Happy new year everyone! January is always a quiet month for me as I plan the forthcoming year and settle back into work. Anyway, part of the planning involves meetings and I recently had one with my boss where we were trying to pull together another funding proposal and a proposal for a presentation at this conference

And halfway through the meeting, as I was mid rant I realised that I still hadn’t bought a recorder of some kind. Honestly, I talk far better than I write. When prepping for some public speech I rehearse aloud/ in my head, and jot down the key points that make me remember the thread that the whole thing hangs on. But finding that line is always in conversation, always verbal rather than written. Right now, I’m talking in my head as I write this post. Anyway, the point is that I come up with my best ideas, and more importantly the logic and convincing rationale for them, when I’m talking. Not when I’m writing, not when I’m alone. So I need a recorder that I can talk into. And a space where I can talk. Because that’s the other problem. I need someone to listen, or the room to not mind me talking. So – when and how I work best. By talking and being listened to or alone (oddly enough my colleagues find it hard to work when I’m walking around the room needing to be listened to or talking to myself.  Or at least it would be unfair to ask them to compromise their way of working, – – they’re great, by the way, this isn’t a complaint – compromises and balance of different needs will have to be a whole other post)

Knowing how you work best is valuable. Next time I have to come up with an idea, a proposal, an argument to convince, to change (a large chunk of my job) I’ll be talking not writing – 2 quick, face to face, meetings were far more effective than hours spent staring at the screen drafting things I’d later scrap. In those circumstances, verbalising is far more effective for me. Obviously, in different circumstances, trying to do something different, or in a different job, it might not work for me. The point is, I’ve figured out a tool, a method that makes it easier for me to do my job, and helps me do my job better.

Working with, talking to, other people with disabilities, I’m always saying you need to know what you need to make you able to do your job – what assistive technology, what transport, what breaks, what supports, because of your disability. The point I’m trying to make, is that figuring all that out is about trying to figure out how you do your job easily and best. An accommodation is there to help you do your job – getting that accommodation is good for you and for your job. And that applies to everyone, disabled or not. The likelihood of needing an accommodation, a different way of doing things increases if you have a disability, but the end point is the same – you need certain things to do your job and to do it well.

So, figure out what you need to work well – regardless of why you need it, figure it out.

Now if you’ll excuse me I’m off to buy a recorder.