T. Lynn Dann, Esq.
Lynn is a customer service provider, educator, and Epilepsy Legal Defense Fund coordinator for the Epilepsy Foundation of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine. Diagnosed with epilepsy herself, Lynn began her path toward paid employment – first as a volunteer before gaining a permanent position.
Lynn underwent some medical procedures that left her unable to return to her profession full time as an attorney. This led to some dark days when Lynn was depressed, thinking she would fail if she tried to get a job. Beginning her new career path by volunteering gave her the confidence she needed to move into a permanent paid work environment.
Lynn is now an advocate and educator for people who have epilepsy and are looking for resources from the Epilepsy Foundation. She recognized the stigma attached to the condition; she did not want to admit that she had epilepsy at first. She say that she can now help people by sharing her own personal story, guiding them in the right direction toward treatment for their condition.
In terms of accommodations at work, Lynn shared with her employer that her condition makes her sensitive to fluorescent lights. They were responsive to this concern by eliminating the lighting and providing her with a desk lamp.
Lynn is also self-employed as a Reiki practitioner. She uses holistic approaches in her own life to assist with connecting with herself and managing her epilepsy.
What advice would you give to others with a disability on the topic of employment?
“I have epilepsy and it is important to talk about it. Having a job at the Epilepsy Foundation has been beneficial – it’s not just a job for me. I am making an impact on peoples’ lives. I leave an open door if people want to talk to me.”
What advice would you give to employers considering hiring a person with a disability for the first time?
“There is a need for more consumer education events; these are important for office employees to educate others about disabilities.”