Community Forum Archive

Would you consider Epilepsy a Disability?

Fri, 04/16/2010 - 10:35


I am new to this site but have a question that I hope someone can answer for me.  I was diagnosed with an AVM in 1983 when I had my first nocturnal seizure.  Had the AVM removed in 1990 but now have daytime seizures which are controlled somewhat with medication.  My family has been on my case to claim disability with regards to tax time but I have never done so as I felt that I was not considered disabled.  What are your thoughts on this matter?



Re: Would you consider Epilepsy a Disability?

Submitted by 3Hours2Live on Sun, 2010-04-18 - 01:57
Hi Wildflower103, From some Federal Statutory Definitions of the term "disability," with respect to an individual, epilepsy is always a disability, though often denied by Federal Courts through technicalities in satisfying the steps in the definitions. While epilepsy itself is often an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, epilepsy is always intrinsically regarded as such an impairment by other members of society. I make these conclusions from observations in statistical experiments with attempts to obtain gainful employment in 1987 and 1988, and from pursued administrative remedies and legal actions from 1986 to 1996. In one experiment, I quickly discovered the mere use of the word "epilepsy" on any printed/written paper or form would bring employment cosiderations to an abrupt halt in more than 50% of the cases, while the non-use of the word would continue employment considerations in 100% of the cases (my non-Epilepsy resume/papers/forms most always placed me in the top 5%, where the information was available, and always got a positive response over the experiment period). In other experiments (past the initial cases of immediate "epilepsy" rejections), the easily verified untruthful explanations of prospective employers frustrated simple analysis, but evidence gathered in discovery revealed that once knowledge of "epilepsy" was garnered by employers, people labeled with "epilepsy" were placed more than two standard deviations below the mean in ranked degree of abilities. With myself, when my "epilepsy" was unknown, I was in the top 3% in ranked abilities, and when my "epilepsy" became known, I was then placed in the bottom 3% in ranked abilities and disqualified from employment. Federal officials and judges gave me many examples of the intense prejudice the word "epilepsy" kindles. For example, one judge told me that I couldn't have epilepsy, because I had the top score on an employment exam. Another judge told me that I was disqualified for another job because "my epilepsy made me" fail the test, when in fact, I passed the test, with a very good score too (this was held on appeal to be an irrelevant error)!!! Then, when my cases started being assigned to the most experienced judge because of my "technicalities," this judge told me my academic achievements, despite my epilepsy, were disqualifying, because they would make a job through the federal "Outstanding Scholar Program" excessively boring, and, in his opinion, a lack of academic challenge would aggravate my epilepsy. So, possibly even with the finesse of refined humor, prejudiced discrimination makes epilepsy a disability in the gainful activity of earning more than a categorically needy income with legally protected free-marketplace employment. Tadzio

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