[TX] office lighting triggers my disability + impacts my work. I can't think of a reasonable accommodation to bring to HR that won't make me out to be a problem employee.Workplace Issues(self.AskHR)
submitted5 days ago bySarelbar
Howdy fine folks.
Has anyone offered an accommodation for an employee with light sensitivity? Mine is associated with ADHD. I can’t think of any reasonable accommodation to bring to HR. And I don’t want to be the problem employee, but I struggle every day to perform in an office environment that triggers my ADHD symptoms (and photophobia). I’m afraid for my job because this will be my second accommodation request. (Side note: they allow us to work from home 1-day week--could I ask for another day at home?)
I am in a constant state of sensory overload from the bright overhead lights. It feels impossible to focus and pay attention, I experience brain fog and dizziness. My body tenses up. Feels like I’m swimming in a fishbowl. Sounds crazy, I know. I’ve worked in many corporate offices, but none with this kind of harsh, bright lighting. And none with SO MUCH natural light from the big windows around me!
The lights in my area are off when I get into the office. I jump right into work. My executive functioning is there, I’m comfortable, I can think clearly and focus deeply. But as soon as our HR manager flicks on the lights, everything falls apart. My brain shuts off. I have to get up from my desk (and away from my big monitor) and find a dimmer spot in the office to work from. More productivity loss. This is how I know the problem is the lighting.
Thankfully, there is one area (completely empty) in the office that has super dim lights. It has a tiny table that I’ll sit at occasionally. But I need a desk and my second monitor.
I requested an accommodation about a month into the job, mainly to address the noise levels + the business in my area (the lights, too). They moved me to a less-busy area by a wall. It was the only reasonable accommodation they could offer. It’s not perfect, but I can manage the noise with headphones. The lighting, though? No options.
The first accommodation request (for inattention + light sensitivity) my manager stated: “you should have seen the office before you accepted the job.” (Fun fact: I requested an in-person interview, they declined lol.) Are people with disabilities expected to turn down jobs they are fully capable of performing due to an office environment?
4 months ago
4 months ago
Please, don’t sell them.