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Tackling Invisible Disabilities

Manson prides itself on building an environment where employees can showcase their skills while receiving the support needed to excel in their roles.

As Manson strives to create a better workplace for its employees, the company continues to implement its three core values in their search; Take care of people first and always, Do the right thing, and Find a better way. In recognition of International Day for People with Disabilities on December 3rd, let’s take a look at invisible disabilities in the workplace and how we can support those affected.


Invisible disabilities are physical, mental, or neurological conditions that are not visible to the human eye. People with invisible disabilities often find it difficult to meet daily tasks and may see a drop in their work performance at the job site. These development areas include attendance, concentration, organization, and productivity.

Some examples of invisible disabilities include:

  • Chronic Pain: back problems, bone disease, physical injuries, etc.

  • Chronic Fatigue: consistent tiredness due to a medical condition or sometimes insomnia

  • Mental Illness: depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorder, etc.

  • Chronic Dizziness- often associated with inner ear problems, chronic dizziness can impair driving, walking, sleeping, and other common tasks.

About 10% of Americans have a medical condition that could be considered a hidden disability, and 96% of people with chronic medical conditions live with a condition that is “invisible.” Many people living with hidden disabilities are still able to participate in their hobbies, work, or other activities. On the other hand, some may struggle to get through their workday. Hidden disabilities can be accommodated for those at the workplace, but it takes effective communication, trust, and leadership to find a better way for those in need.


Employees who suffer from invisible disabilities are often afraid to approach leadership and disclose their physical, mental, or neurological condition. It can be embarrassing for that individual to explain their situation or they may be worried that they will get called out for faking or imagining their condition. The best way to communicate is to create a dialogue between human resources, leadership, and the employee. Individuals can disclose information and ask for accommodation through verbal or written request.


There are a variety of invisible disabilities in the workplace and each situation calls for a different approach to mitigate occurring problems. Prior to making accommodations for employees with invisible disabilities, there are four concerns that should be addressed:

  1. What is the employee’s role?

  2. What obstacles are present?

  3. Is there a solution?

  4. Is there an option to move the employee to an alternate workspace?


After identifying and discussing the four concerns, leadership and the employee should move to implement a system that will improve the employee’s day-to-day tasks at work.

Here is one example of a successful accommodation for an employee with an invisible disability.

Example: A Piledriver Foreman who suffers from a generalized anxiety disorder is working the rotation shift on a project extended timeline. The installation requires third-party workers to be onsite which causes the employee to experience extreme anxiety. Due to the employee’s worry of not recognizing the workers, the employee has missed multiple shifts.

When the employer found out about the situation, they created identification badges (ID) for the third-party installation crew and required each worker to sign in and out of the project. The implementation of the ID badges and sign-in sheet helped alleviate the employee’s anxiety of identifying strangers.

Creating space for everyone

At Manson, our employees are our priority as we continue to improve practices to ensure they are taken care of every step of the way. Inclusiveness and diversity at the worksite improve trust, retention of valuable talent, and a safer work environment for all.

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