Disability Accommodations On The Job

Disability Accommodations Employers Can Implement 
Promote Self Advocacy on the job

In this episode hear how you can ask for reasonable disability accommodations at your job.

Executive Function Challenges are associated with many disabilities.  ADHD is a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. It is not asking too much for adjustments to support a worker’s needs reasonably.

Employers can encourage new mentored employees to identify would be a reasonable accommodation for them.

Many people are afraid to ask for a quiet workspace or help to break down large jobs into smaller chunks.  Most employers would be happy for such a simple accommodation!

Challenges Employers Face and  Disability Accommodations Employers Can Easily Act on

Create an open line of communication that is safe and free of judgment to promote mentored to feel comfortable asking for help and advice.  Discuss some common ways to manage problems employees may have, such as the ones below:

  • Asking for help
    We all need help from time to time, and it’s important not to be afraid to ask for it. Encourage the mentored if they have disruptive thoughts or behaviors to ask a counselor if they have any ideas they can try that could help them control them.
  • Stress Management on the job to reduce anxiety

    When they feel overwhelmed or frustrated, encourage them to seek advice right away.   Or try sharing ways to self-calm like breathing techniques.  The box breathing method of breathing in slowly for three counts, holding your breath for three counts and then releasing your breath for three counts for up to 10 minutes is a good one. This is a common technique to calm people down and gain focus.
  • Distraction tips
    Does your company have an area that people who need a quiet space can go to?   Encourage your mentored to use that space if he/she needs help focusing without distractions.  Headphones can be a significant noise canceler and provide a physical reminder of your concentration goal.  You could encourage them to bring in a fidget toy such as a fidget spinner or rubric’s cube.  It is proven that physical movement can help while trying to concentrate.  Doodle!  Writing notes and doodling while in a meeting can help you pay attention.
  • Mentoring for motivation tip

    Create a short goal and set a timer on your phone for 10 minutes. Commit to focus on 1 task and accept whatever you got accomplished. When the time is up, regroup and set another goal and reset the timer. Keep this up for as long as it takes to feel accomplished. I have seen clients who use this and after the first 10 minutes, they have enough motivation to keep going and often end up in a hyper-focus mode and really accomplish a lot!

You might just help more than the intern employee too. 

Since all employees can exhibit similar challenges experienced by someone with executive function challenges such as  ADHD at different times of their lives, these strategies can have a positive effect on all trained employees within the company.  By providing the structure and framework to handle executive function challenges for all, you will have a smoother running company with employees who have the knowledge and strategies to work through workplace challenges as they arise and feel connected to their workplace.

Work to train and retain your recruits!

Raz Coaching specializes in helping people with executive function challenges and find careers they will love and land them. Read more at www.razcoaching.com/about Or sign up for the weekly blog or purchase my new book Happiness+Passion+Purpose.  It is packed full of exercises and strategies you can put to use immediately.

The Neuro Diverse Employee Podcast

It is a common trait for neuro-diverse people to be employed in part-time work.  They may have low pay jobs that lead to low disposable income and poor job stability. It is affecting our workplace in a big way. Research shows that graduates from university are reporting a disabiity at a rate of nearly 20 percent.

it is highly probable that someone with neurodiversity struggles with comorbid conditions.  This includes anxiety and depression.  It leaves the person with frustration, low motivation and overwhelming thoughts with how to “get it together” in a career and life.

BUT it does not need to be this way.

Just as the weaknesses can derail ambitions of long-term employment, strengths one may develop through their disability can have a positive affect.   It can soar the employee far above others in the work environment.

Executive Functions

I work with a large population that has challenges with executive functions.  These challenges include  time management, emotional regulations, procrastination, organization and motivation.

I notice is that when a person with these challenges likes something, they have a laser-like focus, attention span and drive like no other.

The focus often propels them so far into the knowledge base of a topic that they become self-taught experts. With the right strategies, tools and mentoring, they can be the shining star of a company. Often, they are just the very person capably of turning a failing business around with fresh ideas, well thought out visions and the drive to make it happen!

Your company can take advantage of this during the hiring process and current training programs for neuro diverse people
Train To Retain

A sound employee apprenticeship or intern mentoring program can foster the positive attributes of all future employees by establishing a well-thought-out best practice training plan.  I suggest creating a strong program with boundaries, routines and clear expectations with high accountability.

You will you help potential recruits develop their strengths as an intern employee.  It will also foster a kind of work environment that promotes community and self-empowerment.  The result is a win-win for company productivity, lowering overall training costs and developing strong skillsets for future employees.

A well-defined training program for all employees will empower recruits to perform with the company’s best interests in mind.

Current treatment trends of stimulant and non-stimulant medications are proven to help people with executive function challenges in the workplace.  But,  it is when behavioral changes happen that empowerment for the employee begins to shift.

Your program can help promote this shift in the neuro diverse employee.

Raz Coaching specializes in helping people with executive function challenges find careers they will love. Read more at www.razcoaching.com/about .  Or sign up for the weekly blog. Or purchase my new book Happiness+Passion+Purpose.  You can access exercises and strategies you can put to use immediately.

Create Great Employees: Employers Listen Up!

How To Create Great Employees:  It is The Invisible Economic Strain In Our Workforce that you can change!

In this Episode Listen to Michelle Talk about this topic.  Create great employees:   In a labor market that is at a historic low, businesses are seeing a high rate of turnover and even ghosting in the workplace.  It is a costly trend. Companies are seeing the value in shifting how they train to retain their employees.  It is far less expensive to invest in quality training.  A community mindset work culture that promotes employee retention is best; rather than continually training new employees.  Also, this nurtured environment promotes employee’s self-worth.  The end result is better work engagement and deeper relationships with fellow colleagues.

The result is better morale, work productivity and lower employee turnover rates!

The positive workplace connections and better knowledge base for the demands of their job has the potential for big payoffs.  It is a benefit for the company in reduced hiring costs as well. This creates a win-win scenario.  Talks of expanding apprenticeship programs are on the rise.

In order for the efforts to be successful, it is important to understand what challenges this group faces.  As a result, this will ensure quality training for the companies that want to train and hire them.

According to research, there are approximately 20 million college students who entered college in the fall of 2018.  19.4% self-reported having a disability.  This number has nearly doubled from 10 years ago and the impact on the educational system has been tremendous.   Colleges across the U.S. are developing programs to meet the needs of these diverse students.  The most prevalent disability is ADHD, a neurologically based disorder.

Of the students surveyed, 79% of the students who reported a disability listed ADHD as their challenge.

As these students enter our workforce, it would be beneficial for us to help them transition with strong skillsets.   Often, these neurologically diverse groups need specific guidance and training. Unfortunately,  skill sets may be assumed and overlooked for the average employee. This invisible disability flies under the radar and yet has a very impactful effect on job success. 

 “knowledge itself is power.”

Michelle R. Raz, M.A. Ed., is a professional executive function coach and educational consultant. Raz Coaching specializes in helping people with executive function challenges find careers they will love and land them. Read more at www.razcoaching.com/about Or sign up for the weekly blog.   Or purchase my new book Happiness+Passion+Purpose.  It is full of exercises and strategies you can put to use immediately.

5 Steps to a New You

In this episode, Michelle discusses 5 steps to a new you with ways to sustain them throughout the year.

The ancestor of every action is a thought.

When you struggle with executive function challenges such as ADD, thoughts can be frantic, unbridled and elusive.  You may laugh at people who ask you what your New Year’s Resolution is each year.   You don’t “play that game” since you know all too well that it could not be a sustained change.   You may even think you thrive on your ability to switch topics and focus so quickly. This can lead you to accept your short-term goals and live life by the moment with no long-term goals.   Yet, many have a deep yearning for more in their life, but they don’t know how to go about seeking lasting change.

Michelle recognizes how difficult it is for people to sustain change but shows you the way that is possible with consistently sustained effort and most importantly accountability.

Real inner change and paradigm shifts come from a deep burning desire that aligns with your core values.
To learn more go to www.razcoaching.com and download the worksheet that goes with this episode. The 5 Steps To A New You.

Career Talk with Wilma Fellman

In this episode,  host Michelle Raz interviews her career coaching colleague and mentor, Wilma Fellman.   Wilma has been a licensed professional counselor for over 30 years, specializing  in ADHD, LD and other life challenges.  Her work has helped many people struggling to find the right career.   She is the author of The other Me: Poetic Thoughts on ADD for Adults, Kids, and Parents and Finding a Career That Works for You.  She, also, contributed to the book, Understanding Women with ADHD.

As a constant contributor to ADDitude Magazine, Attention Magazine and Blog Talk Radio, she continues to impact this niche population. Her work is the inspiration for Michelle’s book,  Happiness Passion Purpose,  and wrote the foreword as well.   You will have some great takeaways and insight from this episode.     To listen to past podcast shows go to www.razcoaching.com   where you can also download extra freebies including booking a free consultation session.

As a Board Certified Coach, with over 2,500 one on one coaching hours and Career Service Specialist, Michelle has the expertise you need to make your change. She has a gift of helping you tap into your hidden desire, dreams and aspirations through her career coaching method. She unearths your strengths and problem solves your perceived obstacles. You can live the creative life you have dreamed of (desire) and that is exactly how Michelle models herself. She believes in her clients. Her unique approach sets her aside from others, which helps you discover and make step by step action plans to FIND or REDEFINE YOU and your ultimate dream career and life.

Best Gift to Give For The Holidays!

Give the gift of presence this holiday.  It is what makes for lasting memories as the gift that truly keeps giving!

Practicing “Mindfulness” as the Key to a Peaceful Holiday Season

“The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence.
When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.
— Thich Nhat Hahn

This holiday season is a great reminder of what truly makes memories that will last a lifetime. It isn’t the number of gifts we receive but rather the time we spend with our loved ones. In short, it’s the act of being present.

A person struggling with ADHD or other executive functions may need direction this time of year on how to become connected to the true gifts of the holiday season of love joy and compassion. The term “mindfulness” is the energy that helps us recognize the conditions of happiness that are already present in our lives.

As Thich Nhat Hahn, the renowned Vietnamese Buddhist teacher would remind the world to do — Be present, be in the moment and Enjoy life.

Here is a list of some ways you can help create a peaceful holiday: being mindful can bring you joy in every moment.
  1. Be connected to your breath.
    Conduct a simple breathing exercise of inhaling and saying to yourself, “I am here” Then, breath out and feel the air leave your body for a few seconds. This can bring you back into the moment and leave you feeling connected with yourself, again.

2.  Pick a healthy way to take care of yourself. Take a walk.
Walking mindfully and slowly while paying attention to the sensations on the bottom of your feet offer other personal experiences. Notice how the body moves as you walk with awareness. Take one step at a time.

  1. Prioritize your time.
    Start each day with a few minutes of quiet time. Reflect on the day ahead to help you prioritize your tasks and stay in tune with your emotional state. Recognize important things that need to be done. Identify any stressors and decide how you plan to address them. This process can help you follow through successfully each day.
  2. Actively listen to one another.
    As students get excited for the holidays and receive an academic break from school, it can be a stressful time in the household. Elementary students are exploding with boundless energy while anticipating once-per-year events. High school and college students are studying frantically for their final exams. Parents are preoccupied with navigating their holiday to-do lists.

The combination of feeling overwhelmed, being excited with the seasonal events and the reality of academic stress can severely affect family relationships.

Now is the time to encourage one another to identify the feeling.

What emotion are you experiencing? Are you sad, stressed, angry, anxious, joyful, disappointed, excited or embarrassed? Accept the authenticity of your feelings and express the emotions verbally.

By expressing your feelings it can release negative emotions. Also, by being an active listener, you can demonstrate that you are present and validate the needs of others.

When you practice mindfulness, you are in a state of concentration. Because you are , and can sustain that awareness, it is said that you are concentrated. By being fully concentrated, you have an opportunity to make a breakthrough – and to achieve insight.

This practice of cultivating stillness in your life, loving speech and deep listening will bring joy and happiness to others and yourself. This holiday, achieve the true gift of happiness and joy by being in the moment and being present for others. It may be the most joyous season yet when all feel that their needs are being heard and therefore met.

Michelle R. Raz, M.A. Ed., is a professional executive function coach and educational consultant. Raz Coaching specializes in helping people with executive function challenges associated with ADHD, PTSD, Stress, TBI’s and ASD find careers they will love and land them. Read more at www.razcoaching.com/about Or sign up for the weekly blog or purchase my new book Happiness+Passion+Purpose.  It is packed full of exercises and strategies you can put to use immediately.