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Did Your Newborn Suffer Cerebral
Palsy or Another Brain Injury Before
or During Labor and Delivery?

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Our Birth Brain Injury Resource Guide

the guide

Get a FREE guide of resources available throughout Ohio to children and families of children who were born with brain injuries.

Our guide can help you build a foundation of knowledge and tools that will help you help your child
now and in the future.

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Brain Injury News and Research – Employment

The topic of employment is an important one when brain injuries are considered. A variety of impairments can affect an individual’s job performance.

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. From employing individuals with disabilities to job openings in concussion research and other medical fields, the subject of work has become a hot topic as research has advanced knowledge in many areas. These range from chronic traumatic encephalopathy in football players and neuroplasticity in everyone from newborns to adults.

For an individual with a brain injury, finding a job can seem like an insurmountable hurdle. Discrimination is prohibited by law, specifically the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), which protects job applicants and employees against discrimination. The idea is recognized by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Federal Communications Commission.

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What the ADA Specifies

Individuals must meet the qualifications for the job to be protected. Also, employers are free to choose one person over another considering abilities that qualify them for a position. The idea that reasonable accommodations must be provided to individuals with disabilities has been misconstrued. Many workers don’t need special accommodations, except for slight modifications to the job and work environment for equal access and to allow them to perform essential duties. Also, contrary to common belief, employees with disabilities can be terminated if the reason is unrelated to their physical or mental issues, they don’t meet the job requirements or present risks to workplace health or safety.

However, employers are required to make work areas accessible and be flexible with one’s work schedule. Employers should be open to discussing the needs of the individual and assigning a new position if the person can’t return to their previous one. A temporary arrangement can accommodate the person as they recover, prior to returning to their role before the injury, if possible.

Returning to Work: An Inspiring Goal

An individual who sustained a brain injury at birth may be delighted to find opportunities after years of therapy. Someone who was injured later may be driven during rehabilitation to regain their former abilities and job role. Research into brain trauma has found various aspects that determine a survivor’s ability to work. These include overall health, physical endurance, adjustability, problem-solving ability, and behavioral and social skills.

Self-awareness of one’s limitations, vocational interests, and interest in training are important as well. When one with a brain injury does return to work, the sense of productivity and achievement can improve their self-confidence. Responsibility, social interaction, and financial independence are also contributors. Individuals can also regain some level of structure in their lives.

However, for some, the obstacles imposed by the brain injury and its effects can make it hard to find employment or fulfill the role of a job. Even if the basic abilities are in place, accessibility can be a problem, including transportation, stairs, and long walking distances. Workers and employers are often able to work together to find a solution, regardless of when their brain injury occurred, and that capitalizes on their best capabilities.