Silent Disabilities

Posted on

Last week I came to a realization when meeting the newest staff member here at Knowbility, after hearing about her situations with her current employers. I completely knew where she was coming from and realized that is one of the original reasons i came to work with Knowbility. I’m both Dyslexic and ADD, but I have a different sort of dyslexia that a lot of people don’t understand. I have Graphic Dyslexia, this is where I actually look at equations like 42-2 and instead of counting down from 42 I start from 40 and will add 2 my brain is naturally inclined to think and do the opposite of things.

Even though I can hide and suppress these disabilities from employers but they do come out and have to be addressed. I’ve been at many work places where they classify me as useless or stupid because of my disability. I’m constantly faced with the choice of explaining my disability to start with or saving it for a later time, and risk not being hired do to my dyslexia. Employers worried about me messing up numbers and mishandling money, even though I’ve never been short on any of the registers I’ve ever worked at. They feel that I’m an inconvenience because of my disability, and when talking to our new colleague I was reminded of the situations people like me and her face when getting employed or being employed.  Her most recent employer cut her hours back once she asked for accomodation. I myself have faced the same situation but not only does management see you as an inconvenience but coworkers do too. I have actually been called straight up stupid by a girl I once worked with after accidentally getting an argument of hers mixed up in my head. I had actually understood her argument the opposite of what she was arguing against, and was arguing against her when she agreed with me completely. I felt silly, but this happens a lot with me. It is part of my dyslexia. I’m not stupid nor was I not listening to her, but it was my head playing games with me like punching in a phone # backwards after it being repeated to you, or even trying to spell things out loud.

Its extremely frustrating because before opening my mouth or reading or listening to a person I must think it over a few times before giving an answer, making sure not make a fool of myself. Even though I look fine and talk fine I’m marked with a very debilitating disability in the work world. I’m a high risk employee even though I’m extremely qualified. Me and my new colleague alike both have a very hard time asking for help or explaining why things might’ve gone wrong or come in late or why we must work at home. We don’t want to feel like an inconvenience and risk being fired.

1 thought on “Silent Disabilities”

  1. JMHO, you are a very smart and qualified woman!!! But you bring up a great point. When you have a visible disability, you encounter descrimination, but most times more openly. If your disability is not right out there, you still get discrimination, but perhaps more severely because people don’t know how to handle what they don’t understand or can’t see. It’s tough having any kind of disability, and perhaps the silent nonvisible disabilities are even more of a challenge.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *