Jun 18, 2019
Employment situations can present a tricky situation for someone with a medical condition such as Parkinson’s disease. One big decision for employees with physical, emotional, or mental conditions is whether and when to disclose to employers or coworkers their condition and what accommodations they may need to do their job. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides certain protections against discrimination for employees who disclose their conditions to their employers, who are then required to make “reasonable accommodations” to allow the person to do his or her job. However, ADA protections apply only if the employee has disclosed a disability or health condition to the employer. Even then, some restrictions may apply. For part one of a two part series on Talking to Your Employer about PD, occupational therapist Julia Wood of the Dan Aaron Parkinson’s Rehabilitation Center at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, a Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence, discusses when and how to talk with an employer, how to prepare before having the conversation, documenting it, and the decision to also reveal one’s condition to coworkers.