individualization

  • Integration and full participation

People Working at Computers.


WAYS TO ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELF IN THE WORKPLACE:

  • Understand your strengths, challenges, and the accommodations that work for you in order to be successful.

  • Learn about your rights in the workplace.

  • Communicate your needs and preferred accommodations to your employer. Be specific about what you need to be successful.

  • Document discussions and accommodations received in the workplace.

  • Seek feedback from your supervisors to identify areas of growth and demonstrate a willingness to learn.

Text reads: Workplace Accommodations Examples:  Flexible work schedules.  Modifying duties/routines.  Making changes to the building and workstations to ensure that it   is accessible. Providing assistive devices. Providing alternative ways of communication. Providing short and long term disability leave. Visual supports Remote work options
Text reads: Communicating your Strengths  in the Workplace: Here is a way you can effectively communicate your strengths with your employers/colleagues:  I am neurodivergent which means that I sometimes struggle with _____, however this comes with strengths in other areas such as_______:



INTERVIEW ACCOMMODATIONS:

Examples:

  • Ask for the interview questions the day before.

  • Request extra time for timed tests.

  • Request a one-on-one interview rather than a panel interview with multiple individuals.

  • Ask for a video call or phone interview as an initial interview.

  • If interviews are held virtually, ask if you can keep your camera off for the interview. 

  • Request a quiet environment for the interview.

  • Bring a fidget tool with you to the interview.



REQUESTING ACCOMMODATIONS:

  • Making your needs clearly known to the employer.

  • Provide your employer with sufficient information and take part in discussions regarding solutions and plans.

  • Once an accommodation has been received, you can then work towards meeting performance standards.

REASONS TO CONSIDER DISCLOSING:

  • Sharing your needs and barriers with your employer or team fosters understanding and support in your work environment. 

  • Your skills could be relevant to your job or role. For example - energy and passion would be a great match for working with children in a high energy and fast paced environment. 

  • Requesting accommodations for the interview process enables you to present your best self. 

  • Highlighting and demonstrating that being neurodivergent does not limit your employment capabilities. 




Need help implementing these recommendations? 


WonderTree has Job Coaches, Life skills supports, psychologists, social workers, educational consultant, tutors, SLPs, OTs, and executive functioning coaches that can help support individuals to thrive in employment.


WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR EMPLOYMENT SKILLS VIRTUAL PROGRAM?


Additional Resources:

 





If you want to get started on support first:









Unsure of what support you may need?




WonderTree Logo







 

14 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page