As a complex and unpredictable disease, MS can have varying effects on a person’s ability to work. New symptoms might make you question whether you can continue working and, when those symptoms subside, you might wonder why you were worried about work at all.
People living with MS often continue working long after their diagnosis. On the flip side, some people with MS decide to leave their jobs when they are first diagnosed or experience their first major exacerbation, often at the suggestion of their family or doctor. This decision is often made too quickly and at a time when symptoms can color judgment. Disease-modifying drugs, new technologies, better symptom management, legal employment protections, and community resources can help you remain in the workforce.
Developing and achieving employment goals can be accomplished despite your MS diagnosis.
You may have questions about:
Should you tell your employer? What effect will it have?
Understand the legal protections available to you.
Overview of Federal Disability Rights Laws Course (online, self-paced)
Americans with Disabilities Act Employment Course(online, self-paced)
Explore employment options and make decisions about your career.
Education and preparation can be your most powerful secret weapon. The National MS Society is here to work with you as you navigate your employment options. We have the resources to add to your employment tool kit:
Armed with knowledge of resources and legal employment protections, you can set goals that are achievable, challenging, and exciting.
Career Crossroads: Employment and MS
Career Crossroads: Employment and MS was designed by employment and MS experts to help individuals living with MS remain in the workforce. Topics covered over the course of the program include:
- Working with MS
- The Law's on Your Side
- My Little Secret
- Maximize Your Potential
- You're Not Alone
- Taking Charge
Career Crossroads is offered as either an in-person or self-guided coached program. To jumpstart your learning, you can access the self-study workbook and the companion videos below, or call 1-800-344-4867 to receive the self-guided program and companion DVD in the mail.
Career Crossroads Self-Guided Program:
- Career Crossroads Participant Self-Study Workbook
- Career Crossroads Video Part 1: Employment & MS
- Career Crossroads Video Part 2: Employment & MS
- Career Crossroads Video Part 3: Employment & MS
- Career Crossroads Video Part 4: Employment & MS
- Career Crossroads Video Part 5: Employment & MS
- Career Crossroads Video Part 6: Employment & MS
To learn more about upcoming Career Crossroads in-person programs in your area or to connect with a Career Crossroads coach please call an MS Navigator at 1-800-344-4867.
While Career Crossroads was developed for people living with MS, the program is applicable to all people with a chronic illness or disability. Organizations who are interested in adapting the program can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Working With MS Radio Interview
Listen to Ray Zardetto, host of online radio show "Disabilities At Work" as he discusses how MS affects the body and the brain with Dr. Rosalind Kalb, Vice President of the Professional Resource Center at the National MS Society in New York City and Dr. Phil Rumrill, CRC Professor & Coordinator of Rehabilitation Counseling and Director of the Center for Disability Studies, Kent State University. Ray also discusses the issues of disclosure and job accommodation with Linda Batiste, Principal Consultant, Job Accommodation Network, Joan McGovern, Vice President.