I work as a graphic designer and am very fortunate to work for a company that has always been accepting and understanding of me. Here are some ways my workplace accommodates my Autistic and ADHD needs:
- They sat down and discussed with me what accommodations I needed.
- They help me manage my workload and try not to give me projects with tight deadlines.
- When briefing me on new projects, they try to give me as much context and details as possible.
- They let me walk around the office, listen to music, play with stim toys, and look at my phone while working. They also explained to my colleagues that I’m not slacking off when I do these things and that they actually help me focus better.
- During video calls, they’re cool with me typing out what I want to say instead of speaking.
- They allow me to work from home when I’m not feeling well or having period-related issues (e.g. PMDD, severe cramps).
- If I face any issue at work, they listen to my feedback and help me work out the issue.
Besides these accommodations, I’m also lucky to have warm and kind colleagues who always make me feel included. Many of them also know about my website and are very supportive of it!
Before I joined this company, my experiences with working were terrible. Shortly after I graduated, I joined a job training programme for Autistic people. When I told them I wanted to be a graphic designer, they told me to forget about that dream (they weren’t the only ones; growing up, several people told me that I wouldn’t be able to work as a graphic designer because of my disabilities). I also had to put up with lots of ableist and infantilising BS in the programme. They placed me in an office clerk job and I was miserable for the two years I worked there (you can read more about that experience in my manifesto post).
I never thought I’d be able to find an environment as accepting as my current workplace. Especially in Singapore, where neurodivergence is still so greatly misunderstood. In fact, work is the one place where I can be (and be seen as) my most authentic and unmasked self. I’ve never experienced that before in my life.
Very thankful to my company for everything they’ve given me: acceptance, support, and great friends who love me as I am.