Friday, September 24, 2010

Americans With Disabilities Act: AIP

Proposal for "Reasonable Accommodations" at Work

Friday September 24, 2010

Dear Human Resource Representative,

I have been a job-share employee in the Patient Care Management Department, for approximately 6 months now. Emergency Department Patient Care Coordination (Wound Ctr & Out-Pt Recovery Unit coverage as well) is an excellent fit for me. I am a dedicated employee, I love my job, and I feel I do my job well. I have a strong work ethic and hope to have a long career here.
I have Acute Intermittent Porphyria (AIP), a rare genetic metabolic disease affecting my heme synthesis process and causing neuro-toxic episodes. I try very hard to manage my disease well and minimize the potential of acute exacerbation. I do not want to draw attention to myself by asking for “special considerations”, but the reality of the situation is that Porphyria is inborn, incurable and does affect my life.
In a proactive attempt to maximize my career potential with the hospital, I would like to discuss the possibility of outlining some reasonable accommodations that won’t put an undue hardship on the hospital.

1. Modified Leave Package

- I am concerned that with the hospital’s standard unplanned leave/ occurrence policy that I will be reprimanded if my disease activity causes more than 3 occurrences in one year.
- I do my best to come to work as scheduled, but there are times when it is unsafe to do so.
- Can we please discuss possible modifications?

2. Rest area at lunch

– Some days with Porphyria, I am not feeling well, but it is mild and I am certainly able to work. These days mornings are manageable but afternoons can be challenging.
- I have found that if I lay down mid day, in a quiet, darkened place with minimal sensory stimuli, the rest gives me enough energy to get through the afternoon much better.
- Can we please discuss a possible arrangement?

3. Flexible Scheduling

- I am a salaried employee scheduled to work from approximately 8a to 4:30p, due to the needs of the job most days (85%) I do not leave until after 5 or 5:30p. Is it possible to track extra hours worked, so that when my disease occasionally flares I have some “banked” time???

4. Work space environment

- I have light sensitivity related to neuro-sensory sensitivity. I have been told that if I bring in a lamp, it can be inspected for safety and if approved I can use it in my work space in lieu of the overhead florescent lighting.
- Having active AIP causes Multiple Chemical Sensitivities that when exposed to can trigger acute neurological attacks, this includes cleaning chemicals. My work space is already set up ideally. I keep the sliding windows closed when cleaning chemicals are being used in my area.

5. Eat while working in personal workspace

- Carbohydrate intake/maintenance is an essential part of my disease management. I currently pack my food and eat at regular intervals throughout the day, while working in my work space (never in front of patients or during interpersonal interactions.)

Thank you in advance for your professional consideration and confidential discretion. I look forward to collaborating with you to identify reasonable accommodations that don’t put an undue hardship on the hospital.

T. Suzanne Jaynes RN, BSN, ED-CC
Patient Care Management Services

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