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I’m soon to be volunteering at a hospital nearby my university for several months and they require volunteers to wear clothing that identifies them in the hospital and I don’t believe any of the articles of clothing are of the colour blue.

I have autism spectrum disorder and a strange obsession with the colour blue and a phobia of other colours, so I would be unable to wear anything that is a colour other than blue or else I will not be able to function. I have a doctor(s) who has verified that my problem is indeed a valid medical problem.

How can I request to be accommodated for this without embarrassing myself or making a bad first impression with the staff there?

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    Be aware that coloured uniforms might be indicative of department or roles within a hospital and blue might carry a meaning that isn’t appropriate to your role. – Snow Jul 18 '18 at 21:01
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    I had never heard of this kind of problem before, and after seeing this question I found this study. – Monica Cellio Jul 19 '18 at 2:01
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    @MonicaCellio Reading that study feels like a big coincidence and is kind of funny due to the weird similarity to me but it describes it well. Thanks for linking that as somebody here before was trying to attack me by saying I was making it up and that it was not a real obsession. – LDR Jul 19 '18 at 5:16
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    Not trying to be rude/funny, but is it possible you could wear some blue-tinted glasses, so that everything looks blue? – Time4Tea Jul 19 '18 at 18:52
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    @Time4Tea I did that before but blue tints do not suppress other colours and also make everything appear greyscale after a long time so it’s not a feasible option but thanks for the suggestion. I learned to desensitize myself to colours in the environment though it’s limited to things not directly related to me or my personal space, which has to be all blue. – LDR Jul 19 '18 at 19:02
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How can I request to be accommodated for this without embarrassing myself or making a bad first impression with the staff there?

  1. First, ask what is the uniform color you will be assigned. If it's blue then problem solved.

  2. If it's not blue, proceed to ask if they wouldn't mind giving you a blue one. If they agree great for you.

  3. If that is not possible, then disclosing this condition (which surely can be backed up medically) and need for blue would be the next move, explaining them what like you did here to us that you require this specific color to properly carry out your job.

I have to warn you, that there may be a chance that having a blue uniform is simply not possible. In that case, you will either have to make an effort to use the color they give you, or well consider other jobs or places where you can wear blue.

  • thanks I'll see how the first options work before the 3rd one. – LDR Jul 18 '18 at 22:45
  • @Eulb please do so. Make sure to have your medic give you a letter or something to back up your claims – DarkCygnus Jul 19 '18 at 1:43
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    which surely can be backed up medically - I'm not sure I can fully emphasize how important this is. If you can't back it up medically, a lot of employers will simply think that you are looking for special treatment/allowances and will refuse to give it to you. Make sure you have the medical documentation on hand (or that you are 100% able to attain it) before making this request to your future employer. Even if you make the request with a promise of submitting documentation later, if you fail to submit it that will look bad on you. – Ertai87 Jul 19 '18 at 14:01
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    I agree with what you say @Ertai87 that is really important so this has any chance of being achieved. – DarkCygnus Jul 19 '18 at 18:56
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In the UK (and generally in the EU, although the exact laws may vary a little) your employer must make "reasonably adaptations" to help you with your condition.

So the question becomes, how reasonable is wearing a blue uniform? The answer will depend on if the hospital uses colour coding for uniforms, or if there is some issue like special protective clothing not being available in blue.

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