Effective Disclosure and Accommodations: Unlocking Employee Potential for Workplace Success

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There is a lot of untapped potential and unutilized talent in the workforce because employers do not offer truly supportive and accommodating work environments. Without adequate accommodations, employees with disabilities face barriers that prevent them from applying their skills and abilities to their full potential. As a result, many individuals with disabilities are underemployed and some are unemployed despite their motivation to work. Considering that most people will experience a temporary or permanent disability over the span of their lives, unsuitable work conditions are likely to affect most of the workforce. So what can we, as career practitioners do about this? We must continue to educate employers and help develop inclusive and accommodating work environments. We can also educate and empower workers so they know their rights and can advocate for themselves to obtain the necessary accommodations.

This presentation will explain the laws protecting individuals with disabilities in the workforce and how to apply these laws to secure support. We will explore the pros and cons of disclosing a disability in the workplace so that career practitioners can advise their clients more effectively on this matter.  We will also discuss how to identify appropriate accommodations and request those accommodations from the employer. Career practitioners will learn about free resources to use with their clients regarding disclosure and accommodations. Additionally, information about handling potential discrimination or denial of accommodations will be offered.

Learning Objectives:

  • Recount the laws protecting individuals with disabilities in the workplace.
  • List the benefits and challenges of disclosure.
  • Identify how to secure effective accommodations.
  • Find sources and resources for disclosure and accommodations and how to support clients with disabilities.

Your Presenter:

Viktoriya Selden, M.A., CVE, ICVE, GCDF, CMCS has been providing vocational rehabilitation services since 2005. She is passionate about supporting individuals with disabilities in the workforce. Her mission is to serve each person with respect, appreciation, and understanding so that they may discover their potential and thrive in the workplace. Viktoriya began her career as an employment specialist, which involved job development, job coaching, and work readiness training. After a few years, she transitioned into providing career assessments, career exploration, and career coaching to individuals with disabilities. More recently, she has been focusing on educating businesses and career practitioners on supporting individuals with disabilities through self-advocacy, effective disclosure, and appropriate accommodations in the work setting.

Viktoriya has a Master’s degree in Education and Human Development with a concentration in Collaborative Vocational Evaluation Training from The George Washington University. She holds certifications in Certified Vocational Evaluation Specialist (CVE), Internationally Certified Vocational Evaluator (ICVE), Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF), and Certified Master of Career Services (CMCS). Viktoriya recently served on the board of Vocational Evaluation and Career Assessment Professionals (VECAP) and Maryland Career Development Association (MCDA).