Staying productive in the workplace with Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

April 5, 2013 Swedish Blogger

"But you're so young!" is a reaction a many people with multiple sclerosis (MS) may hear when they talk about their diagnosis. There is a common misconception that MS is diagnosed older or appear much more disabled. However, most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40, smack in the prime of her or his life and career.

MS symptoms may affect a person's ability to work and participate in an educational program more or less depending on the course of their disease. Many people wonder if they can keep working or they quit because of their MS limitations, causing financial stress.

There is a place in the workplace for people with MS and there are options to support you. Shaheen Virani is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor at the MS Center at Swedish. A vocational counselor can help people living with MS navigate their employment options, whether it is to continue working, make a career change or apply for disability.

Vocational services at the MS Center are free and can often be coordinated with other appointments on the same day. A counselor can support people with MS in many ways, including:

  • Staying employed. Our vocational counselor focuses on reasonable accommodations at work and serves as an advocate for employment rights.

  • Workplace disclosure, including guidance on how to talk to your employer and how to handle disclosure in the workplace.

  • Finding a job, including job search strategies, writing a resume and interview tips.

  • Changing careers and what to consider before approaching a change.

  • Planning for school, including transition from high school and choosing a college program. Provide information on financial aid and advocate for classroom accommodations.

  • Navigating Disability. A vocational counselor can help you understand disability benefits and how to effectively file a claim for SSDI, short and long-term disability.

  • Volunteer work, for enrichment or enjoyment.

For more information about vocational rehabilitation counseling and Shaheen Virani, visit the MS Center website.

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