People often make requests to our team at Bender Consulting Services to refer veterans with disabilities, who have injuries from the recent wars, for career opportunities. I hear so many employers say, “I would love to hire a veteran with a disability; they will get top priority when I hire new associates.”
Often what they really mean is, “Send me a veteran with a visible disability and I will hire him or her.” What they do not realize, is that many servicemen and women return from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with traumatic brain injury (TBI) or the often feared, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
It is shameful when employers say, “I do not know how to accommodate something like PTSD; the veteran may not be able to handle my stressful work environment.”
Folks, how did they develop PTSD? It was from working in a stressful environment that exceeds the stress level of American employers. They may have experienced seeing their friends killed in combat when hit with an IED.
Employers should not be so overly concerned about a veteran’s stress level, with job tasks, such as handling customer service or accounting. An accommodation may need to be provided for individuals living with PTSD or TBI, but accommodations are provided, when necessary as well, for others who are deaf or blind or use a wheelchair.
If you can’t find an accommodation for a veteran with PTSD, please contact the Wounded Warrior Program, the Job Accommodation Network, or the American Association of People with Disabilities; you will get the help you need.
As a woman with a hidden disability, epilepsy, I understand the discrimination that exists for many who are seeking employment. At Bender Consulting Services, we really do consider talent the only discriminator when hiring. As the CEO, I am committed to work for employment for all veterans with disabilities, including veterans living with hidden disabilities.
I know that a serviceman or servicewoman put their life on the line for my freedom. As for Bender, we are committed to those men and women to ensure access to freedom, through competitive employment. We stand by them and we will hire them or help them find employment.
Remember, not all wounds are visible, but the disability still exists. Let’s not make our veterans with disabilities fight for freedom once again - the freedom gained through employment!
“Often it isn’t the initiating trauma that creates seemingly insurmountable pain, but the lack of support after.” – S. Kelley Harrell