Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Learning a Living

Learning a Living: a guide to planning your career and finding a job for people with learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, and dyslexia
Dale S. Brown
Nonfiction 342 pages
Woodbine House, Inc. 2000

Many books have been written about career planning and job hunting. This one’s a little different. While it offers all the usual stuff found in books of its type, it also offers useful information for people with learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder (ADD), and dyslexia.

People who don’t swim in the mainstream while learning can be victimized by misconceptions held by others and themselves. This book aims at dispelling some of these misconceptions and takes a realistic look at learning disabilities and difficulties.

Because learning disabilities, ADD and dyslexia manifest themselves in a variety of forms, no one career planning approach fits all. The author addresses questions like:
  • How does a learning disabled person identify his strengths and weaknesses?
  • How does he know when he is being objective, instead of influenced by his own bias or that of others?
  • How can a weakness be turned into a strength?
  • In what jobs are those strengths assets?
  • How can weaknesses be compensated for?

He also considers the relationship between the job market, the individual and the law. For example, when is it advisable to inform an employer of a handicap and when is it best not to do so? What protections are offered under the Americans with Disabilities Act and what does the act not cover? What constitutes reasonable accommodation? When can an employer refuse accommodation due to undue hardship?

Sometimes asking the right questions is more useful than knowing readymade answers. This book teaches people with, and without, disabilities how to ask good career planning questions.

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