Requesting accommodations at work

Thinking about disclosing your arthritis at work?

Only you will be able to make the decision about whether to speak to your employer, but your employer can't help you manage your joint issues if they don't know about them. If you choose to speak with your employer, here are some suggestions for getting prepared for the conversation:

  1. Determine exactly what you want to achieve. Are you just letting them know, or do you have specific asks?

  2. Do background research to establish your credibility and answer any questions they might have.

  3. Develop two to three key messages that you want to get across.

  4. Determine your audience. Is it your boss? Your co-workers? The human resources department? A union representative?

  5. Consider your key messages in relation to your audience's interests and concerns.

  6. Present your solution as a “win” for both of you and show them that they will benefit from the changes by getting the maximum productivity out of you.

  7. Practice what you are going to say ahead of time with a trusted friend, co-worker or family member.

  8. Be persistent and set expectations. While your employer might agree to make changes, things often get lost in the shuffle. You are the only one who can make this a top priority. Establish the time frame in which the changes will happen and check in to remind them what needs to be done.

For more information about how to manage your arthritis at work, visit our Joint Matters at Work online learning module or our other workplace resources.

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