As someone who ticks the 'hidden or unseen disability' option on job applications and other forms, how should I go about trying to ensure that I get the support that I need to assist me with my disability in the workplace, and that 'reasonable adjustments' are made to enable me to perform my responsibilities to the best of my ability?
I am a young professional, in my third job- my first was a sandwich placement during my third year of university, so this is my second one since graduating.
My disability is that I have problems with my short-term memory. This has been something I have lived with since having surgery as a young teenager- thankfully, being in education in the UK at the time, there was plenty of support (both general, and targeted specifically to the learning difficulty). With the support of recommendations made by an Occupational Therapist, and the cooperation of my school/ college & university, I successfully completed all of my education right through to degree level.
My experience of the workplace so far, is that although I always declare my disability at interview, and ensure that my manager is aware of it, how it will affect particular aspects of my work, and how they can best assist me to overcome these difficulties- recommendations made by my Occupational Therapist, these recommendations are not always taken on-board, and my performance is impacted negatively as a result. This leads to my manager getting frustrated, and my performance deteriorating as a result of the added pressure- which continues on a downward spiral.
While I am working in the private sector (albeit, working for a military organisation, whose contracts are mainly government funded), and appreciate that the work is a results/ performance driven environment, there seems to have been a reluctance by my line managers in these last two roles I've had to take on-board the recommendations made by my Occupational Therapist. But, the fact is that the recommendations are 'reasonable' adjustments- things like giving me written instructions rather than verbal, so that I have something to refer to, rather than relying on my ability (or inability) to recall information.
The impression I have had is that my managers haven't been willing to take this on-board, as they think it will generate too much work for them, but it would be far less work than them having to talk me through what they want me to do 3 or 4 times before I remember it, rather than just giving it to me in written format...
Although they give the impression that they will be supportive when I first declare my disability, and are to begin with, as time goes by, and they see that my memory doesn't improve over time (new information will always take me longer to process), this support tends to tail off.
I work in the I.T industry- am I best to try and find another job in the public sector, where the work is at a slower pace, or is there something I can do to assist my manager to give me the support I need?
Edit suggested in a comment:
I am taking notes on the verbal information given (and have gone through 3/4 notebooks since being in the role), but the fact is, having it 'dictated' it to me takes a lot longer than them just giving me their written instructions would. I guess the nature of the work doesn't help in this regard though, i.e. working on some existing software that is so large and complex, that my manager doesn't fully understand it himself. He would expect me to be able to go away and research it for myself, but given my unfamiliarity with the system, and my memory being as poor as it is, every day I go back to it as if it's the first time I've seen it, because I can't remember the details of what I had looked at the day before...
Also, then having to organise the notes I take becomes a huge task, as I am taking the notes as the information is given- which is not necessarily in a particularly structured way, so finding the information I want from those notes is not as straightforward as it could be...