Employment Concerns with Multiple Sclerosis – Things to Consider
An employee with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis should consider whether or not to disclose his or her diagnosis to his or her employer. In disclosing your diagnosis, it may be easier for you to receive the accommodation necessary to continue to be effective in your position. However, there may be some risk in disclosure. Employers sometimes, due to their lack of knowledge about multiple sclerosis, may view the diagnosis negatively, and disclosure may in fact place the employee’s job at risk. The good news is that a variety of resources is available to assist employees with these complex decisions.
Many people choose to work for reasons greater than money alone. The interaction with others, the feeling of completing a well-done task, and the need to feel valued in society, all make a paycheck so worthwhile. Individuals with MS may find that symptoms such as increased fatigue, limited mobility, and visual changes may impact their ability to work. While the symptoms of MS can often be managed, job accommodations may be necessary to continue to work productively.
Some people with MS remain in their jobs with little or no modifications to their present working situation, while others may decide to leave their current position to be retrained to do something else. Fortunately, government funding is available for individuals with disabilities to receive the help they need to enter, re-enter, or remain in the workforce. This assistance enables men and women with MS to find the right occupation, work environment, work schedule, and game plan for their unique circumstances.
For more information on employment, please read the following articles from MSAA’s magazine The Motivator: “Employment Strategies” and “Breaking Up is Hard to Do“. Please also see MSAA’s booklet, Employment and MS: The Challenges and Opportunities.