How often do you think about the environmental demands of your job? I work inside in a temperature controlled area and I can turn the music up, down or off and on to my own liking. I have complete control over certain interruptions just by turning my phone ringer off or on. I am lucky, but not many jobs allow for that much environmental control. Let's look at what an adult, with special needs, looking toward employment will need to consider as they begin to search for a job.
A good place to start to learn about some of the possible environmental demands on the job would be by going through Do2Learn's rating sheet found here. The best thing about this rating sheet is that there are no wrong answers. Some of us are not outdoor workers, some of us love to work in busy office areas, etc., this sheet can help sort out what sort of environment might be a best fit when seeking employment. Right here you have two worksheets to help sort out what kind of job might be a good fit for someone with special needs. Good stuff!
Sometimes there are situations in job environments that are beyond our control and we need to work around those situations. For example, our office might be drafty and there is nothing that can be done. So to cope we just need to bring a sweater and have it in the office for those times when we are cooler. Here is a worksheet to assist and guide an adult with special needs in dealing with those environmental demands that need some accommodations in work situations.
Let's look at some other demands and how we might can cope with such situations on the job. (please note that these links are to pages where you can find comprehensive information and videos to provide further assistance)
- Location—You might work indoors or outdoors. What types of jobs could you do and how would cope?
- Noise Level—The noise level in your work area might be very loud or very quiet. What types of jobs could you do and how would cope?
- Lighting Level—Lighting at some jobs can range from low to bright to florescent. What types of jobs could you do and how would cope?
- Work Hours—Some jobs are full time and some are part time. You might even work shift work. What does this mean?
- Amount of Movement—Some jobs require a lot of sitting at a desk and others a lot of standing. What types of jobs could you do and how would cope?
- Cleanliness and Odors—Workplaces can range from very clean areas to very messy environments. What types of jobs could you do and how would cope?
- Work Attire—Jobs have a dress code (clothes you should wear) that is appropriate for the job you are doing. Find out what is required for your job.
- Structure & Predictability—Some jobs are very structured and predictable and others are less structured an unpredictable. Which environment would be best for you?
- Work Pace—Pace refers to how quickly you work. Here is a great guide to finding out what your best pace is and how to cope with jobs that require changing pace.
We all face these environmental demands on the job, but for someone who has special needs they are much more difficult to recognize and cope with. If those who are assisting in job placement or teaching vocational skills can begin the process of recognizing the person's strengths early on, the smoother the employment process can go. Do2Learn has put together talented teacher's and clinicians from around the world to assist you in navigating this process. Please be sure to check out all the information of Environmental Demands in the JobTIPS section of our website.