I am aware that mental disabilities are a touchy subject. The Irish National Disability Authority has released a guide which states that "intellectually disabled" is a proper term to use.
Someone in my family works for the local government, specifically the warehouse regarding material distribution for office supplies. The local government is very keen on providing job opportunities for people with disabilities, such as blind or deaf people.
My family member works together with a young man in his 20's, who is intellectually disabled. He struggles to understand complex instructions, and often gets lost when doing simple tasks. For example, he could be told to bring a pack of fresh printing paper to the 5th floor, room A512. He would write that down on his phone, take the paper, then leave.
30 minutes later, he is seen standing around on the second floor, watching videos on his phone. When asked what he is doing, he says he doesn't know. When asked where the printing paper is, he says he doesn't know.
My family member and their co-workers have tried the following:
- Constantly supervise their disabled co-worker. This only works to a degree, as most of the tasks don't need to be carried out by multiple people. It would be just as effective, if not more so, to just send one other co-worker to do a job.
- Ignore their disabled co-worker. This seems to be the default most of the time. The obvious downside is that on paper, they have more staff than is actually available to carry out most tasks. This results in more stress for everyone else.
- Bring it up to the supervisor. This was met with "What do you want me to do?" in a very dismissive tone. He does not seem interested in finding a solution for this. Perhaps, in his eyes, as long as the paper ends up where it needs to be, there is no problem.
Is there anything my family member and their co-workers could do?