More than half of all households in the United States are headed by single parents, both moms and dads, according to the Child Development Institute. Single parents face many challenges above and beyond those experienced by couples raising kids together. Here are a few of these challenges and ways to manage the emotions associated with each.

Coping with loss of partner/end of relationship

Walking away from a relationship is tough, especially if you’ve been with someone for many years. When kids are involved, it can get emotional fast. You can mitigate some of the negative feelings by first recognizing that it’s okay to feel sad about your divorce or separation; you’re grieving a loss. Know that your feelings may change from anger to sadness to confusion. Think positively and relish in the fact that your life molds into a new normal with each passing day. Make sure your kids know they can rely on you, and keep them far removed from any lingering conflict.  

Assuming additional roles and not having enough time for any of them

As a single mom or dad, you’ll take on many roles you’ve never considered. For instance, you may find yourself taking kids back and forth to school and sports when your partner did that before. One of the best things you can do for your family is to organize your home and life in a way that allows you to complete each new task efficiently and effectively. Make a schedule and stick to it as much as possible. Don’t forget to add some downtime every few days so you and your kids can have some much-needed rest. Don’t freak out when you miss something. Simply move on and adjust your schedule to ensure everyone’s needs get met without sacrificing family time, which is by far the most important and rewarding part of your day.

Helping children adjust to their new living arrangements

Perhaps the most difficult and heart-wrenching aspect of your new life is helping the kids get used to change. Between learning a new schedule and having to adjust to different rules at each parent’s home, kids often suffer the most. Help your children cope by being open and honest about the situation, keeping their age and maturity in mind when you talk. Don’t sugarcoat things, and avoid using phrases such as, “It’s better this way,” which may discourage them from opening up to you. If possible, work with your ex to ensure the kids have a predictable routine at both homes. offers more tips and advice on helping your children deal with their emotions after a divorce.  

Reentering the dating pool

You may not be ready to consider dating now, but your brain is wired for romantic love. ABC News recently published an article that illustrates the reason why. It mostly comes down to the reward system of the brain. Eventually, you’ll have the desire for both sex and love, but dating when you have kids is tough. Before you dive into the dating pool, outline your intentions. Know ahead of time if you’re simply looking for a fun night or want to explore future long-term relationships. This will put you in a better mind frame when meeting new people, and guide you as you make introductions and set boundaries with a potential partner.  

This is just a partial list of potential challenges that most newly single parents must learn to overcome. Your experience will be unique, depending on how much support you receive from family and friends. But remember, even though your responsibilities have doubled, so too have the rewards you’ll reap as your children’s primary care provider. So take a deep breath, hold your head up high, and know that you can do this for yourself and for your kids.

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Exercise and being in tune with your body is essential to your well-being. We often hear of the importance of fitness to our physical and mental health, but the practice of yoga as a component of self-care has benefits that transcend both the body and the mind and create whole-body wellness that fuels personal growth. These benefits do not emanate from a particular pose but from the sustained lifestyle change that yoga and other types of self-care can initiate.

The Challenges of Personal Growth

Life can be filled with everything from obstacles to happiness. Some of us may feel dissatisfied with our place and position in life — and sometimes this realization comes late in life. Personal growth is the ability to identify and act on our need to advance. The need for personal growth skills arises when we are faced with career changes, the prospect of going back to school, and other challenges life throws our way.

Self-care techniques help prepare us to make these decisions. Self-care encourages mindfulness, which can be helpful for many in decision-making. Mindfulness is especially helpful in career decisions because, without self-knowledge, it’s difficult to engage in the type of future planning that career decisions require. Meditation is increasingly being used in business as a way to boost productivity, too. In addition to helping us make better decisions, self-care supports our physical and mental health for life’s challenges.

Yoga as a Self-Care Tool

The power of yoga lies in its nature as a practice rather than an exercise. Yes, there are considerable muscle and fitness components of yoga, and some sessions can have your muscles shaking and body sweating just like the hardest gym workout, but yoga is more about the flow than the poses. The yoga lifestyle is infectious to the rest of our life. The poses encourage self-reflection, which spreads to other activities. We are less likely to overeat, drink to excess, or allow our bodies to be damaged through laziness when we invest time and effort into our yoga practice.

One of the best benefits of yoga is its ability to regulate our stress levels. Most people who practice yoga report considerable reductions in their stress levels. This is likely because, in addition to being a workout, yoga has an underlying philosophy that incorporates compassion, mindfulness, and stress relief. Yoga sessions often being and end with an overt call out to let that day’s stress melt away. When combined with its ability to help us learn about our minds and bodies, yoga holds the key to well-being in the pursuit of personal growth. When taken to heart, yoga provides an outlet to get away from the stresses of the day and refocus on one’s self.

Meditation, Off the Yoga Mat

The benefits of mindfulness are available outside of yoga, too. Meditation requires little more than a quiet area away from distractions. Follow these tips and you can have a sanctuary of your own to help with your mindfulness quest:

  • Find a private space. A separate room is ideal, one with minimal distraction.
  • Make it a pleasant space. Although you want to keep the space quiet, it is also important that the area be nice to look at, so some decoration is helpful.
  • Keep decor simple and inexpensive. If you are planning on renovating your home to create a meditation space, you may be missing the point. A simple uncluttered room or portion of a room is all that is necessary.

Personal growth requires inner knowledge and strength, both of which can be found through yoga and meditation as components of self-care. Mindfulness and peacefulness can help us face life’s challenges confidently and with the ability to make intelligent decisions.

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You’ve heard it put a number of ways—you can’t water from an empty pot. You have to love yourself before loving anyone else. For caregivers, this kind of advice is paramount, and yet pushing yourself beyond limits is the norm. If you’re caring for a senior loved one, feeling drained and overworked is standard. Oftentimes, you’re undertaking caregiving in addition to nurturing your own family, hobbies, work and more.

However, all those words of wisdom are true. If you don’t care for yourself first, you’re in no condition (mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually) to care for another. Professional caregivers are taught to triage their responsibilities so the most pressing issues are addressed first. The same approach can (and should!) be adopted if you’re a caregiver for a loved one.

Caregiving requires incredible selflessness, empathy and compassion—within limits. These are beautiful traits that are partly innate, and partly nurtured throughout life. However, you don’t want to tread into doormat territory.

Here are a few ways to care for yourself first before focusing on another:

  1. Listen to your body. It’s an incredibly subjective and over-used phrase, particularly in yoga classes, but it rings true. If your body is telling you it’s tired, sleep deprived, physically/mentally/emotionally drained, or you seem to be falling ill more than normal, that’s your body’s way of telling you to slow down. (The elections aren’t the only stressor making Americans sick!) Removing some responsibilities or re-working your schedule is likely in order.
  2. Set new boundaries. Particularly if you’re not a “professional caregiver” and you’re taking care of a friend or family member, boundaries can get blurred. You likely have nothing in writing and verbal “agreements” are wobbly at best. Use the excuse of the New Year to talk to your “patient” and agree to terms that include hours per week (with timeframes), who’s responsible for what, and customized details that suit both of you. You might find supplementing with a professional caregiver or nurse is best.
  3. Prioritize reasonable self-care tasks. According to, the majority of caregivers are women (66%) and 65% of older Americans rely exclusively on family and friends for caregiving needs. Women also have a tendency to chronically put others first, sometimes to their own demise. Schedule some self-care tasks weekly (if not daily) to put yourself first. This might be taking a particular fitness class you like, spa treatments, going for a daily walk, or taking the time each morning or afternoon for a screen-free cup of coffee.
  4. Know when a professional is needed. Maybe you’ve been caring for a loved one for a long time, and they have no desire to bring on a professional or move to a care facility. As a friend or family member, it’s your responsibility to do what’s best for the other person—and yourself. It can be tough to see when it’s time to change caregiving responsibilities. Talk to a doctor to discuss needs, goals, and the best next steps.
  5. Practice saying no. You may have heard of elder abuse (which is often financial), but caregivers can also get taken advantage of in these relationships. Practice the art of saying no kindly but firmly. It’s not easy, especially if emotional blackmail is involved. However, it’s a big issue to watch out for when you blend the lines between loved one and caregiver.

Caregiving is perhaps the most selfless of roles, and one that many people find themselves in. It can also be very rewarding, but only if you keep balance in check. Make sure you care for yourself first and establish roles for everyone involved.

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Pain, fatigue, and their attendant symptoms are the enemies of physical activity. People who suffer from chronic pain are apt to avoid exercise or any kind of exertive motion in the belief that such movement would only worsen their condition. Consequently, their response to illness and the lasting presence of physical discomfort is to rest, perhaps unaware that resting for too long will only exacerbate symptoms and make it much more difficult to regain an active physical regimen. Fatigue grows, and even one’s organs, nerves, and muscles are negatively affected. Worrying about pain creates a state of persistent anxiety that only furthers the cycle of pain, whereas brief periods of activity followed by rest is the best way to break the cycle.

People who suffer from chronic pain need exercise, even though it may be only limited activity based on the state of their health and the nature of their condition. Exercise has the effect of reducing the way one perceives pain and increasing their range of motion, though it’s important to take it slow at first and follow doctor’s orders.

Take a walk

A low-impact exercise like walking is just what people with chronic pain need. It’s a form of physical exercise you can derive tremendous benefit from by going at your own pace, one that doesn’t aggravate your pain response but provides a good cardio workout. You can do it just about anywhere, around the neighborhood, at the mall, in a parking lot, or up and down a flight of stairs at work or home. Furthermore, studies have shown that walking can strengthen the immune system, keep your cognitive functioning sharp and, most importantly for people with chronic pain, reduce stress (stress is a primary trigger of the pain response). Walking is especially beneficial for people with lower back and joint pain.


Concentrated breathing and meditative exercises are known to be effective strategies for controlling pain. Breathing, which is central to the practice of yoga, may be more helpful than its physical component when it comes to mitigating pain. Like walking, which is a simple and easy-to-do form of exercise, meditative breathing is something that anyone can do, though the help of a yoga instructor is important in helping one get the most out of the experience. Yoga can be a valuable ally for people in chronic pain, and many can benefit from the discipline of its mind-body connection.

Light weight and resistance training

By setting up a home gym and utilizing equipment like dumbbells, resistance bands, and a yoga mat, you’re well set for getting the exercise you need and minimizing pain. Weight training is known to be an excellent form of exercise for people suffering from arthritis. It strengthens joints and reduces stress. As with any exercise, it’s important not to do too much. Begin by working with 1-ounce to 10-pound weights, unless you experience undue pain from your efforts. If there are no weights handy, try objects like soup cans or a bag with a handful of golf balls.


Fibromyalgia sufferers have long known about the benefits of aerobic exercise. It has the dual effect of alleviating painful symptoms while enhancing motion and cardio-pulmonary functioning. From a pain management standpoint, aerobics activates the brain’s capacity to reduce pain and enhances joint and muscle flexibility.

Exercise is widely known to be an effective way to break the cycle of pain and inactivity for people who suffer from chronic pain and fatigue. Physical activity followed by brief periods of rest are the best way to overcome the debilitating effects of pain. The key is overcoming mental obstacles and the fear of worsening pain and exacerbating one’s condition.

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Carrying excess body fat can lead to a multitude of health issues, especially for seniors. But a slower metabolism and less active lifestyle mean those excess pounds can add up faster than they used to. If you’re looking to lose some weight and get healthier, here are six steps you need to take before you begin.

Schedule a Checkup Before Your First Workout

Before you jump into a new workout or diet routine, it’s a good idea to check in with your doctor. This is a crucial step if you suffer from heart disease or any preexisting conditions. Your doctor can make sure you are healthy enough to start your fitness plan. He or she can also make recommendations for activities you can take part in and those you should avoid, if you have any health issues.

Be Careful When Cleaning Up Your Diet

A healthy diet can have more impact on weight loss than exercise. Just be careful when you start cutting out foods. It’s tempting to eliminate all fat from your diet, but studies show that healthy fats, such as those found in avocados and fish, can actually help you take off more pounds, and keep you healthy. Instead, think about cutting out added sugar and starchy carbohydrates, like juices and white bread. Switch to a natural sweetener and swap out those carbs for fiber-rich options, such as whole-wheat bread. Reducing sugar is a surefire way to reduce your waistline, and it will help lower your risk for diabetes.

Create Comfortable Goals

Our metabolism slows as we get older, so the weight may not come off as fast as it did when you were younger. Set realistic goals for yourself before you begin to prevent frustration later. Most older adults can safely lose one to two pounds per week, but that range can vary. Overdoing it on exercise or restricting your diet won’t lower your weight any faster. In fact, you could cause a serious injury or damage to your health by trying to lose too much weight too fast. Stick to healthy goals and be patient as you settle into your new fitness routine.

Set Up a Safe Workout Space

Getting to the gym is a great way to get your workouts in, but it’s not always the most convenient, especially if you have mobility or time constraints. To keep you on track, think about investing in a few simple pieces of equipment to build up a home gym. Dumbbells and resistance bands are great tools to keep at home that will keep you in shape. Pick up a yoga mat as well to incorporate the benefits of low-impact, stress-reducing yoga stretches. If you need a little guidance at home, you can find plenty of workout tutorials and videos online to take your home workouts to the next level.

Find Some Workout Buddies

Working out with friends can make exercise fun, but having workout buddies can also help you lose more weight. Spending time with friends who have the same health goals in mind will provide the encouragement and support you need to shed pounds. It can also fend off loneliness which can lead to unhealthy habits. Try organizing some group walks around a park or getting into a fun, low-impact aerobics class. Get kids and grandkids in on your fitness routine as well, by going for a family bike ride or walking around at the zoo. Exercising with others is a great way to keep you engaged and focused on your fitness goals.

Take Time to Rest and Recover

Being active and losing weight are beneficial to your health, but it’s also important to take time to revive yourself. Stretch after your workouts and take it easy in between exercise days. If you start to feel uncomfortable or are in pain, stop your workout and take a break. If your discomfort persists, it may be time to seek help.

As we age, it becomes more important than ever to take care of our health. One of the best ways we can do this is to maintain a healthy weight. With these six solutions, you can shed extra pounds without causing additional health problems. Congratulations on taking control of your health!

Healthy relationships can be exciting, satisfying, and a great deal of fun, but when partnerships become rocky, they can cause a lot of issues both mentally and physically. Ending a bad relationship is rarely easy, and there may be sacrifices that need to be made. Despite how difficult this kind of change may be, there are numerous long-term benefits to your health that come once you put a toxic partnership behind you.

Unhealthy relationships spark numerous health issues

A healthy relationship can spark numerous positive changes in one’s health, but unhealthy relationships can cause a lot of issues with your emotional, mental, and physical health. Fox News points out that a problematic relationship can not only generate stress, but one’s immunity can be weakened as well. Bad relationships can also spike your stress levels, cause you to gain weight, have anxiety or sleep problems, and spark issues with depression or alcohol or drug addiction.

Putting an end to an unhealthy relationship may take a great deal of self-discipline, as it can be difficult to walk away from what you have and face the unknown. You may need to make sacrifices in terms of financial security or relationships with others connected to the partnership, and these types of sacrifices are never easy. However, if there are signs that your relationship is damaging your health, you need to face making a change.

Recognize the red flags that point toward a relationship being unhealthy

Healthy Place details that some red flags that point to an unhealthy relationship include feeling controlled, afraid, or inadequate. You may notice a lack of communication or emotional intimacy, secrecy and lying, signs of alcoholism or drug abuse, or issues of insecurity with either you or your partner. Of course, if you experience issues with emotional, psychological, or physical abuse, you need to end the relationship.

Knowing that you need to split with your partner is one thing, but following through and having the self-discipline to stick with it is another. The sacrifices that need to be made may feel overwhelming, but Break the Cycle has some tips for recovering and moving forward. As they point out, it is okay to feel sad about the end of your relationship, but remember the reasons for the split and don’t second guess yourself. Reach out to family and friends who will support you and help you focus on new experiences and try new activities, hobbies, or foods to distract you.

Going forward, focus on positive changes and self-care

It may be tempting to maintain contact with your ex, and Psychology Today notes that many exes do go on to maintain contact to some degree. However, it is important to develop self-discipline to avoid this when the partnership has become toxic. It can be easy to get sucked back into that unhealthy place, but focus on the positives about being out of that problematic partnership and practice some self-care. You will likely start to feel your overall health improve, and that should become a big motivator. You should begin to feel better and less anxious, and you may realize that you are embracing healthier eating and exercising more.

Use this life change as an opportunity for a total restart. Take a mental health trip to clear your mind, escape from the daily grind, and get a fresh perspective. The trip should focus on relaxation, so give yoga, meditation, or exploration a go. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn to surf or try your hand at pottery. This trip is about you, so do what feels right. If you aren’t ready to jet off just yet, minor changes such as a new hobby or finally painting your room the teal blue you’ve always wanted can be the reset button you need.

Healthy relationships can add great joy to your life and enhance your overall health, but unhealthy relationships can seriously damage both your mental and physical health. Know the signs of trouble and when you come to realize that you need to end things, do your best to look beyond the sacrifices that will need to be made, and create a new life for yourself filled with self-care, new activities, and a solid support system. It may take some time, but the health benefits to ending a bad relationship will soon motivate you to keep moving forward.

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PTSD can be caused by many different things, but it often takes a similar toll on relationships no matter who the sufferer is. Because PTSD is caused by trauma or extreme stress, it can lead to trust and communication issues that can break down a relationship; it can create intimacy issues as the sufferer finds they have no interest in being physically close with someone, or it can go the opposite way and the sufferer may feel an intense need to protect his or her loved ones, coming across as demanding or overly assertive.

Whatever caused the trauma, some sufferers find that they cannot stop thinking about the event months or even years afterward and have a hard time talking about their feelings. They may have intense anger or anxiety that causes them to lose sleep or interest in things they once enjoyed, which can lead to a rift in any relationship. Survivors of extreme trauma may push away the people they love because they feel guilty or ashamed, especially those who faced military combat. Having conflicting emotions about the things witnessed or carried out during battle is common in veterans and can also lead to substance abuse. In fact, alcohol abuse is common in veterans.

Drugs and alcohol often play a big role in the destruction of relationships, as it creates trust issues separate from the PTSD and can heighten anger, violence, and problems functioning in school or at work. Substance abuse can increase impulsivity, making it a dangerous combination with PTSD, which already carries the potential for depression and suicidal thoughts. It’s important for PTSD sufferers to seek help for any substance abuse issue right away, separately from any therapy that might address anxiety. Learning healthy ways to cope is essential in repairing and maintaining a good relationship with friends, family, and loved ones.

It may be difficult for spouses, children, or significant others to understand the feelings a PTSD sufferer goes through every day. It might be hard for them to sympathize because they feel like they are being pushed away, or because they don’t believe they can help. Communication is key in any relationship, and this goes double for individuals living with PTSD. It may be helpful to consider attending a therapy session together as well as one-on-one therapy.

It’s important to remember that having a support system is crucial in learning how to cope with PTSD. This includes social interaction as well as personal relationships, so sufferers should attempt to find ways to interact in a comfortable environment. This can include a support group, a book club, or a simple gathering of friends. It’s possible that certain places or people bring up bad memories or feelings of anxiety because they are connected to the event that caused the PTSD, so it’s imperative to consult with a doctor beforehand to find out whether it will be beneficial to treatment; some therapies involve learning to focus the mind and train it to face the bad memories in order to overcome them, but it’s not right for everyone at every stage of PTSD.

PTSD sufferers should always keep in mind that they are not alone, and that there is help available when they are ready to learn to cope.

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Choosing a career path is an important life choice, but sometimes that road changes as we travel it.  So many factors can have an impact on your career and many of them are unavoidable. Hitting a career setback can make or break us, depending on our outlook and drive.  

Some people may not handle this setback well and blame the system, the company, or others.  The ones who can take the setback and turn it around by figuring out how to improve their situation and make themselves better will be the successful.  And out of this trial by fire is sometimes born a new idea.  

Why continue to plug away for someone else when you can start your own small business?  An idea with a passion and drive to succeed behind it can prosper and become something great.  The first few years could be tough, but if you believe in yourself and your idea, you can make it work.

A new business will take time, commitment, energy, and resources.  Before you commit, make sure your business idea is feasible.  Your business idea should cater to a market demand or need.  Make sure to ask yourself honest, tough questions about whether you can market your idea well enough to entice consumers away from possible competitors.

Think about your ability to solve problems and get past hurdles on your own or with limited resources. These skills will be necessary to keep your business alive.  You may not even turn a profit for the first few years, so you need to be prepared financially as well.

Being your own boss can be exhilarating.  Office politics and hierarchy can be a thing of the past, and you can often make your own schedule.  But remember, you will also be responsible for all the little things and menial tasks that you might not have had to worry about before.

Once you have a great idea and get mentally prepared, you can start making a business plan.  Do research to find out what resources you will need to start your specific business.  Make sure you pick a niche that you can focus on to set you apart from other businesses in your market.  Then document your business’ objectives and goals for the short and long term. Write down your strategies for achieving those goals and which resources you will need to use in the process.  

Figure out an appropriate, but clever name for your business that will let people know what you are offering and make you stand out from the crowd.  Your name can be your best marketing tool.

Once you choose a name, you will be able to take care of important business-related paperwork.  Insurance, licensing, and permits will all require your business information once you get it in order.  

You will also be able to set up a website.  A business website is an excellent and necessary tool for all small businesses now.  It will be a great marketing tool, a way for clients to locate you, and an easy way for them to pass your information on to friends.  You can also set up client appointments and list new products or merchandise via your business website. There are several ways you can go about setting up a website- for help, you can go here.

Starting a business will be hard work, but achieving the goal of working for yourself after a career setback will be ultimately rewarding.  Just do not give up!

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One day, I dream of living in a world where women no longer have to ask the painful question, “How do I deal with sexism in the workplace?” From sexism to sexual discrimination to harassment or event assault, many women are unfortunately experiencing some very negative situations at the hands of their male coworkers.

In the real world, those terrible sexual harassment training courses they make you watch when you start a new job are of unfortunately little help. Meanwhile, sexism is more of a gray area; it is even trickier to define, and difficult to pinpoint or to deal with when it happens. Sexism and sexual harassment might be overt (out in the open) or covert (sneakier, more casual and possibly even more harmful).

If this is happening to you right now, you might be wondering what you can do about it. First, know your rights. Research the local laws in your area. Read your employee handbook. Talk to your human resources department, if you have one. It might also be a good idea to seek support outside of your workplace, whether from a trusted friend or relative, counselor, therapist or even a support group.

Next, you can start by speaking up. If it is safe for you to do so, ask the offender why they treated you that way. This makes them own their behavior. Don’t be afraid to report the incident to your local human resources team, if your company has one. Don’t be embarrassed; this is literally part of their job. It’s what the human resources department is there for.

A third (and crucial) step is to find your allies in the workplace. If you work in a supportive work environment, you will be able to find people who will take your side. If there are other women in your workplace, it is especially important to ask them about their experiences. There is a chance you’re not the only person experiencing sexism or sexual harassment. These conversations might be difficult, but they can be very revealing about the company culture.

In an ideal world, our offices are safe spaces where we spend upwards of 40 hours per week surrounded by a team of people that supports our professional advancement, helps us problem solve, trusts us with decision making, places us in positions of power and change, and provides pay equivalent to that of our male counterparts. Unfortunately, this is simply not a perfect world (far from it). Sadly, many women are experiencing sexism in the workplace first hand – yes, even now.

If this story sounds familiar to you, know that you are not alone. There are things you can do to combat sexism in the workplace. Together, we can build a world where women no longer deal with these painful situations at work – or anywhere else.

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If you have a disability but are still able to perform work, there are some things you need to know about your rights. Discrimination against individuals with disabilities is prohibited by the Americans with Disabilities Act, yet every year, many Americans find it difficult to find gainful employment due to their disability, and still more individuals face discrimination when it comes to landing a promotion or even keeping their job.

In order to be protected under the ADA, one must have a disability that severely impacts everyday functions, such as speaking, seeing, hearing, walking, or breathing. The individual also must be qualified to maintain their position in the workplace via education or experience, and while an employer can make the decision to let you go if you are not qualified, they cannot fire you for not being able to perform tasks that are unessential to your job description.

Here are some of the best tips on how to become familiar with your rights and what to ask of your employer.

Know what constitutes discrimination

Discrimination can be any of the following:

  • Citing your disability as the reason for firing, not hiring, not giving you a promotion, changing or withholding benefits, and layoffs.
  • Harassment based on your disability.
  • Asking about your current or previous medical conditions.
  • Allowing the workplace to become or stay physically difficult for you to maneuver in.
  • Refusing reasonable accommodations.

Reasonable accommodations

Many individuals with a disability are unsure of what they can ask from their employer regarding accommodations for their needs. As long as these accommodations make it easier for you to get your job done and don’t create a momentous expense for the employer, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask for these changes. These can include:

  • Working out a schedule that accommodates your needs
  • Providing equipment or software that allows you to do your job, such as a phone with large buttons
  • Adjusting training materials for your needs
  • Providing interpreters
  • Health and disability insurance
  • Job protection

Medical needs

An employer cannot interfere with your medical needs–such as requiring an oxygen tank–and they cannot ask you to have a medical examination prior to gaining employment unless that is a condition that all employees must face. If you do have an exam and it shows without a doubt that you can perform the job with no impairment, the employer cannot deny you the job on the basis of that medical exam.


Many individuals with disabilities are afraid of voicing their concerns for fear of retaliation by their employer. However, you have the ADA on your side. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you feel you’re being discriminated against, because you may be helping someone else who is experiencing the same thing.

What to do

If you believe you have been the victim of discrimination due to your disability, it’s important to keep a log of exactly what was said and done and contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within 180 days. Be thorough and detailed in your notes and, if possible, speak to potential witnesses to see if they would be willing to back you up during an investigation. If the EEOC finds wrongdoing, you could be entitled to backpay, a reinstatement of your job, or payment for your legal fees.

Remember, you have the right to a fair job and a workplace that allows you to do that job in a safe way. If you feel that you have been discriminated against, there are laws in place to protect you and your livelihood. Speak up and make your voice heard; you may be helping someone who can’t use their own voice.

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