Getting a Job
Today people with epilepsy are working at hundreds of different kinds of jobs from one end of the country to the other. Many of these people have excellent seizure control, but not all of them do. Having occasional (or even fairly frequent) seizures may make your job hunt more difficult, but not impossible.
In fact, there are certain things you can do to increase your chances of getting a job. If you are just entering the job market, decide what sort of job you want and take a long look at the qualifications you'll need to reach that goal. The better qualified you are, the better your chances of success.
If your seizure control is not yet good enough for you to get a driver's license, avoid occupations that would require you to drive as part of the job, or that would place you in hazardous situations. Think about jobs that allow you to work at home, at your own pace. Keep in mind that the growth of the Internet economy has created many non-traditional job opportunities for people with computer skills.
If your seizure control is completely reliable, almost all jobs should be open to you. In fact, the only thing you may want to do that other job applicants don't is to learn how to talk comfortably about epilepsy with other people so that, if you discuss your epilepsy with an employer, you can explain how much or how little impact it has on your ability to perform your job well.
Job Hunting Resources
In many communities, the local Epilepsy Foundation offers programs that help people with epilepsy to find jobs. Find your local Epilepsy Foundation office.
- Talking with other people who are looking for a job or have found a job
- Finding a local One-Stop Career Center office near you
- Finding a Vocational Rehabilitation Services office near you
Permissable Medical Exams and Inquiries
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed by Congress and signed into law on July 26, 1990. The ADA grants civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those granted to women and minorities. The Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of an individual's disability in employment, by state and local governments and their instrumentalities, by public accommodations, in public and private transportation and in communications. The ADA grants all individuals with disabilities uniform protections regardless of which state they live in. Find out more here: (link to full page)
If you feel you have been unfairly treated by a prospective employer and you want to challenge it, check with a lawyer. You can also get further information on epilepsy and legal rights from the Epilepsy Foundation. (link to legal defense fund)