Suggestions for reasoanble adjustments and access to work support? — Scope | Disability forum
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Suggestions for reasoanble adjustments and access to work support?

daveystarsky
daveystarsky Community member Posts: 1 Listener
Hey! I'm currently trying to find reasonably adjustments for the things I struggle with at work, and as part of this I'm going to submit an access to work application. However, I don't actually know what to even ask for. I'm newly diagnosed and it's hard to know what might even be available! Does anyone have any suggestions?

(I especially struggle with sensory issues like bright lights or with prolonged social interaction and speaking - I work in part in customer service so there's a lot it seems like can't be changed)

Comments

  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Campaigns Posts: 12,488 Disability Gamechanger
    Welcome to the community @daveystarsky :) That's a really good question! 

    I'd encourage you to think about any possible barriers there might be for you in the workplace, as you have done with sensory issues. Explaining what you find difficult, and what could be done to help, is often a good place to start.

    Autism Hampshire have some examples of reasonable adjustments for people with autism on their website, which you might find helpful in getting some ideas:
    Reasonable adjustments for individual autistic workers might include:
    • paid time off when needed
    • fixed hours rather than variable shifts
    • reducing specific sensory stimuli in the workplace, e.g. locating that individual’s workstation in a quieter or less bright part of the office
    • change of work location, for example to be nearer home, or nearer support facilities, or to a work location which is quieter or less over-stimulating
    • extra breaks to enable relaxation
    • providing a mentor
    • individual support where schedules are unavoidably disrupted and when changes are introduced
    • adjustment to the way in which assessments are carried out
    • a clear routine and work schedule
    • a personal workstation (rather than sharing a workstation or ‘hot-desking’)
    • relaxation of triggers for disciplinary action for matters such as sickness absence or mistakes arising from executive function impairment
    • additional training time off for treatment/appointments, as part of a policy for disability leave
    • re-allocating some work to colleagues, with their agreement.
    We also have some examples on our website.

    I'm wondering if one of our lovely volunteers, @l_volunteer, might also be able to give you some advice and support on this :)

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  • Puja
    Puja Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 104 Courageous
    Following as this is something I struggle with too x
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  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,979 Disability Gamechanger

    Hey @daveystarsky. Welcome to Scope’s forum. It is great to see you have joined us. How are you at the moment? 

    Thanks for already finding the courage to reach out to us. I appreciate the courage it can take to reach out, especially when you are new and finding things tough.

    I’m a fellow autistic! However, that doesn’t necessarily mean I know how you experience it or what you need. Nevertheless, I will start by saying I empathise.

    It is really positive to hear you will be submitting an Access to Work application. Have you seen occupational health yet? I ask because occupational health can work with you to identify what you find difficult and strategies to manage each of them. You can usually access occupational health by contacting HR.

    A similar service to occupational health but aimed at us neurodivergent people is Exceptional Individuals. They can support you with the Access to Work process if you want them to - including identifying what might support you.

    You mention struggling with lights and prolonged interaction and speaking. Some follow-up questions are:

    •  Are there multiple methods of communication open with your customers - for example, could you switch between phone calls and web chats/emails?
    • Is there a particularly bright light that is difficult to manage - artificial indoors or bright light coming in from outside - Could you move to a less bright area of the office?

    Another idea that comes to mind is that there are also lights you can get that dim and change the colour of and you can control them with a remote control. I have one at home!

    For me, sound is my main sensitivity, and when I moved to a quieter area of the building it made the world of difference.

    These are just some of the many possibilities and follow-up questions. Happy to talk about this further if you wish. You don’t have to face this, or anything else, alone if you don’t want to. We are all here for you and listening to you  :)

    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities and EHCP's. Pronouns: She/her. 

    Please note: if I use the online community outside of its hours of administration, I am doing so in a personal capacity only.

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