Thursday, October 31, 2013

Disabilities and the Workplace

To tell or not to tell? This is an important question that Glenn Young focuses on in an article about disabilities and the workplace for the website, Learning Disabilities Association of America. Indeed, the decision to disclose or to remain silent is a quandary that many workers with disabilities face. People with learning or neurological disabilities may fear that divulging such information may alienate them from peers or cause skepticism. An even worse possibility is the chance that they may be barred from opportunities because of misconceptions and the apprehension daily tasks may not be met. Whereas people with learning and neurological abilities may have the luxury to hide their disabilities to some extent, workers with physical impairments worry about automatic exclusion during the entry process in seeking employment. In spite of these fears, it is not impossible for people with disabilities to establish themselves in the workplace. Not only can individuals with disabilities become successful, but there are employers and coworkers willing to do whatever possible to understand and accommodate the needs of employees restricted by physical and neurological frailties. For those of you concerned with disclosure and disabilities should consider these six questions in the following passages.

Who do you talk to when it comes to addressing your disability? Do you tell your boss? Is it necessary to talk to your coworkers as well? Are there other people or entities that you should also inform about a disability? These questions are very important when it comes to the ‘who’ part of disclosure. There will be some cases where informing your employer is imperative. If a disability affects your work performance, the best thing to do is to disclose. In notifying your employer about how a disability may affect your ability to work, occupational training can be tailored to either capitalize on strengths and/or can curtail limitations. Additionally, telling your employer can mean being provided with accommodations needed to ensure success as well as a comfortable work environment. Coworkers may also need to be informed in order to establish proper etiquette as well as a balanced workplace relationship where both abled and disabled workers are socially and occupationally equal. Not disclosing a- disability means a host of problems from a lack of support to running the risk of being fired for poor work performance.

 I chose to put ‘when and where’ together because both inquiries are closely related. Choosing when and where to disclose a physical or neurological frailty can be challenging decisions to make and in some cases may determine whether or not you get the job. In determining when and where to disclose adisability, here are some things to consider. One question that may come to mind is whether or not a potential employee should mention their disability in their resume or cover letter. Although you have the right to choose to or not to disclose, you can mention your disability within job entry paper work like resumes, cover letters and curriculum vitae. In addressing your disability, discuss them in a positive light and how you were either able to overcome obstacles or develop unique strengths that can become an asset. Medical sections within job applications may provide you with another opportunity to give information on your disability.

A second question concerning when and where to disclose can be connected with the interview process. A face to face interview can be an excellent opportunity for you to elaborate further on the assets and positive aspects of a disability. A discussion between employer and potential employee may also help in planning and sorting out the practical needs relevant to the occupation.  If a physical disability, however, may affect the interview process, it is strongly encouraged to inform a recruiter or employer ahead of time in order to make arrangements. Disclosure on the job is also necessary especially if a disability is developed from injuries. In making all of the preparations involved with the when and where to disclose disabilities can help to safeguard a position at the workplace.

What details or aspects of a disability should be disclosed? As previously mentioned, an employee with special needs should promote their disability in a way that is positive. Though focusing on the positive aspects of an employee’s disability is a great way to garner the interest of an employer, limitations that come with the disability should not be ignored. With regards to weaknesses, it is important to discuss the hindrances that may occur in relation to a disability and performance. Discussing the relevant details of a disability and how it may obstruct certain facets of your work can help employers and coworkers make preparations. Outlining the specifics of your strengths and weaknesses of a disability can be useful in providing the appropriate accommodations and training needed to effectively execute undertakings required of your occupation.

How you disclose a disability can be important when it comes to what is disclosed.  In making the decision to discuss your disability with employers and coworkers it helps to be straightforward. Especially with coworkers, being forthright about your disability and about can help colleagues to have a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses. Telling your fellow workers about a disability can also help to establish a support system and social etiquette that can create a comfortable work environment for both you and your coworkers. Just as it is important to be straightforward with coworkers, it is equally important to explain the intricacies of your disabilities to employers and people in charge of implementing vocational training. More than likely, managers may not be familiar with the disability and how to make modifications within the realm of their field. Taking this into account, it is important for workers with disabilities to be prepared to not only explain the specifics of their disability, but make possible suggestions to ensure an optimum performance of projects and daily tasks.

 Individuals with disabilities have a choice of whether or not to disclose their disorder or impairment to fellow coworkers or even employers. Many may feel reluctant in divulging this information, however, in fear that they may lose opportunities of entering a job or gaining a promotion. Social and occupational discrimination may also be a reason why workers with disabilities do not address their handicaps.  Regardless of the reasons for not informing others, the importance of disclosing a disability is not only beneficial, but necessary.

 One reason it is important to inform employers and coworkers about a disability deals with vocational performance. To tell an employer about disability in detail with daily tasks or projects means that you will not be penalized for completing a task at a slower pace. Additionally, employers can make provisions to ensure a successful performance and to minimize the difficulty of work related responsibilities. To create a comfortable work environment is another reason to inform colleagues of a disabilities. Especially for workers with physical limitations, employers informed of hindrance with movements can take the necessary steps to create an occupational space in which the physically disabled can easily maneuver through. Moreover, coworkers can help to create a social environment within the workplace that welcomes difference as well as encourages a supportive and positive relationship among fellow employees. Lastly, individuals with disabilities are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Notifying employers and going through the necessary procedures to have disabilities in company records may guarantee financial security and safe guard against discrimination.  

Questions may not necessarily lead you to straightforward answers, especially when it comes to the matter of disability and the workplace. Still, taking the questions mentioned above into consideration is very important. Hopefully, these questions can help you develop detailed self-portrait of yourself as a worker that can be an asset to employers. Using these questions as a self-evaluation as a disabled worker sends a message to employers that  you are a considerate employee that takes extra initiative  for the betterment of their establishment. The links below provide more helpful information and details on disclosing information about a disability to an employer.


1. LDA to Tell or Not to Tell

2. Declaring a Disability

3. Disclosing Your Disability to Employers

4. Who Do You Tell About Your Disability?

5. Disclosure on the Job

6. Physical Disabilities in the Workplace (Physical Disabilities)

7. Disability in the Workplace: The Same but Different?

8. Disclosing Your Disability at Work

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Guest Post - National Breast Cancer Awareness Month by Dixie Suarez

May I have your attention please? October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast health education and awareness is a yearlong effort, but let’s take this time to review some of the specifics on this issue.

What is Breast Cancer?

A disease in which cancerous cells develop in the tissues found in the breast. Breast cancer initiates in the cells of the breast which can later metastasize to other parts of the body. Early detection and treatment of breast cancer is important in increasing the chances of survival.

Signs and Symptoms

•    Nipple tenderness
•    A change in the skin texture of the breast
•    A lump in the breast
•    Dimpling in breast area
•    Nipple discharge that is bloody or clear

If you have some of these signs and symptoms it does not mean you have breast cancer. However, it is still important to discuss the signs and symptoms with your physician to determine a diagnosis and proper treatment. Anything out of the ordinary in your breasts is important. Do not be afraid to speak up about your breasts during a doctor’s appointment!

Risk Factors

There are several risk factors that are linked with breast cancer. Environmental and daily life risk factors include a poor diet, limited physical activity, being overweight or obese, consuming alcohol, having radiation to the chest region, and combined hormone replacement therapy.

Male Breast Cancer 

Approximately less than one percent of all breast cancer develops in males. There is a higher mortality from breast cancer in men due to a lack of awareness and a delay in medical treatment.

Quick Facts

•    1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifespan
•    Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women
•    Each year more than 40,000 women will die from breast cancer
•    An estimated 410 men will die from breast cancer each year


Women are not the only ones that can develop breast cancer. Any unusual signs and symptoms should be discussed with your physician. The earlier breast cancer is detected the higher the chances of making a full recovery. There are environmental risk factors that can be modified with lifestyle changes that include more exercise and a well-balanced diet.

Finally let’s empower people in our lives with this information. Create awareness about breast health in your own families, among your friends, and in your own community. If someone you know is apprehensive at the thought of getting a breast exam accompany your friend or family member to get a mammogram. Be the support they need to stay healthy.

Remember it is just as important that we do not forget to ask ourselves:

Have I examined my breasts lately?

Dixie Suarez is a Health Studies master's student at Texas Woman's University.


14 Inspiring Breast Cancer Quotes


National Breast Cancer Foundation. (n.d.) Breast cancer facts. Retrieved from

National Breast Cancer Foundation. (n.d.). Male breast cancer. Retrieved from

National Breast Cancer Foundation. (n.d.). Risk factors. Retrieved from

National Breast Cancer Foundation. (n.d.). Symptoms and signs. Retrieved from

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Career Search Web Resources

Education is essential. With education we are getting a glimpse of what our fields entail.
From our academic tasks and course seminars we are building a foundation of knowledge of the careers we wish to take part in. Education means gaining knowledge and building credentials and is a crucial in meeting vocational goals. Still, when it comes to establishing oneself in the workforce, earning a degree is only one step in the right direction. Many people, especially students, find that searching for a career and making preparations outside of academia are quests within themselves. When encountered with this reality, several questions come to mind. What are the necessary steps that I need to take to start preparing for a career? When and where should I start looking?  Who can I ask for advice the job search and gaining vocational experience? Thanks to the technology of the Digital Age, namely the Internet, we have access to several career-oriented sources. Regardless of the treasure trove of sources, being inundated with information can still make the job search overwhelming. To tackle the issue of wading through the Internet for career sources, a list below gives a brief review of websites that can serve as starting points.

  • Big Interview- Interactive website designed to help you with interviews. Some features of the website include learning modules that address commonly asked questions within interviews and provide information on the most effective way to gain opportunities for interviews. A practical feature of the website is the audio and visual recording of your performance as you engage in interview questions. This feature of the website is perhaps the most useful in that it allows you not only to practice interviews, but to analyze your performance for improvement. Although there is a cost to register as a user of Big Interview, the website is sure to provide those on the job hunt with the skills and confidence needed to make a great impression for potential employers. 
Web Link:
  • As freelance consultant and site founder Scott Boyd states, the website has “information and lots of it” (, 2013). Jobseekers Advice is an online forum for people on the job hunt. For frequently asked questions about cover letters, resumes and interviews, the website contains articles that provide the answers.  Knowledge of the workplace doesn’t stop at gaining entry into the job, but extends to matters such as job promotion and social etiquette amongst bosses and fellow colleagues. In addition to articles, Jobseekers Advice offer guidance through blog posts which also makes a good online podium for career seekers and professional recruiters alike. Granted that the website’s founder warns that the forum is not recruiting agency or a business designed to find careers, Jobseekers Advice is an online source for free advice that can point its visitors in the right direction.
Web Link:


  • Eddins Counseling Group- The mission of the Eddins Counseling website centers on both the personal and vocational wellbeing of its users. Just as the site offers assistance to improve mental health, it is also dedicated to providing career counseling services. Along with blog posts, website gives links to resources designed to help job seekers search and prepare for their chosen vocation. For web browsers who are looking for more than links to help them on their job search, appointments can be made either online or by phone to schedule a meeting with certified career counselors stationed in Houston, Texas.

Web Link:

  • Dr. Janet Scarborough Civitelli is a vocational psychologist and career coach. Through the Vocation Village website, she shares her insight on finding a career and achieves both professional and personal success. For those starting out in their search for a career, Dr. Civitelli gives advice concerning education and work experience. Even veterans of the workplace and individuals holding executive positions can benefit from the career coach’s consultation about strategies that can help them reach career goals. In addition to receiving online counseling through the Vocation Village page, Dr. Civitelli welcomes all visitors of the website to ask for guidance by phone as well.

Web Link:

  • The weLEAD- Want to be a better supervisor? Are you interested in building the foundations to take on any leadership role? If so, the weLEAD might be the right place for job seekers who are willing to take charge and motivate. The website is all about honing the skills necessary to the courier of positive leadership. Discussion forums and articles are available for those who wish to share their inquiries about leadership as well as to gain knowledge from professionals experienced in management. Additionally, the website provides information for seminars and workshops schedules for those who are interested in interacting with leaders, including the website founder, face to face. Though there might be varying costs to the seminars and workshops, the weLEAD website may be a source well worth the time of prospective leaders.

Web Link:

The Internet can be a convenient resource for people on the lookout for jobs. At the same time, one can become flustered sifting through endless links, trying to pick out the trustworthy from the unreliable. In spite of the overwhelming task of career searching through the Internet, the journey to find and prepare for a profession is not impossible. Hopefully, the brief review of the five websites listed above can ensure a successful beginning to finding your place in the workforce. 

What Internet sites have you found to be helpful in your job search and why? We'd love to hear from you!

You might also enjoy:

Guest Post - Turn Your Interview Into an Offer
Career Tips: Keep Your Head out of the Sand!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Learning Styles and Study Tips

Have you ever felt like you have been studying for hundreds of hours and the information will not stick to your memory? Of course this leads to frustration and you ask yourself, “What am I doing wrong!?” Maybe it is because you do not know how to study for your type of learning style.

There are three learning styles: visual, auditory and kinesthetic.

Those that are visual learners use charts, pictures and graphs to understand information. This type of learner is able to recall information when they see it such as reading a text or watching a lecture. They are also good at reading body language and have a good perception of aesthetics.

Auditory learners retain information by hearing it. Sometimes auditory learners do better hearing the content and then verbally repeating the information to themselves to help with memorization. Some auditory learners learn better when there is soft music playing in the background.

Then there are kinesthetic learners who need the hands-on approach to learn material. This type of learner is usually better at math and science and would rather demonstrate how to do something rather than explain it. Most kinesthetic learners prefer group work.

If you do not know your learning style, then just take this simple learning style inventory to help you.

Now, here are some tips to help you study for each learning style. Some of you might be a mixture of two or even all three learning styles. Try out different ways to study to find which works best for you.


Make lists and make sure to put them in places that you will see several times a day. That way you can quiz yourself during the day.
Draw a picture of the information you want to learn.
Write down the information in your own words.
Underline and highlight your notes.
Read the text before class so you can visually connect with the information.


Use a recorder to document your notes instead of writing notes. This way you can play it back while riding in the car, jogging or washing dishes.
Read the text out loud to yourself.
Discuss the material with others from your class.
When writing papers, say what you want to write out loud.


Study through practical experiences such as lab work, role playing or making models.
Memorize while walking or exercising.
Try standing up while reading or writing.
Use flash cards with a question on one side and the answer on the other.
To study with others develop a quiz game like Jeopardy.

Other important studying tips are:
  • Decide what to study, how long to study and how much to study before you get started.
  • If you are motivated, start with the most difficult task.
  • Find your perfect place to study and have it well equipped for your studying needs.
  • Take breaks.
  • Allow plenty of time to read the required texts, outlining information and writing papers.
  • Use memory activities.
  • Study with a classmate.


Brett Bixler. (n.d.). Learning style inventory. Retrieved from 

Gavilan College. (n.d.). Study tips for different learning styles. Retrieved from

Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. (2010). Retrieved from

Washington State. (n.d.). Gear it up. Retrieved from

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Face of a Cyberbully: Who do you see? by Dr. Katie Crosslin

“Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” Often times in our culture, we are trained to endure pain as if it is a “normal” part of growing up.  What is even worse is that now we have the Internet which makes bullying far too easy. School yard fights that may have occurred 20 years ago can take place on Facebook, permanently imprinted on people’s walls and devastating to the one who is mocked and humiliated. According to research, over 50% of teens reported being cyberbullied by another person, which included inappropriate pictures posted on the Internet and rumors spread to affect one’s reputation (1).

I recently saw a video entitled “how parents can protect their children from cyberbullies.” While that is important, the question popped in my head, “what if your child IS the cyberbully?” No one wants to think like that, I get it. However, we can be so consumed with “protecting” our child that we may not teach them how to be a good digital citizen. In one of my own research studies among college students, cybervictims were 5 times more likely to become a cyberbully as a result of their experiences (2). That really is astounding and confirms the belief that there are no “pure” bullies and vicitms, but a “victim-bully” complex. In other words, relationships are complex and one can easily retaliate and move into a bullying role if one is not careful.  

It is much easier to share hurtful comments online because you don’t have input from facial expressions and body language from the other person.  We must remember there is a person behind the screen and taking a private communication and putting it on Facebook for hundreds of people to see in an effort to humiliate them is unfair, inconsiderate, and is categorized as cyberbullying. 

Check out this video that demonstrates the hurtful and deliberate communication from a teenager who gave into peer pressure: 

I don’t know about you, but this video is upsetting on many levels. Children and teens don’t understand the gravity of their behavior online and parents may not have any indication that these events are taking place. And if you think it is an over-exaggeration, just do a little online research and you will read story after story of teens who have depression, low self-esteem, and suicidal thoughts because of their cyberbullying experiences. 

Parents are a great resource for their children and can open the lines of communication to facilitate crucial discussion on cyberbullying. If you need help knowing what questions to ask your child about their online behaviors, here is a list of “icebreakers” to find out more about your son or daughter’s experience regarding cyberbullying, sexting, and other social networking sites. 

The face of a cyberbully….who do you see? Is it the school yard bully? The meanest kid at school? Or someone else? Let’s focus on teaching online etiquette and respect and maybe then we won’t have to protect our kids from cyberbullies.

Dr. Katie Crosslin is an Assistant Professor at Texas Woman's University. She has taught for over 13 years in public schools, universities, and communities. Dr. Crosslin is particularly interested in violence prevention and currently conducts research in this area. You can contact her at kcrosslin @


  1. Cooper RM, Blumenfeld, WJ. Responses to Cyberbullying: A Descriptive Analysis of the Frequency of and Impact on LGBT and Allied Youth. Journal of LGBT Youth 2012; 9:153-177. 
  2. Crosslin, KL, & Crosslin, MB.  Predictive models for cyberbullying among college students: What are the consequences? Submitted to Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. Under review as of September 6, 2013.