Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Epilepsy Awareness Month Day 12: Epilepsy and Working

Yesterday Robert talked about not being able to drive because of his uncontrolled epilepsy (well, except for that one time our dad let him drive but that’ll be our little secret).

Once Robert finished his bedtime routine and got settled into bed (and agreed to set aside the word search puzzle and Jeopardy for a couple of minutes), we finished our conversation.

I hope you’re enjoying watching the clips as much as I am enjoying making them. My camera work isn’t the best (and certainly doesn’t seem to be improving – apparently, “Spielberg” isn’t my middle name) but I keep learning more and more about Robert and the impact epilepsy has on his life.

What I learned in this clip is that Robert wanted to work but was never able to because of his uncontrolled seizures.  It is such a natural human need to want to be productive and a contributing member of society.

When Robert lived at the care facility, he was given certain chores to do and usually did them enthusiastically. He was in charge of opening the blinds in the common rooms and taking his dishes into the kitchen after dinner.  Watching him do these chores always made me a little nervous since the plates were stacked a little too precariously on the seat of his walker and the blinds were never quite an easy reach.

Definitely an accident waiting to happen but he enjoyed doing these chores. 

While Robert’s seizures were too frequent to make employment a viable option, many others with epilepsy are able to work and have successful careers.

It is important to know that employers cannot discriminate against a person with epilepsy as it is a protected disorder under the American Disabilities Act. The ADA prohibits discrimination against employees with epilepsy (or other qualifying disabilities).  The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission answers commonly asked questions about epilepsy in the workplace on their website. 

In this clip, Robert talks about the things he misses because he has epilepsy. It is probably one of my favorite videos in this series (if I ignore the shoddy camera-work!). J

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