Focusing on my abilities, not disability

Previously, I’ve felt like my health needs caused problems and were seen as a disadvantage, and I had to fight for the equipment and adjustments I need.

I have endometriosis, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and back problems, which can cause significant pain and fatigue. On bad mental health days, I struggle to engage with others effectively and need more space. Due to my endometriosis, I had 5 pregnancy losses which led to several complications, and I needed a reduced workload to remain in work. 

How has the support you’ve received impacted your working life?

Maximus does so much more to support disabled colleagues than anywhere I have ever worked before.

I had an Ability First referral where a trained Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant did a holistic assessment of my needs. They ensured that all the appropriate equipment was ordered and made valuable recommendations to my manager on how to further support me. Having my manager on the call really helped, as it meant I didn’t have to describe my health issues more than once 

I also have an accessible way to explain what I need with a Disability and Health Passport, which documents all my health problems and how they affect me. 

My role allows me to work flexibly, so if I’m struggling with pain in the morning, I can switch my schedule to work from 11am to 7pm. If I’m having a “bad” mental health day, I can reduce the number of meetings in my diary and focus on admin or other non-urgent work. I am always supported during unexpected childcare issues and hospital admissions. Work keeps in touch at my pace, and makes sure I know I am missed, making it easier to return to work after time off.

I have felt like my health is just considered as another part of what makes me, me.

How has the support you’ve received impacted your working life?

My manager, Stuart Webster, has been amazing. I don’t think there are words that can describe effectively what a difference he has made to my working life. He mentioned available support before I ever had any significant problems and made sure I could work to the best of ability. I’ve felt like a valued member of the team, even when I have been unable to fully contribute, and found skills I would not have otherwise known about. He has felt confident in supporting me with the adjustments I need, because of Maximus’ values. 

Not only that, but I have been encouraged to get involved with our networking groups, so I can share my experience with all of Maximus and encourage others to reach out for the support they need.

Without the support from Maximus, I do not think I would be able to work, and certainly not full time.

How has the support you’ve received impacted your working life?

Ask for it. And if you don’t get the support, come and work for Maximus, because you will get the support you need here!