Work: Myths and Facts

Work: Myths and Facts

Susan DePompei Mirgon, M.A. and Vincent Licenziato, M.S.
Adults seeking work after a brain injury may encounter negative attitudes and barriers from employers about hiring individuals with disabilities. Getting hired and negotiating accommodations on the job can seem overwhelming. This tip card frankly sorts out myths from facts about the ability of persons with disabilities, including traumatic brain injury, to work and be productive employees.
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Full Description

This tip card on working after a brain injury describes how the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to hiring, working with or firing a person with a disability. It addresses both cognitive and physical impairments in relation to job performance. Tips are given on when and how the applicant should talk about a disability and negotiate accommodations in an interview. It addresses how to discuss accommodations on the job for a visible physical disability or a less visible cognitive impairment.

Pages 8

2007, second edition


Susan DePompei Mirgon, M.A.

Ms Mirgon has a MA in community counseling from The University of Akron. She worked for the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission as a Career Counselor, and worked for a private rehabilitation company as a Job Trainer.

Vincent Licenziato, M.S.

Mr. Licenziato is located at the Boston City Hospital. He specializes in training cultural diversity and disability awareness and accomodations in the workplace and community.


This tip card helps persons with disabilities, families, vocational counselors and employers talk about...

  • getting a job
  • recognizing abilities
  • negotiating job accommodations

Can this person really do the job? ...

Myth... People with disabilities are not employable.

Myth... It is against the law for an employer to discuss and ask questions about a person’s disability.

Myth... An employer must hire an individual with a disability if they are qualified to do the job.

Myth... Once an employee with a disability is hired, there is no one to help.

Myth... People with disabilities work and behave the same way.

Myth... If an individual with a disability is hired, the employer must fully modify the work environment.

Myth... Co-workers have to change their jobs to accommodate the work needs of a person with a disability.

Myth... Employers must accept a lower quality of work because of the employee’s disability.

Myth... Once an individual with a disability is hired, the employer cannot fire this person.

The Bottom Line ...

Resources ...


Sample excerpt. Preview only – please do not copy.

Can this person really do the job? ...

The following myths and facts give information to correct common misunderstandings about the abilities and employment potential of individuals with disabilities. With this information, the biggest barrier to employment -attitude- can be changed.

Myth... People with disabilities are not employable.

Fact... The majority of people with disabilities have abilities that make them employable.

Individuals with disabilities are just that - individuals with a variety of experiences, qualities, skills, and education. Stereotypes about people with disabilities portray them as being dependent. The truth is that many people, even those with severe disabilities, can be quite independent and are very employable. Many individuals with disabilities are able to work with the same amount of supervision as anyone else.

Myth...An employer must hire an individual with a disability if the person is qualified to do the job.

Fact...An employer does not have to give preference to an applicant with a disability over other applicants, but must give equal consideration to the applicant with a disability.

The decision to hire someone is based upon who can perform the essential functions of the job with or without a reasonable accommodation. The decision must be based on factors unrelated to the disability: skill, experience and education.

If two applicants are equally qualified, and one has a disability, the ADA does not say that the job has to go to the applicant with the disability. However, the ADA does state that an employer can not deny employment to someone solely based upon that person’s disability.

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