When I worked at the college, I had students with TBI. When they would confide this to me, I would encourage them to see Disability Services so they could get accommodations. More time to take a test, written tests instead of computerized tests, the ability to record a lecture – workarounds that would make it easier to complete their degrees. But what about after college? How are TBI-related symptoms accommodated in the workplace? What if your employer has never heard of TBI? America’s Heroes at Work is tackling those and similar questions in an effort to help veterans with TBI (and PTSD) succeed in the workplace.
America’s Heroes at Work is a Department of Labor project designed to educate employers on TBI and PTSD in an effort to create environments conducive to veteran employment. Available resources include a “Veterans Hiring Toolkit,” which covers everything from how to create an inclusive environment to how to design a recruiting strategy, and a 45-minute online training course designed to help human resource and hiring managers discern fact from fiction when it comes to TBI and PTSD. Other resources include training presentations, FAQ sheets, success stories, and a page full of helpful links.
So, if this is for employers, why am I covering it here? Because we all know that there are stereotypes out there. Breaking them isn’t easy. And organizations don’t always want to take the initiative to learn about veteran-related issues. The best thing we can do as veterans is know what is available to us so we know what to ask for. If you know what can be done to make you a productive asset to an employer, you make their job easier because they don’t have to figure out the answer, you already know it. Or, in the words of GI Joe, “knowing is half the battle.”
You can find out for about America’s Heroes at Work on their webpage.
© 2014, Sarah Maples. All rights reserved.