Essential Tremor and Jobs

September 21, 2018

Essential tremor is a condition that causes action based tremors in the upper body and extremities of those who suffer from it. Because of the severity of tremors, daily function can be interrupted. Though most people are able to fully function independently in spite of their essential tremor symptoms, some triggers are better avoided. Finding a job that works with the condition as well as protects against some triggers is the best option for those with essential tremor. 

Common triggers for essential tremor include stress, sleep-deprivation, lots of hard and intense movement/exercise, caffeine and anxiety. Jobs that are high stress, include lots of movement, or require late nights may not be the best for those with essential tremor. Luckily, there are a lot of options for jobs that will not be affected by tremor symptoms and will not trigger them. 

Because of the nature of essential tremor, some of those with intense symptoms may be under the protection of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and qualify for some added assistance with income or loss of employment. There are lots of great resources online that can help someone with essential tremor find a job that works with their needs and their symptoms. These websites include: 

https://askjan.org

https://www.dol.gov

www.visionaware.org

These sites also provide information about what reasonable accomodations can be provided through employers to make a job more accessible and possible for the employee with the condition. Under Title 1 of the Americans with Disabilities Act, there are three areas in which reasonable accommodations may be needed: 

  1. Adjustments to applying to the job and job application process so that someone could be considered for a position. 
  2. Modifications to the physical work or the way the job is usually performed.
  3. Changes that enable an employee to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment. That includes access to lounges and company-provided transportation. 

The only limitation that legally ends the obligation of an employer to provide reasonable accommodation is that the changes don’t cause “undue hardship” to the employer. This means significant difficulty or accommodations that are overly extensive or disruptive.

The U.S. Department of Labor is made up of lots of different sub-agencies that promote good jobs for all Americans, through employment policy changes, and job training programs. This also includes job searches for those that may need extra accommodations. If you need more information about legalities and accommodations that can be made for your job and essential tremor, you can visit www.dol.gov. 

Using the tools provided through government and other agencies, as well as knowing what you are entitled to as far as accommodations and job opportunities is key in finding a job that works with your essential tremor. Through these resources, it is very possible to have a great job that not only does not trigger symptoms, but provides comfort and allows for productivity. If you feel like your current job is causing you to have issues with your essential tremor, do something about it. Know your rights and move forward. 


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