Transitioning to employment with a disability
Nearly half (41%) of GWE veterans have a service-connected disability. Combat field medicine has improved, allowing more service members to survive their injuries. Also, GWE service is dangerous and stressful. Finally, increased awareness of disability results in more diagnoses.
Veterans with newly acquired disabilities may be vulnerable to false beliefs and misinformation about their disability.
Research tells us that though veterans with service-connected disabilities might be getting some level of financial compensation, most veterans with disabilities both want and need to work.
Veterans’ concerns may be rooted in two issues: First, unfortunately, disability job discrimination does exist. Second, veterans may not yet fully understand their rights around disability disclosure and accommodation. For example, they might believe they must tell an employer about their disability.
Manage the disability, but don’t let it drive a career choice. Strengths and aspirations should drive a veteran’s career direction. People with all types of disabilities are in all types of careers. Avoid the notion that people with disabilities should take only “special” jobs. Consider that veterans (and others) with disabilities have a right to use an accommodation to do the job.