Finding Work That Works Despite Migraine

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Key Questions
  • What are some of the challenges of managing a career with frequent and disabling migraine?
  • What type of work might be best suited for someone living with frequent or chronic migraine?
  • When is it appropriate to ask for job accommodations at work?
  • If fragrance is a trigger for someone with migraine, what’s the best way to go about handling a situation in which a coworker wears a lot of perfume?
  • What guidance would you give to someone with migraine who is considering starting their own business?
  • Should you tell your employer or a prospective employer that you have migraine disease?
  • What if you disclose that you have migraine and then face repercussions from your employer?
  • If an issue arises at work that an employee suspects is discrimination because of their disablity, what resources are available to help?
  • Are there accommodations you can ask for when working from home?
  • How should the question “Do you have a disability?” be answered on job applications?
  • What are some things that can be done to raise awareness of migraine in the workplace?
Interview Notes

Melanie Whetzel, MA, CBIS

Lead Consultant, Cognitive/Neurological Team
Job Accommodation Network (JAN)

Melanie Whetzel is the lead consultant of the Cognitive/Neurological Team with the Job Accommodation Network (JAN). She joined the JAN staff as a consultant in February 2008. She has a 14-year history of teaching and advocating for students with disabilities in the public school system. Melanie holds a Master of Arts degree in special education, a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, and has earned 60 credit hours above master’s level. Her post-graduate work has been primarily focused on special education. She most recently completed a graduate certification in Career Planning and Placement for Youth in Transition, and became a certified brain injury specialist in December 2014. As the lead consultant on the Cognitive/Neurological Team, Melanie specializes in learning disabilities, mental impairments, developmental disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, and brain injuries. She presents nationally on these topics, and has authored several publications.

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