Returning to work after sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be a complex process, requiring careful consideration and accommodations to support your transition. These accommodations are meant to address the challenges resulting from this type of injury while allowing you to return to work.
Starting with a reduced workload or part-time hours can help you adapt to the demands of your job without feeling overwhelmed. Your employer might need to temporarily adjust your schedule until you’re able to resume your regular hours. Other possible accommodations include:
Flexibility in scheduling
Fatigue is a common side effect of a TBI, and you might find that you tire more easily than before. Flexible working hours, such as starting later in the day or splitting your work into multiple shorter shifts, could be beneficial.
Depending on the nature of your job and the severity of your TBI, you may need to restructure your role to focus on the most essential tasks. This could involve reallocating or removing non-essential tasks that you find difficult post-injury.
Changes to your work area
Physical changes to your workspace, like better lighting, noise reduction or ergonomic furniture, could improve your comfort and productivity. You may also benefit from having a workspace that’s close to amenities or an exit.
Various tools can help with memory, organization and other cognitive tasks. These might include smartphones, tablets or computer software to help you keep track of tasks, appointments and deadlines.
Your rights to reasonable accommodations are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you believe you are not receiving necessary accommodations, or if you are facing discrimination due to your injury, it’s wise to learn about your options. Seeking legal guidance is generally a good place to start.