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MS and Employment

Multiple sclerosis can have a significant impact on every aspect of life, and the world of work is no exception. People with MS are experienced, well trained, and productive workers who often retain the ability to work long after the illness manifests itself.

 Disclosure: The Basic Facts
To tell or not to tell is a question faced by everyone with MS
 Disclosure or NOT?
Job-related situations and stories
 MS on the Job
While holding a fast-paced job despite MS symptoms, the author ponders that big question: to tell or not to tell-and if so, how
 Information for Employers
For people to give to their employers if they decide to disclose their MS

Making Employment Decisions
Some jobs are compromised by MS symptoms much more quickly or directly than others. The most important point to keep in mind is your personal decision to keep working.
 Should I Work? Information for Employees
General overview of the employment issues that might concern people newly diagnosed
 The Win-Win Approach to Reasonable Accommodations: Enhancing Productivity on Your Job
A practical guide to obtaining workplace accommodations

Maximize Your Options
Basic points from the Society's employment expert

 Can a Phone Line Make Your Career?
Meet three people with MS who stay employed by telecommuting or doing "telework."
 Do You Have a Plan B for Employment?
You need to have some plans in place before a crisis hits

Symptom Management on the Job
Fatigue and cognitive fog are the major reasons why many people with MS eventually leave the workforce.
 On the Job with Fatigue and Cognitive Issues
Energy-saving techniques and cognitive strategies might change the equation
 Loosening the Knots of Cognitive Problems
After persistent bouts with short-term memory loss, the author developed strategies that help him manage life— and remain employed

Changing Careers
Consider MS in the planning and decision-making process, but don't let it make the decision for you.
 The Self-Employment Option

By redefining our lives I can now be “down” when MS insists and our world keeps on functioning. My role in the business involves our long-term projects, so I can be out for a day or more and not hurt our company.
Read how MS changed the lives of David Devoe & family

Know Your Rights!
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) covers almost everyone with MS. It doesn't only apply to people who use wheelchairs. It covers every person with an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.


ADA and People with MS: A Guarantee of Full Participation in Society
The ADA—which became law in July 1990—is the first comprehensive legislation passed by any country in the world to prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability.

 Disability Rights
The Society's position, issue, and advocacy efforts

Could you work if you had training? transportation? special equipment?
There may be employment options available to you that you haven't considered yet, even if you are receiving Social Security. You are limited more by your imagination than you are by the symptoms of MS, so spend some time exploring your career interests and identifying your dream job—make a call to your state’s vocational rehabilitation program.
Read more about what voc rehab can do for you

Vocational Rehabilitation State Offices


Employment Issues and Multiple Sclerosis

Employment Issues and Multiple Sclerosis
by Phillip D. Rumrill, Jr., PhD

Order through Demos Publishing*

I'd Rather Be Working

I'd Rather Be Working
by Gayle Backstrom
Read review | Order through Amazon.com

Career Crossroads: Employment and MS

Video/DVDCareer Crossroads: Employment and MS was designed by employment and MS experts to help individuals living with MS remain in the workforce.

The program is a 6 part series:

1. Working With MS
2. The Law's on Your Side (available as webcast)

My Little Secret
(available as webcast)

4. Maximize Your Potential
5. You're Not Alone
6. Taking Charge

Individuals interested in upcoming Career Crossroads programs can contact their chapter at 1-800-344-4867, to order a VHS or DVD self-guided version of the program.

While Career Crossroads was designed for people with MS, the program is applicable to all people working with a chronic illness or a disability. This program is available to individuals and to other non-profits and disability rights organizations.

Organizations who are interested in adapting the program can work with the Society to adapt it to their needs. Contact cherie.terakura@nmss.org for more information.


webcast icon Webcasts
(transcripts available)

MS Learn Online presents
Understanding Your Employment Rights


The Rehab Act

Social Security Disability
A short course on claiming disability benefits, resources, sample letters, and more


Web sites


US Department of Justice

Americans with Disabilities Act

Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Family and Medical Leave Act

New Freedom Initiative

Top 10 SSA Services

Social Security Online

Social Security "The Work Site"

Vocational Education
(Department of Education)


ADA & IT Technical Assistance Center

Other Americans with Disabilities Act

Job Accommodations Network

*All orders placed on Demos Publishing web site receive a 15% discount from list price.
Last updated November 16, 2007