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Old 06-03-18, 04:36 PM
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Considering applying for ADA accom. but I feel weird about it

So, I've been working at my job for just over 2 years. I work a desk job that requires long bouts of creative and constructive concentration, and is also entirely on the internet. I'm an editor and writer, and while I love my company, it's so hard with ADD to get my work done, especially with the whole internet there to distract me, and I find myself working off the clock all the time just to keep up with average work. And the creative work and constant stress of not being able to get things done just drains me so I never have energy to pursue my own interests.

I know the base load at which I work best, but it's under the requirements. I've been asking for reassessment in work load, but because the other person with my same job title always gets his stuff done, they don't really see a reason. Now that I have a diagnosis and am exploring meds (unsuccessfully), I've been encouraged to seek ADA accommodations by my friend who also has ADHD.

I feel weird about it though because the only accommodation I can think of is to bring my workload down to where I know I work best, but I feel like they would view it as me just trying to work the system to make my workload less than everyone else, and to get what I've been asking for for almost a year.

Any advice? Anyone have experience asking for ADA accommodations for ADHD and/or Generalized Anxiety Disorder?
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Old 06-04-18, 02:34 AM
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Re: Considering applying for ADA accom. but I feel weird about it

I know you are supposed to be protected by ADA rules but most places who want to fire you will just make up another reason. I would tell NO ONE about it at all. It will be used against you no matter how understanding your boss or even coworkers may seem. It can easily backfire.
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Old 06-13-18, 02:42 AM
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Re: Considering applying for ADA accom. but I feel weird about it

I have asked for accommodations and I told my manager I had ADHD, even though I didn't have to in order to request accommodations. It did not have any negative consequences for me. At the same time, it was not very helpful so far either.

It's hard to come up with accommodations that are actually useful. When I think about accommodations the first thing that comes to mind is wheel-chair ramps, something that enables people with a disability to do their jobs that they are otherwise perfectly able to do.I don't think there is a direct equivalent of that for people with ADHD - at least in my job.

Things like noise canceling headphones can help a bit, but they are not going to make a day-and-night difference. This website could gives you some ideas: https://askjan.org/media/adhd.html

As I mentioned in another thread I am asking for someone who checkin with me daily as an accommodation now. That might actually help me.

I don't think asking to reduce your workload is going to work. They will argue that this workload is your essential job function.
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Old 06-13-18, 09:12 AM
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Re: Considering applying for ADA accom. but I feel weird about it

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Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
I know you are supposed to be protected by ADA rules but most places who want to fire you will just make up another reason. I would tell NO ONE about it at all. It will be used against you no matter how understanding your boss or even coworkers may seem. It can easily backfire.
I completely agree. Not worth it to expose yourself to likely discrimination.

I'm not a lawyer, but I don't think ADA mandates that an employer lower their expectations for disabled workers. If there's a specific accommodation that would allow you to do your job better (perhaps working in a quieter room?), that would probably be theoretically covered. But you can't get by with actually doing less work than your non-disabled coworkers.
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Old 06-13-18, 09:41 AM
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Re: Considering applying for ADA accom. but I feel weird about it

I agree with MartinB that workload is an essential job function.

I'm almost certain you don't have a legal right to a reduced workload. You'd be at the mercy of whether your company wants to grant you something they aren't required to give you if you disclose (which I cant imagine any company would do unless they were angels).

You can request accommodations that don't cause the company undue hardship that will help you achieve your essential job functions. Are there some tasks that you perform just as quickly or even faster than your coworker? Perhaps you could ask for a reallocation of work though I'm not certain they would be required to give you this either.

I disclosed and a coworker of mine disclosed as well. It literally saved her job and she is doing great. For me, it was more a mixed bag but I don't regret disclosure in the slightest. My company didn't like my symptoms and that would have been the case regardless of whether I disclosed or not. Disclosure actually gave me some huge benefits.

There is never a blanket answer for whether people should disclose or not. Although there have been more negative results than positive ones reported here, there have certainly been positives as well. It's a case-by-case basis though I do agree in most cases, the answer is no.

In your case, if I were you, I'd try to think of accommodations that are legal and that would help you perform to the same level as your coworker. If you can think of something, then I'd think about whether I could get those accommodations in some way without disclosure first. If you can't get them without disclosure, I'd talk to a disability lawyer before disclosing (one that has won a certain award I can't remember the name of but you can go on the legaladvice reddit sub and ask).

If you can't think of any accommodations that can help you, personally, I'd look for a new job if you think they might fire you someday or if you won't be happy staying. If you needed extra time to find a job, disclosure could buy that for you but I'd do that only if you needed the extra time and you don't think word will leak of your ADHD to potential future employers (if you can't think of accommdations that work).
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Old 06-17-18, 12:02 AM
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Re: Considering applying for ADA accom. but I feel weird about it

I can't really look for a new job. I don't have many skills (my degree is pretty useless without a masters or higher) and I can't afford to make any less than I already do.

I can't think of a single accommodation that would work for me other than that, but I do agree it's wrong to expect less work from me than everyone else. I just don't know what to do. I'm stressed all the time about not getting all my work done, but nothing seems to be helping me get more done yet. My job is kind of unique in that there's not really much they could do to change my type of work because it all involves an extreme about of organization and creative thinking. I'm just so burnt out on working 20 extra off the clock hours a week just to barely meet minimum requirements.

I've already told my manager and HR about my ADHD diagnosis before I made this post, but didn't ask for accommodations. HR mentioned to me that I am entitled to accommodations if I can think of some (just a matter of finding what would actually be helpful in my line of work). I told them about my ADHD diagnosis because I was starting to test out meds and I wanted them to be aware of any changes in my work performance or my personality (like, I'm pretty quietly anxious, so if I became visibly anxious or moody or defensive, emotional etc). I'm glad I did bc with the adderall my performance dipped bc the stimulant was causing my already high anxiety to skyrocket even more and caused insomnia so I wasn't getting much sleep, and coming off the adderall I've been even more unfocused than before, so my performance lately has been the worst it's been in quite a long time. I'm about to start an anxiety med, so hopefully that has a positive effect on my work, but I'm not counting on it...

I feel really stuck and hopeless. I'm tired of feeling like human garbage at every job I have bc my brain is useless.
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Old 06-17-18, 04:33 AM
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Re: Considering applying for ADA accom. but I feel weird about it

One thing I'm coming to realise is that the majority of the workforce are under performers. So while we sell outselves short and get down on ourselves for not doing better there are plenty of people out there with no disabilities that are just lazy or useless or dumb.

As someone who has been fired from every job I've ever had except this one I've learned that the best way to stay safe is to have a good attitude. Managers are far more tolerant of mistakes from someone who tries and shows they care than of someone who doesn't.
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Old 06-22-18, 01:17 AM
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Re: Considering applying for ADA accom. but I feel weird about it

I second the occupational therapist idea, one with ADHD expertise.

I kind of wonder if there are some accommodations that might help you that you just can't think of right now because things that help us are often very different than things that help others. Maybe the occupationanl therapist can help you figure those out.

It's hard to help you over this forum cause we really don't know any details of your job.

I can tell you some things that helped me some. silencing headphones. It was weird, even with no noise to block, they make me feel more focused. A white, small empty room with door closed and nothing but a desk and my laptop. It was amazing the difference in focus between that isolating room and a cubicle, even when it was silent in the cubicle area around me.

breaking tasks into subtasks and assigning time limits for each subtask.

Giving away the work I didn't like to others which I was allowed to give away.

Someone else used an accountability manager her on this board. Maybe that could help you too though it's also possible that manager could rat you out if they don't help you.

Since you've already disclosed, would it hurt to ask for less work as an accommodation? Sure they can deny but would it hurt to try anyway?

Also, not having any skills and can't afford to make less than you do is something you should remedy. You never know when a job will end regardless of adhd or not. Could you get a roommate if something bad happened (have a backup plan in case something goes wrong with your job)? When you are able to breathe, maybe think about how to get skilled.
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Old 07-01-18, 09:47 PM
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Re: Considering applying for ADA accom. but I feel weird about it

Ah!

Okay, if you are writing and editing, perhaps you can find a way to "batch" part of the workload and get more done faster.

This means to identify any parts of the work that are the same on each writing piece and do it all at the same time to break down the tasks into more bite sized chunks.

Another idea you could try is to locate "swipe files" that you can model. A swipe file is a collection of previously successful writing pieces used for the purpose to model by adapting your own original creative work based on the general idea of what made the piece you model work. This doesn't mean to copy it because that would be plagiarism, but only to use as an example for creating your own.

Some swipe files are very well organized with different folders for each part of the writing piece you are working on.

So, one folder could contain only Titles, one could contain Headlines, one could contain bulleted lists of benefits or features, one could contain emotional connection sentences, one could contain persuasive sentences, one could contain sentences about why the topic is important, one could contain closing sentences, one could contain imagery to support the main idea, and the list goes on.

If you are able to locate one or even make your own out of previous writing pieces you've already done, then you will be able to significantly and easily slash your workload time.

I hope this idea helps you like it has me and so many others!
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Old 07-03-18, 04:28 AM
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Re: Considering applying for ADA accom. but I feel weird about it

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Originally Posted by acdc01 View Post
I second the occupational therapist idea, one with ADHD expertise.


Also, not having any skills and can't afford to make less than you do is something you should remedy. You never know when a job will end regardless of adhd or not. Could you get a roommate if something bad happened (have a backup plan in case something goes wrong with your job)? When you are able to breathe, maybe think about how to get skilled.
I already have a roommate, and I'm still barely getting by. The cost of living in my town has skyrocketed in just the last 4 years, but wages have not caught up. I live as cheaply as I can and I don't buy frivolous things, but rent, bills, and school loans take up the majority of my money. I don't even carry a balance on my credit cards. My only debt is my school debt. I'm pretty much living paycheck to paycheck. I do have a small savings for emergency, but that was only possible bc I lived with my parents for a while.

I do have "skills" in my current job sector, but if I'm not happy doing it now, I'm not going to be happy doing anywhere else either. I would need to get new skills, but not sure how to do that without going back to school (not an option bc I'm already in massive debt from the first time) or starting at a new entry-level job with lower pay (also not an option since, as I said, I can't afford to make less than I already do). I certainly can't teach myself since my ADD is so bad that I can't even self teach the things I WANT to learn for fun, let alone things just to up my hard-skills on my resume.
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Old 07-03-18, 04:35 AM
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Re: Considering applying for ADA accom. but I feel weird about it

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Originally Posted by AdultADHD View Post
Ah!

Okay, if you are writing and editing, perhaps you can find a way to "batch" part of the workload and get more done faster.

This means to identify any parts of the work that are the same on each writing piece and do it all at the same time to break down the tasks into more bite sized chunks.

Another idea you could try is to locate "swipe files" that you can model. A swipe file is a collection of previously successful writing pieces used for the purpose to model by adapting your own original creative work based on the general idea of what made the piece you model work. This doesn't mean to copy it because that would be plagiarism, but only to use as an example for creating your own.

Some swipe files are very well organized with different folders for each part of the writing piece you are working on.

So, one folder could contain only Titles, one could contain Headlines, one could contain bulleted lists of benefits or features, one could contain emotional connection sentences, one could contain persuasive sentences, one could contain sentences about why the topic is important, one could contain closing sentences, one could contain imagery to support the main idea, and the list goes on.

If you are able to locate one or even make your own out of previous writing pieces you've already done, then you will be able to significantly and easily slash your workload time.

I hope this idea helps you like it has me and so many others!
That sounds like a lot of organization! Unfortunately, the nature of my writing/editing job is for client purposes on a variety of different sites, so we don't get much of a chance for repeats often. I've always hated writing a lot, but in some sick-twisted fate, I'm moderately good at it, so I get paid to do it, lol. I much prefer editing, but sometimes when the topics are boring it's incredibly hard for me to stay focused on the task. I do try to get the easiest work done first, but in the end, all of the hardest stuff is left, so I never know if that's really working out, haha.
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