OED #9: Disability and Advancing Access

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I’ve struggled with a disability for many years. I have bipolar disorder, which leans more towards the depression side. I have low energy but an active mind. This is an invisible disability. I’m medicated and participate in regular therapy sessions to cope with my challenges. For some, adaptation is not so easy.

I struggle with allowing these invisible, mental disabilities in as valid keys to accommodation. This is because of the struggles I’ve faced myself with past employers. I received “reasonable accommodations,” but then faced push-back from other employees who may not have known the situation. This resistance led to my eventual termination. So it’s clear to me, first hand, that discrimination for mental illness does exist. I’ve experienced it.

This day presented a student panel to discuss their disabilities. One was a student with depression, one was deaf, and one was near legally blind. Being a disabled student, I can relate to this panel. I think it was important for the workshop to hear the student perspective.