Affinity Groups

Affinity Group Resources

The Career Development Center is here to support and empower students in understanding their unique identities through the career development process. We have curated some resources tailored to affinity groups, or groups that honor a shared identity on this page. While we understand that identities are intersecting (meaning we hold multiple identities at the same time) and not binary (one or the other), we hope these resources help you navigate the workplace as your true self.

a diagram showing intersecting identities: Race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity

Disclosure & Requesting Accommodations

Description of the video:

00:00
hi everyone welcome to the 10th annual
00:03
ability summit and thank you for joining
00:05
us over in the career corner today we
00:09
are going to have a conversation with
00:11
Renee Forsythe from Lyme connect on
00:14
disclosure and accommodations my name is
00:18
Lisa Mayberry I'm a program manager at
00:20
Microsoft I work with inclusive hiring
00:24
programs for people with disabilities
00:25
and this is a topic for me that it's
00:29
very close to home as well I'm working
00:30
with candidates every day who need
00:33
accommodations to go through interviews
00:35
but then are also onboarding and
00:37
navigating the benefits process at
00:38
Microsoft as well Renee is going to
00:41
share some tips on whether when and how
00:44
to disclose and these are really great
00:47
tips that will apply across your job
00:49
search at any company not just Microsoft
00:51
so we hope that you get a lot from this
00:53
presentation it's going to be about 20
00:56
minutes and then afterwards we will have
00:58
some time for question and answer as
01:01
well after that I will be moderating so
01:04
with that I'm going to go ahead and turn
01:06
it over to Renee to kick this up thanks
01:11
Lisa
01:12
we are so happy to join Microsoft for
01:14
the ability summit and appreciate the
01:16
partnership between lime connect and
01:17
Microsoft as together we work towards
01:20
our mission of rebranding disability to
01:22
achievement thank you all for joining us
01:25
for this discussion on disclosure and
01:28
accommodations and how to set yourself
01:30
up for success during the recruiting
01:32
process when onboarding into a new role
01:35
or at any time during your employment
01:37
today we will identify ways that you can
01:40
best communicate your needs as a person
01:42
with a disability while also
01:44
highlighting the unique strengths that
01:46
you bring to your team first it's
01:49
important to take a look at the
01:50
disability landscape and recognize that
01:53
as a person with a disability in the
01:55
workplace you are not alone one in four
01:57
North Americans have a disability and in
02:00
the workforce
02:02
research shows that 30 percent of white
02:04
collar workers have a disability this
02:06
number may be surprising to you because
02:08
many people don't talk about their
02:10
disabilities in fact only 3 percent of
02:13
them
02:13
please actually self-identify as having
02:16
a disability so why is there such a
02:18
disparity between these two numbers one
02:21
reason is that the majority of
02:23
disabilities are non visible or not
02:25
evident to others when you first meet
02:27
them so if you're a person whose
02:30
disability is not evident you have to
02:32
make an active choice whether to
02:34
disclose your disability or not even if
02:37
you have a visible disability you will
02:40
have to make choices about when to
02:42
disclose your disability and if you
02:44
choose to request an accommodation how
02:46
to make that request at Lyme connect
02:50
when we coach members about the decision
02:52
process around disclosing your
02:54
disability we encourage people to
02:56
consider whether when and how to
02:58
disclose to set yourself up for success
03:00
just closing your disability may not be
03:03
necessary or appropriate in every
03:05
situation but it is important to note
03:08
that your employer's want to help you to
03:10
be successful and to give you what you
03:12
need to thrive in your role and in their
03:14
companies so when you're deciding
03:18
whether or not to disclose your
03:19
disability you may have some concerns
03:21
about if disclosure is right for you
03:24
some of the concerns that are common
03:27
that we hear from people with
03:28
disabilities include the belief that
03:31
people will judge them once they reveal
03:34
that they have a disability before they
03:36
get to know them or know what they're
03:37
capable of or a fear or uncertainty
03:41
about how people will react when they
03:43
share the information that they are a
03:45
person with a disability they also have
03:49
concerns about disclosing and how it
03:51
will impact their career including the
03:54
likelihood that they may not be selected
03:56
as the applicant of choice or that they
03:58
might not get the key assignment that
04:00
they need to move their career forward
04:05
others just have a concern about not
04:08
knowing how to have the conversation and
04:10
preparing for the conversation is part
04:12
of what we will talk about today because
04:14
our experience has shown that people
04:16
have had great success when disclosing
04:19
and requesting an accommodation some of
04:21
the success stories we hear include
04:24
receiving the technology that they need
04:26
to be successful and work more
04:29
efficiently in their role others have
04:33
received an adjusted work schedule which
04:35
helps them to do their most productive
04:37
work and others have been able to share
04:40
the communication techniques that work
04:42
best for them so that they can
04:43
understand directions more effectively
04:46
and be more efficient in their work for
04:48
others it's opened up a dialogue with
04:50
their managers where they can share
04:52
symptoms or have a key code word to use
04:55
when they're having a bad day and even
04:58
others received flexible schedule or
05:01
extra support when they really needed it
05:04
to allow them to flex their work
05:06
schedule to be able to produce their
05:09
best work and overall just a general
05:12
empathy from their managers when they
05:14
were open and discussed what they needed
05:19
but as I mentioned determining whether
05:21
to disclose will be a decision at
05:23
different touch points with different
05:25
potential or current employers the keys
05:28
to disclosing when and in a way that
05:30
allows you to present your best self the
05:34
decision process starts as early as
05:36
during the application process and
05:38
throughout the recruiting process or
05:42
perhaps it might take place after the
05:44
offer so let's just take a moment to
05:46
look through these different touch
05:47
points
05:50
first during the application process you
05:53
may be asked early on in filling out an
05:56
application whether you identify as a
05:58
person with a disability it's important
06:01
to note that this is considered self ID
06:03
and it's information that's generally
06:05
used for data collection and it's not
06:07
used to grant an accommodation so if you
06:10
need an accommodation during the
06:11
recruiting process you need to be sure
06:13
to identify that further on with a
06:16
recruiter prior to the interview process
06:18
this may take the form of needing extra
06:22
time if you're doing case studies or a
06:23
coding test or perhaps you would prefer
06:26
a Skype interview versus a phone
06:28
interview
06:31
in other examples you may want to share
06:34
it during the interview process to
06:36
highlight a skill or specific
06:38
accomplishment or potentially to address
06:41
an uncomfortable situation that might
06:44
take place during the interview a very
06:48
common time to request an accommodation
06:51
is after the interview
06:55
when you have the job offer in hand
06:57
before you start the job so that you
06:59
have all the tools in place that you
07:01
need to hit the ground running
07:04
realize that you can also request an
07:06
accommodation at any time during
07:08
employment if your needs change it is
07:11
really important not to wait until you
07:13
are struggling in your role or you're
07:14
receiving negative feedback about your
07:16
performance before you ask for the
07:18
accommodation you want to ask for what
07:20
you need so that you can always perform
07:22
at your best when you have identified
07:24
the best time to disclose or times to
07:28
disclose because you will likely need to
07:29
do it more than once in your lifetime we
07:32
now come to how you can do it so that
07:34
you are effectively communicating all
07:36
that you need to help you bring your
07:38
full strengths and skills to every
07:40
professional interaction let's review
07:43
four steps that you can take as you
07:45
approach how to disclose your disability
07:47
and they include establishing the reason
07:50
for the conversation based on your needs
07:52
identifying the best person for the
07:54
conversation simplifying your disability
07:57
and selecting a technique that works for
07:59
you in terms of communication and then
08:02
ultimately requesting the accommodation
08:04
and helping come up with solutions that
08:05
you know work for you so first let's
08:10
talk about the reason for the
08:12
conversation you'll need to identify are
08:14
you going into this requesting an
08:16
accommodation do you have a disability
08:18
related need that you need met are you
08:22
simply seeking to further your
08:25
relationships with your team members
08:27
with your manager to maybe alleviate
08:30
some awkwardness about how to interact
08:32
related to your specific disability
08:35
perhaps you just want to break commonly
08:39
held stereotypes around your disability
08:41
and what people with your disability are
08:43
or not capable of or perhaps you want to
08:47
talk about in terms of identifying your
08:49
unique strengths that you bring to the
08:51
table that may have been developed as a
08:53
result of living with your disability
08:55
the next step is to identify the best
08:58
person for the conversation research
09:01
shows that most people commonly disclose
09:04
to their manager once they are an
09:06
employee but prior
09:08
to that if you're in the recruiting
09:10
process you may need to disclose to a
09:12
recruiter or someone in the HR
09:14
department to get your disability
09:16
related needs met
09:18
then you want to determine what
09:20
technique or approach you're most
09:22
comfortable with and communicating the
09:24
details about your disability so let's
09:26
review some common approaches that we
09:29
recommend that seem to work for our
09:31
network members first is talking about
09:35
simplifying the science around your
09:37
disability so you may have lived with
09:40
your disability for much of your life
09:41
and have a lot of medical information
09:44
and background on your disability that's
09:46
not necessarily relevant or necessary
09:49
for this discussion so you can explain
09:51
the way your unique brain works for
09:54
example or how your spine functions or
09:57
perhaps you want to show them the
09:59
technology that you use as a support
10:01
tool that can be really helpful and
10:03
helping understand what your disability
10:05
is and how it impacts you another tool
10:09
that we have used and that we recommend
10:12
is connecting with people through the
10:14
metaphor identifying a metaphor that
10:16
allows people to connect to and
10:18
understand your disability so here's a
10:21
few examples someone who lives with
10:25
disability used the metaphor of managing
10:29
my disabilities like sailing it may look
10:31
like smooth sailing from the outside but
10:34
I'm constantly adjusting the sails to
10:36
ensure that I stay on course someone who
10:40
lives with low vision described it as my
10:42
sight is like if you put both thumbs in
10:44
front of your eyes and try to see around
10:46
them another individual with hearing
10:49
loss describes it as it's like being at
10:52
a rock concert where you can hear the
10:54
voices but you can't make out the words
10:57
and another individual who's dyslexic
10:59
talks about trying to read a story but
11:03
only seeing every other word so those
11:06
are metaphors that are specific to those
11:08
individuals and that really worked for
11:10
them but you seek to find a metaphor
11:13
that really resonated with you and your
11:15
disability and helps describe it in a
11:17
way that others can relate
11:20
and always remember that while it may be
11:23
important for you to share some of the
11:25
limitations that you experience as a
11:27
result of living with this disability
11:28
it's also important to highlight the
11:31
incredibly valuable strengths that you
11:34
have developed because of a life with
11:35
your disability our network members have
11:40
shared with us some of the strengths
11:41
that they have developed as people with
11:45
disabilities and I think we can all
11:47
agree that the strengths that any
11:51
employer would like to have so listed
11:54
here we have some of the top strengths
11:56
that were identified such as being a
11:58
problem solver for people who've lived
12:00
with disability they've often had to
12:02
problem-solve how to make the world
12:04
accessible for themselves for most of
12:06
their lives in many cases they're a
12:08
strategic thinker because they may have
12:10
had to learn differently some cases they
12:13
are incredibly organized because they
12:15
always have to get their work done ahead
12:18
of time in anticipation that they might
12:20
not be able to to deliver and if there's
12:24
a flare-up of course determination and
12:27
resilience are key strengths of many
12:30
people who live with disabilities and
12:32
then we've seen others who've been able
12:33
to take on leadership roles in really
12:36
identifying ways to help others
12:38
understand the disability space
12:44
I also want to share some of the
12:46
specialized skills that you've developed
12:47
these are also skills that we've heard
12:49
from our network members that they've
12:52
developed as a result of living with
12:54
very specific disabilities so in some
12:57
cases we've had people talk about how
12:59
they are really excellent at seeing
13:03
patterns and developing systems that
13:05
others cannot see and that came as a
13:07
result of living with their disability
13:09
others have an innate curiosity and a
13:12
creativity for approaching life or
13:14
learning due to living and learning with
13:17
their disability in the way that they do
13:19
others have talked about heightened
13:22
communication and listening abilities as
13:24
a result of living with certain
13:26
disabilities and of course technology is
13:29
a key factor in helping people
13:32
accommodate for their disability so that
13:36
knowledge and that experience is
13:37
critical to people and to companies to
13:40
bring that perspective so finally once
13:44
you identify these four steps you really
13:46
really want to practice your disclosure
13:48
conversation the more you practice the
13:51
more you'll feel comfortable going into
13:53
that setting so what's important is that
13:55
you feel comfortable with what you're
13:57
conveying and that it feels like more of
13:58
a natural conversation and remember that
14:03
there are many possible accommodations
14:05
out there and we always when we train
14:07
our corporate partners on the employer
14:11
side we recommend that they speak with
14:13
the employee about what is the best
14:16
accommodation for them and what works
14:18
for them because you really know what
14:20
works best for you so keep in mind in
14:22
requesting accommodation that 59% of
14:26
accommodations cost nothing to provide
14:29
and most accommodations tend to cost
14:31
less than $500 so it's really not
14:34
generally a hardship for employers to
14:37
provide these accommodations
14:40
so just to highlight a few
14:42
accommodations that we have heard of
14:45
that work for individuals within our
14:47
network here's a few to take a look at
14:49
some individuals use a smart pen which
14:52
allows them to take notes and be more
14:55
attentive in offices and not miss any
14:57
information other individuals have used
15:01
darkened rooms as a way to accommodate
15:06
for their own low vision or perhaps to
15:09
deal with chronic migraines we've had
15:12
other individuals who find that
15:14
captioned presentations is really
15:15
critical in helping them be a full
15:18
participant in any meeting and also
15:20
captioning through different interview
15:25
settings can be helpful if you're doing
15:27
virtual interview settings others look
15:32
for flexible schedules or an adjusted
15:35
schedule can be very helpful for example
15:37
if you feel extreme drowsiness perhaps
15:40
due the medication in the morning just
15:42
adjusting your schedule by a few hours
15:44
can help be more productive and that's
15:46
something that your company or your
15:48
managers might be able to provide for
15:50
you another simple accommodation is
15:53
headphones - when we're all back in the
15:56
office to be able to prevent distraction
16:00
and really allow you to focus and then
16:03
here we have another self accommodation
16:08
from our good friend dr. Steven Shore
16:10
who is also an autism expert in an
16:12
autistic individual and he considers his
16:16
hat in accommodation because of the
16:19
often the fluorescent lights really
16:21
bother him so he self accommodates with
16:24
a hat and then of course I will
16:29
encourage you all to take all that you
16:31
learned through this ability summit and
16:33
apply it to your future disclosure
16:35
conversations we know that technology
16:38
can really be a game changer for people
16:40
with disabilities and I encourage you to
16:42
explore all the great tools that
16:44
Microsoft has to offer
16:46
and finally at Lund connect the entire
16:50
team looks to be a great resource for
16:53
people with disability
16:54
so we would encourage you to join our
16:56
network and we look forward to
16:59
continuing to work with Microsoft to
17:01
create an accessible world for all Thank
17:05
You Rene that was excellent
17:09
definitely it went through a lot of
17:11
things for me that our top of mind right
17:14
now especially as you know the way that
17:17
we work and collaborate has been
17:20
completely changed over the last few
17:23
months it's important to think through
17:24
how to have these conversations and be
17:27
mindful of the way that we're working
17:28
now and how to best accommodate either
17:32
our team members or ourselves when we
17:34
think about what we need so we will go
17:37
ahead and transition to Q&A so if
17:40
there's anything that came up for you
17:42
please feel free to submit that to us
17:48
all right so question answer time now
17:53
thanks for joining us
17:54
Renee we also have Alyssa from Lyme
17:58
connect on the line to help with some of
18:00
the questions and I would love for her
18:02
to introduce herself as well so we get
18:05
to know her a little bit better before
18:07
we dive in
18:12
hi everyone my name is ELISA Brower
18:15
Severini and I'm the director of
18:17
engagement with mime connect that works
18:18
very closely with our great corporate
18:20
partners like Microsoft and I also
18:22
manage our scholarship programs our
18:25
fellowship applications and I'm so
18:27
excited to join the conversation today
18:30
thanks Alysa we are really excited to
18:34
dive into some of the questions that
18:36
were submitted some of them were covered
18:40
in the presentation a little bit so
18:42
we'll try not to be too / Pettit --iv
18:44
but it does help to have some concrete
18:46
examples of you know what we're talking
18:49
about when we're asking for
18:52
accommodations either as Canada or an
18:55
intern or an existing employee we have
18:58
some information that we can tell you
19:00
specific to Microsoft but then our line
19:02
connect representatives can also help
19:05
with information that applies more
19:08
broadly to other companies as well so
19:11
the first one I will turn over to Rene
19:14
what types of accommodations can I ask
19:17
for when interviewing and virtually
19:19
which I know is a very timely question
19:21
right now yeah that is really timely so
19:26
thanks for that question
19:28
and I think many many interviews will
19:31
start to be moving to a more virtual
19:34
setting so it's important to think about
19:37
what you might need in that setting
19:39
and and what what self accommodation you
19:44
can provide and what you might need to
19:46
ask for from your potential employer the
19:49
person you're interviewing with so first
19:52
it can be helpful to know what the
19:54
structure of the interview it's like if
19:57
it's a if it's going to be a phone
20:00
interview if it's going to use something
20:03
like Microsoft teams if it's going to be
20:05
a video interview all of those things
20:07
can be helpful to to know about in
20:08
advance also to understand how long the
20:12
interview might be and how many people
20:16
you might be meeting with if there's any
20:18
kind of case study or coding challenge
20:20
involved those are all things that are
20:22
important
20:23
find out about ahead of time and then
20:26
depending on your disability knowing
20:28
those things will will indicate what
20:31
type of accommodation you might need to
20:33
ask for so some things that you can
20:36
think about I think I think one
20:37
important thing now with this virtual
20:39
setting is to see if you can test the
20:41
platform in advance make sure that it
20:44
works with whatever technological
20:47
accommodations you might have in place
20:49
if it's a screen reader for example you
20:52
want to test that it's compatible with
20:53
that if it's perhaps you might want to
20:57
use the captioning function and if the
20:59
platform doesn't offer a captioning
21:01
function you may want to see if there's
21:04
an alternative option if captions or
21:06
something that you use this an
21:08
accommodation you also want to know if
21:11
you might need extra time so that's
21:14
where understanding what the structure
21:17
of the interview to where that comes
21:20
into play because if it is a coding
21:23
challenge for example or a case study
21:26
you might extra time might be something
21:29
that you've used in in your university
21:32
or in your personal life so that might
21:35
be something you'd want to request and
21:36
get established ahead of time so those
21:39
are a few of the things I think one key
21:41
is to make sure you're communicating
21:42
with in in the interview setting it
21:46
would really be with the recruiter that
21:47
you're working with a little bit about
21:49
what your disability is and what you
21:51
anticipate you might need in that
21:54
setting and do it in enough advanced
21:57
notice that they can put those
21:59
accommodations in place so those are
22:01
some very general things maybe Lisa if
22:03
you have some examples of what Microsoft
22:06
might provide in terms of accommodations
22:09
thank you yeah and thank you for sharing
22:13
out those other specific examples I
22:15
think that they are really helpful for
22:16
people to contextualise you know what
22:19
they can ask for and what they should
22:20
feel empowered to ask for I think with
22:23
the virtual interviews we open up so
22:26
much capability to be a lot more
22:29
flexible than we have in the past we're
22:31
not thinking about traveling constraints
22:34
or budget concerns around
22:36
how long were able to meet with someone
22:39
I'm so one that came to mind that is
22:42
definitely an option at Microsoft but
22:44
then is something that you should for
22:46
sure feel empowered to ask for other
22:47
companies as well is to have interview
22:50
spread out over multiple days I know in
22:53
the past historically the Microsoft
22:56
interview and a lot of other big tech
22:57
companies to us felt like a marathon
23:00
like maybe five or six in one day
23:02
back-to-back and whether or not you need
23:04
extra time for an interview or maybe a
23:07
30-minute break in between each
23:09
interview or even you know multiple
23:11
interview spread out over multiple days
23:13
that's something that is reasonable to
23:15
ask for and it's something that may not
23:18
always be built into the schedule and
23:20
may not have been built into the
23:22
schedule previously because of travel
23:24
constraints but it's something that you
23:26
should feel like you can ask for again
23:29
you know this open line of communication
23:32
that you have with your recruiter you
23:34
know yourself well and you know what you
23:36
need to feel successful
23:38
so something something simple such as
23:41
informing the interviewer maybe that you
23:43
would like to use video instead of just
23:45
a phone call if that's helpful for you
23:46
or if you are a lip-reader
23:49
and you need to make sure that the
23:51
person you're interviewing with isn't
23:53
backlit and you can clearly see their
23:54
face that's another thing that you could
23:56
ask for but hopefully you feel empowered
24:00
and you're connected to someone within
24:02
the HR function wherever you're
24:04
interviewing so that you can have that
24:06
open dialogue and let them know what you
24:08
prefer and and what is going to help you
24:11
be the most successful and comfortable
24:13
in your interview environment
24:19
so we have another question what
24:23
examples of accommodations can Microsoft
24:25
share for both candidates interns and
24:28
employees I can go ahead and get into
24:32
that a little bit we've talked a lot
24:34
about candidates and kind of the
24:37
examples of what is common for people to
24:40
ask for in the interview setting and I
24:42
will say that you know everything that
24:43
Rene mentioned people should feel free
24:46
to ask for it Microsoft specifically
24:48
I'll also say that every job description
24:51
on our global career site contains a
24:54
link to an accommodation request form so
24:57
that really is there for you to disclose
24:59
as much or as little as you like and ask
25:03
us for what you need to help make your
25:06
experience more inclusive and more
25:08
accessible so if you're having trouble
25:11
input inputting information in your
25:13
application from your resume for example
25:15
you should tell us or if you're
25:18
interested in using a different coding
25:19
platform like Rene mentioned that is
25:22
more accessible for you for your
25:24
interviews that's where you can let us
25:26
know or if you're you know looking at
25:30
that site and it's just not working for
25:32
you and it's not feeling as accessible
25:34
as you want it to be you can let us know
25:36
there that you're having issues too for
25:41
interns we are in completely new
25:43
territory this year with virtual
25:44
internships and so anytime there's
25:47
really rapid change there's also a lot
25:49
of room for growth so if there are any
25:52
intern logged in right now to this call
25:55
we do want to know if you're having any
25:57
access issues so much of what we've done
26:00
in the past for interns is completely
26:02
different this year and we know that our
26:04
intern program is working really hard to
26:05
make sure that everything is accessible
26:07
and that they're being super proactive
26:09
about the activities they're scheduling
26:11
and the different things that they're
26:13
doing for the intern program but we also
26:16
know that mistakes happen and that
26:19
things fall through so if you're
26:21
experiencing any issues we want to know
26:23
about it as soon as possible and you can
26:26
submit that information into D careers
26:28
at Microsoft comm or go through that
26:31
accessibility form on the
26:32
your sight or you can interface directly
26:35
with your recruiter at Microsoft to let
26:38
them know that you're having issues
26:39
whatever you feel most comfortable with
26:41
and then as far as on the job
26:43
accommodations go our interns at
26:45
Microsoft are eligible for all of the
26:47
same support as our full-time employees
26:49
we have a dedicated benefits team that
26:52
helps field those requests so if you
26:55
need something to help do your job more
26:56
effectively you can reach out to
26:58
benefits at Microsoft comm and they'll
27:01
help field your request either if it
27:04
needs to go directly to your manager
27:06
they'll help you with that kind of a
27:08
conversation or if you need some
27:09
technology if there's something else
27:11
going on they'll they'll help you with
27:13
that as well and then some examples for
27:18
that could be as Rene mentioned maybe
27:20
captioning services for those larger
27:22
meetings if that helps you or you could
27:25
also ask for meeting notes or a record
27:28
of specific action items for from
27:31
one-on-ones that you have or you know
27:35
the use of specific adaptive technology
27:37
if that's what you need and the benefits
27:40
team can help you navigate some of that
27:42
if you need help with that and then for
27:46
our internal employees same information
27:50
really applies there you should feel
27:52
empowered to join those employee
27:55
affinity groups or our employee resource
27:57
groups to learn from your peers and kind
28:02
of gather information from people who
28:04
have already done a lot of the things
28:05
that you probably are trying to do
28:07
that's a really great resource for
28:09
information but then also the benefits
28:11
team will will help with more specific
28:14
requests and then you have another
28:16
question Lisa can I just jump in for a
28:20
minute
28:20
sure absolutely okay I just wanted to
28:23
add a few general things general
28:27
accommodations now in this new virtual
28:29
environment which everybody is
28:31
experiencing that and things that we're
28:33
hearing and people are requesting
28:36
because we are so much time we're
28:40
spending so much of our time now in
28:42
front of a screen and that can be really
28:45
exhausting
28:46
it can lead to hearing fatigue it can
28:48
list lead to you know migraines and and
28:53
eyestrain
28:55
some other things that people are asking
28:58
for I'm requesting or just self
29:00
accommodating is some adjusted schedules
29:04
for some people it might be that they
29:05
need to start a little bit later and
29:07
then work a little bit later
29:09
blocks of time that might be screen free
29:13
that maybe they're available by phone or
29:16
some meetings are just by phone to give
29:19
everyone a little break from the screen
29:21
or to be able to walk away and really
29:25
relax all of those muscles that are
29:28
being strained you already mentioned a
29:30
couple of the other ones recordings of
29:32
meetings is it's really being helpful
29:34
and then I just encourage people
29:36
especially as your interns are starting
29:38
to to really set themselves up and
29:41
establish a good work environment that's
29:45
that works well for themselves so making
29:49
sure they're taking breaks but also
29:50
setting up their workspace so that they
29:52
have a comfortable setting for
29:55
themselves
29:55
and another thing can just be trying to
29:59
establish some boundaries when we work
30:01
in the same place where we live it can
30:03
be hard to to end your work Jay so
30:06
thinking about that is important for
30:09
your mental health as well so just like
30:11
to add those few things Thank You Renee
30:14
those are really important
30:16
considerations and I'm glad that you
30:18
brought them up and I think that they
30:19
apply for so many different types of
30:22
people and so many different disability
30:25
segments to be mindful of and especially
30:27
right now with all the stress that we're
30:30
all under I'm wondering as well if
30:31
Alissa has anything or any additional
30:34
perspective to add on this question sure
30:39
yeah I just wanted to echo renamed last
30:42
point because I had requested this just
30:45
recently for ergonomic ly having a
30:48
supportive workspace you may as you may
30:52
be adjusting to your new workspace and
30:55
not really understanding what your work
30:57
schedule is quite yet you start working
30:59
on our
30:59
you may not understand the type of
31:01
strain you may have on your on your neck
31:03
on any parts of your body depending on
31:07
the workspace that you've created so
31:09
just understanding the different organ
31:12
AMA changes that you can make whether
31:14
that's elevating your pc or laptop
31:17
having a remote keyboard and mouse can
31:22
make a world of difference and also as
31:24
someone who has a mental health
31:25
condition sunlight is incredibly
31:28
important to me so even if it's just
31:30
being able to sit near a window taking a
31:33
walk outside you may not be things that
31:35
you'll need for an interview but kind of
31:37
thinking ahead when you're in the
31:38
workplace and starting a regular routine
31:41
those are personally things that have
31:43
helped me thanks for sharing that ELISA
31:48
I am 100% there with you and also with
31:53
Renee and thinking that it is really
31:55
nice also to just turn that video off
31:57
and get outside sometimes for meetings
32:00
and walk around and relieve some of that
32:02
stress and get some exposure and some
32:06
some sunlight we have another question
32:09
here how do I identify the best person
32:13
to whom I should disclose or ask for an
32:16
accommodation and from a Microsoft
32:18
perspective you know the answer to this
32:23
question can vary when it comes to
32:26
needing a specific accommodation I've
32:28
already a little bit touched on the
32:31
benefits team being the best resource to
32:32
help deliver on that but if you're
32:36
finding that it's something
32:38
interpersonal that would help for one of
32:41
your teammates or one of your colleague
32:45
colleagues or your direct manager to
32:48
know about you in order to understand
32:50
the way that you work
32:51
it's absolutely also appropriate to
32:53
disclose directly to them if it's not
32:56
something like a scheduling concern or
32:59
it's not something like meeting an
33:02
interpreter which which would be like a
33:03
benefits team type of a question those
33:08
are probably the best places to start
33:10
but if you're not comfortable disclosing
33:12
and you just
33:13
want to learn more about the community
33:16
and more about the other people who have
33:19
whatever disability you may have as well
33:21
and how they function in the work
33:23
environment I always point people back
33:25
to our employee resource groups to start
33:28
there so that you can find some
33:31
camaraderie and some common ground with
33:33
other people and understand maybe a
33:35
little bit about what their experiences
33:37
were like when they disclosed what kind
33:39
of positive or negative experiences they
33:42
had and kind of best practice sharing
33:45
within the group within the specific
33:47
company culture that you're a part of it
33:50
can be helpful to start there and that
33:51
can also help alleviate some anxiety or
33:54
stress around the decision but we'd love
33:57
to hear more from our lime connect
33:59
partners - on this one
34:03
sure I'll I'll speak first and then
34:06
ELISA if you have any other thoughts you
34:08
can add them in I think I would echo
34:11
exactly what Lisa said for other
34:14
companies as well and I think it really
34:17
you may have a benefits person that
34:20
handles accommodations and I think if
34:23
you're in the workplace and you are
34:25
working within a team and you have a
34:27
manager it can be really important to
34:29
open those lines of communication with
34:31
your manager in some cases you saw some
34:34
of the accommodations we talked about
34:36
both in in the video in during the
34:39
presentation and through the QA and a
34:41
lot of those things managers can can
34:45
decide on their own so those are things
34:48
that you might want to really open up
34:50
that dialogue with your manager and it
34:52
can help them understand how you can be
34:56
more productive in your role which is
34:58
something a manager really wants to be
35:01
able to help you do that's important to
35:04
your effectiveness on the team so trying
35:08
to live in the manager if you feel
35:10
comfortable with that
35:10
and opening those lines of communication
35:12
can be really really valuable and then
35:16
the manager may not know necessarily
35:20
right now right off the bat what they
35:22
need to do or what types of
35:24
accommodations are available so they may
35:26
need to go
35:27
Loup other people in to find out what is
35:29
available but if you're still exploring
35:32
it you have some concerns as Lisa said I
35:35
think a orgies are a great way to to
35:38
kind of test it out get a sense of what
35:41
other people have have requested what
35:44
they've been granted how that
35:46
conversation went just to really have
35:48
sort of a sounding board for for your
35:51
own disclosure conversation can be
35:54
really important and then of course if
35:56
you're in the interviewing stage you'll
35:57
want to find the recruiter that you're
35:59
working with most directly with you try
36:02
and work through what accommodations you
36:03
would need ELISA did I miss anything is
36:06
there anything you want to add yeah
36:10
I would just add if even you're
36:13
uncomfortable reaching out to someone
36:15
within the company that you may be
36:16
working for consider joining the lime
36:19
Network and we have a large community
36:21
over 17,000 members of from the United
36:25
States and Canada who can also be a peer
36:28
resource for you for individuals who may
36:30
have had similar interviews maybe in
36:33
some levels that you are interviewing
36:34
for or just different experiences and
36:37
you want kind of that outside
36:38
perspective that is also available to
36:41
you although like Rene and Lisa said
36:43
yardies are a perfect resource because
36:46
they are again peers of yours as well
36:49
but they also have to know how of that
36:52
specific company's benefits
36:53
procedures and what things have worked
36:55
for them and I would also just say I
36:58
know
36:58
Rene had mentioned this in the
37:00
presentation is just consider when is
37:03
the most comfortable time for you to do
37:05
so and when it's going to make you
37:06
successful because if an accommodation
37:09
can help you thrive in your role it's
37:13
really important to have that to have
37:15
that tool to help you be your best self
37:17
so just think along in the process while
37:21
you're making that decision of whether
37:22
you are going to disclose but that can
37:25
be something that's incredibly helpful
37:27
for your success in your position
37:31
Thank You Alyssa we are coming up on
37:35
time for our session today and I just
37:37
wanted to say thank you so much both to
37:40
Renee and Alyssa from 1connect for
37:43
joining us and really leading this
37:45
discussion on disclosure and
37:47
accommodations it's really relevant
37:50
especially right now when we're all kind
37:53
of figuring out a new way of work to be
37:55
really transparent with ourselves and
37:59
what our limits are and what we need in
38:01
order to feel supported either in the
38:03
interview stage or through an internship
38:06
or through employment I can't emphasize
38:08
that enough we as employers want our
38:12
employees and our colleagues and our
38:16
managers to feel like they have
38:18
everything that they need to do the jobs
38:20
that they've been hired to do and so
38:24
many of these things like Renee
38:26
mentioned are simple and are easy to
38:28
deliver on and make everyone work and
38:32
collaborate better so I'm so glad that
38:35
we have the opportunity to have the
38:36
discussion today and hope that you
38:39
enjoyed it and once the recording is
38:41
available you'll share it so that we can
38:45
all work towards making our work
38:48
environments more inclusive and more
38:50
accessible for people with disabilities
38:52
so I just want to say thank you and
38:55
goodbye thank you