Ep212: Everybody Knows Somebody with an Episodic Disability, with Melissa Egan


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You may be aware of ways to accommodate physical and mental disabilities. But what about episodic disabilities?

If you don’t know what an episodic disability is, you’re not alone. Once you hear Melissa Egan describe it, you’ll probably realize that you, or someone you know, has one.

Melissa is the National Lead of Episodic Disabilities at Realize, a Canadian charity that fosters positive change for people living with HIV and other episodic disabilities. She helps companies create work environments that are accessible and inclusive.

Please join us in Changing Lenses to see through the eyes of people with episodic disabilities, and how we can support and accommodate their needs.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Practical ways to make your workplace inclusive and accessible for people with diverse abilities while centering the person.
  • The difference between medical and social models of disability, and why one is more inclusive than the other.
  • Why insurance disability plans are inadequate to accommodate employees with episodic disabilities.
  • How employers can build a culture of accommodation (that doesn’t cost a ton of money).
  • How employees can talk to their employer about accommodating their episodic disability.

Contact Rosie and find JEDI resources at: https://www.changinglenses.ca/

Full transcript available here.

Guest Bio and References/Links

About Melissa Egan:

Melissa is the National Lead, Episodic Disabilities at Realize. She has worked in the field of health and HIV for over 15 years as an educator and facilitator, developing and delivering trainings to diverse audiences across Canada. Melissa brings a commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility to her work, and she has worked extensively with marginalized, LGBTQ, and Indigenous people. Melissa holds a BA and BEd from Simon Fraser University in BC and is currently pursuing an MEd at OISE - University of Toronto.

Find Melissa and other resources on Realize’s website: https://www.realizecanada.org/en/

References and resources in this episode:






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