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Accommodating people hidden disabilities

In 2008, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act (ADAAA) redefined what it means to be disabled.Today, more people are protected under the ADA and other Federal disability nondiscrimination laws.By Joyce Bender President and CEO of Bender Consulting Services.Image of Joyce Bender I have a great way to quiet a room - start talking about my epilepsy to a group of strangers.Many people do not believe that hidden disabilities are bona fide disabilities needing accommodation.Hidden disabilities can result in functional limitations which substantially limit one or more of the major life activities, just like those which are visible.In cartoons, the "balloon" above the characters tell us what they are really thinking.

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Here are some tips from the experts on how to do that effectively.Drexel University‘s Michel Miller introduced the concept of developing courses for student personas.A common concept within product design and content marketing, personas are tools for selling products intended for a specific type of user.Why are these invisible disabilities considered disabilities?What impact do they have in developing university courses?Kelly Hermann of Empire State College stressed that universal design has become increasingly important at her institution, both for online courses and on-campus courses.While some faculty may be intimidated at first, Kelly urges educators to remember that they do not need to be stifled by these restrictions and that their creativity can still flourish within them.This article is a fact sheet that discusses the importance of reasonable job accommodations for individuals with hidden disabilities.The article provides examples of hidden disabilities such as "learning disabilities, mental illness, epilepsy, cancer, arthritis, mental retardation, traumatic brain injury, AIDS and asthma." Hidden disabilities, while not necessarily noticeable, are addressed in The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as hidden disabilities "can result in functional limitations which substantially limit one or more of the major life activities".I know many people with epilepsy, depression, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis who do not disclose their disability to anyone at work, due to fear of discrimination; they also do not tell any of their friends.I will use epilepsy as the example for all people with hidden disabilities, as we all face the barrier of stigma.

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