438

Full disclosure: I am autistic (Asperger's syndrome) and I have fought hard not to be the guy you are describing. BE BLUNT, BE DIRECT, BE FACTUAL, STAY ON POINT We have a great deal of difficulty understanding why something that is true (or something we see as true) would cause offense, so trying to make a "how would you feel if..." style argument would ...


310

It need not have a significant impact. Many programmers work with medical issues ranging from quadriplegia, to blindness, to carpal tunnel syndrome. Some programmers have long and productive careers without ever learning to touch type. I personally have found that being able to touch-type reasonably quickly does help my productivity, but after working for 35 ...


169

Let me start by stating that I understand the difficulties you face. While not profoundly deaf, I am legally deaf -- just over the threshold. When I first graduated college I had a lot of concerns about how I could be hired. The first thing I noticed is that almost the entirety of companies that reached out to me about resumes I filled out made initial ...


163

Question: am I supposed to reply to urgent work emails even if I am not fit for work? No. You decided you weren't fit enough mentally to be working, and your doctor and HR agreed to put you on leave so that you could not work, and so that you could spend your time recovering. So stop working and recover. Stop checking emails. Doing anything else risks ...


127

You should talk to your manager or HR contact to make sure that they understand your situation. In many cases, if you are in good standing and a valuable (potential) employee, they will work with you on accommodations for this. I do disagree with one of your claims though, and it is important that you represent yourself accurately. None of this affects ...


125

Of course the company can fire her and from the sound of it should fire her. However, the lawyers might need to get involved in how to correctly document the performance problems in order to make the firing stick. The problem in the prior court case is almost certainly that the poor performance was not addressed or correctly documented or that others were ...


123

I am a web developer, and I lack the use of both hands and wrists due to quadriplegia. You need not fear that losing the use of a hand excludes you from the programming field. As you say, there is much more to programming than typing speed. I type at a sad maximum of 20 WPM, yet I still am considered a competent developer. However, there are difficulties ...


89

am I supposed to reply to urgent work emails even if I am not fit for work? If you are on sick leave, you are not supposed to check emails. You are on sick leave, not on standby. As you are not checking emails, you cannot reply, no matter how "urgent" it may be.


62

I'm autistic, and by coincidence our workplace autism support group recently discussed this kind of issue. As a generalisation, autistic people are often prone to accidental rudeness, because we don't understand norms and have difficulty anticipating how our actions might affect others. But we aren't intentionally rude, and when we learn that some specific ...


55

I used to work with a developer who was missing most of his right hand. He had some of his index finger, and a thumb, both very small and weak compared to his good hand, and no other fingers on that hand. This had no obvious effect on his programming ability, and he was regarded as quite talented. He did not try to type with that hand at all. He could move a ...


44

Since you've already noticed that phone screens don't go well when the interviewer isn't forewarned, you have little to lose by telling them. I recommend working on a sentence to include in the email when you agree to the screen. Something like: I have an occasional stutter, which worsens if I talk fast or am in an overlapping/interrupting conversation. I'...


41

I would stretch the introduction over several days. I recently experienced an exciting first day at a new workplace and was introduced to approximately 50 co-workers. I was so overwhelmed that I forgot each and every name by the end of the day. On the first day, introduce the new employee to everyone, but don't get into any details. After the great ...


40

As they say in the Military, "Never lie, but never volunteer information that you were not asked for." This is my opinion based on my 35 years in the workforce, 25 of which has been in technology. Your dyslexia is irrelevant if you can perform your job well. Your ability to perform your job has to do with what results you can produce. Whether or not you ...


38

You should see these interviews and the outcome as experience you have gained. You have learned that your skills were highly regarded. You have learned that you did well in the interviews. This should strengthen your self-confidence for future job applications. Unfortunately it is not all about skills and contents of communication. People are consciously ...


36

If the employee was not autistic, you could point out facts and lead them to the conclusion you want: When all those people read that it was Mark who caused the problems, that lowered Mark's reputation with them. This causes Mark pain and it can cause our whole team pain if the customer starts to think we have people on the team who don't know what they ...


31

You need to be preemptive and tell interviewers from the outset that you have Asperger's and educate them as to what Asperger's does to your voice. If you are expecting them to guess that you have Asperger's and to implicitly know what Asperger's does to your voice, then you are expecting a bit much. If you don't tell, they won't know - Worse, they won't ...


29

I work in the US. I have to develop some software with a disabled coworker (self declared, has disability parking card etc). If your coworker has a placard, he's not self-declared. It is absolutely clear that he uses medication which makes him groggy or sleepy or confused at work most of the time. Again, if he's taking medication, he is not self-...


28

My employer (large international company; I'm in the US) recently asked me to file a formal request for accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This didn't thrill me, but I felt better about it once I got a look at the forms. Here's what they needed to know, as reflected in their paperwork: What activities are affected. What I need ...


28

Full disclosure: I have multiple handicaps, including one mentioned in your question, I'm profoundly deaf in my left ear. I understand your quandary. Ironically, the efforts to make more inclusive environments have made people more awkward, not less, in addressing handicaps. The best way to make introductions and provide information is to just do it ...


28

I'm a software engineer too. I broke my right humerus a couple of years ago and the inflammation ended up pinching off nerves and leaving my whole right arm a useless floppy noodle for months. I ended up using a software version of the Half Qwerty keyboard. I broke my right arm, so I would put my left hand in the usual spot on the left side of the keyboard....


27

Most of the other answers advise disclosing your condition at the beginning of the interview. I disagree with that advice. I'm writing from the perspective of having been a hiring manager (though I am not presently) and having had oodles of mandatory corporate anti-discrimination training in the US. (I also have a disability that requires some ...


27

There's no polite way to ask a company if they intend to hire someone other than you - before, after, or during an interview. It is unlikely they will give you the answer if they can help it, and even if they can confirm that they have internal candidates, that does not guarantee they will be hiring internally, especially if you impress them during your ...


27

Let's look at the facts. You had an unfortunate experience with a previous employer, but this doesn't mean it's likely to happen again. You are living and working in the USA; which enforces anti-discrimination laws, and is just over 70% white. American companies are overwhelmingly run by whites. In 2016 just 17.5% of US businesses were minority owned. ...


26

Most importantly, make sure that your team member knows that his having to deal with mental illness changes nothing for you and for his employment. It is really important that he feels he is safe and accepted. Coming to talk to you about this would have been very, very difficult. You also need to be very aware of not disclosing his condition to anyone ...


26

There are 2 causes for this employees behavior: Medication Motivation I once worked with someone on medication for schizophrenia. The person explained to us (the whole team) that the meds make them drowsy, make it hard for them to concentrate for more than 20 minutes and that they have to sleep during work hours. You cannot do anything against that. Never ...


26

Someone I know works in a multi-storey building, and their evacuation plan for those who cannot safely evacuate themselves (e.g. wheelchair users, people with broken legs in casts, etc. who become stranded when the fire safety systems lock out the lifts) is to have the fire wardens escort them to special areas of the building called refuges. They are ...


24

I think the biggest thing I have seen people working from home get into trouble with is not answering emails, IMs and phone calls. You may think you are concentrating, but the people in the office will assume you are not working. Further when they are stuck waiting on an answer, they can't go to you in person and get it, so you have to at least twice as ...


24

One possibility, already well described and plausibly The Way Things Should Be (ie. rigorously following and documenting procedure) certainly will shore up your argument better if/when you opt for another firing. It's possible "telling her like it is" could prompt a turnaround - you'll have to decide for yourself, honestly, how likely that is given her ...


23

This will depend on local and company customs (and any laws/regulations where applicable). In my opinion: No, do not answer (most) mails. Answering mails (or communicating in general) is work. You are officially unfit to work, so you don't. To address your points: I am sick and all my projects are blocked. These projects all affect the entire company,...


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