Rachel makes some fantastic points in this piece, but what she neglects to realize is how much disabled employees have in common with working family caregivers.

Whether you realize it or not, you are likely interacting with ill or disabled people regularly. According to recent survey data, a high portion of the U.S. workforce reports having a disability (30 percent), even though a much smaller percentage says they’ve self-identified as disabled to their employer (only 3.2 percent). Often, these illnesses and disabilities are impossible for others to observe, so many people choose to keep their conditions a secret from managers and co-workers to avoid discrimination.

[W]hen you’re ill or disabled and working in this field, the long hours can be not just counterproductive but discriminatory.

Many people with chronic illnesses or disabilities simply have fewer hours in the day. We may need more sleep than comparatively healthy people—and yet still wake up feeling awful—as well as have to carefully budget limited energy. Conditions often require frequent doctor visits, blood tests, MRIs, physical therapy, and other appointments, plus there’s dealing with the administrative burden of managing scheduling, billing, and insurance claims, all of which frequently involve errors.

Not everything sits well with me:

certain aspects of the day, like sleep and fitness routines, are not optional for her. “They account for the time I spend meeting my body’s basic needs each and every day so that I can participate in the wider world,” she explained.

I’d love to know, who exactly, sleep and exercise are optional for. Commonly abled people are not machines.

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