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overcoming disability in IT field

By mmalik3011 ·
Hi guys,
I'm new to the forums and I really don't want to start a political discussion.... I am looking for insight & advice from the veterans & experienced out here.

After graduating high school in Michigan in 2002 I had a serious car accident.

Due to the numerous orthopedic injuries I was laid up for a long while... losing a lot of opportunities including a full-ride scholarship to Bowling Green State (in Ohio).

In the last five years I have had numerous surgeries that prevented me from holding any steady employment. Any employment I did hold was part-time work at retail like Best Buy & K-Mart.

Until 2007 I had just about given up hope until I had gotten a call from my uncle in California for an internship opportunity at a startup software developer in San Francisco, CA.

I came in June 2007 as an unpaid engineering intern for three months... and they decided to take me on as paid intern... in their Technical Support team.

Thus I completed a six-month contract with possibility of employee status (i.e. contract to hire) which ended in March. In retrospect I feel I did very well and learned & grew a lot from the experience, despite the lack of a college degree.

But after an evaluation from my supervisor it was decided not to take on as a full-time Tech Support Engineer.

I think the decision was mitigated by the fact I had told my intentions of undergoing a knee operation at the end of the contract (understandably they would not want me to start employment with a two or three month medical leave).

Would they have taken me on if I didn't need to undergo surgery? I am not sure.

I had a talk with the hiring manager before leaving... he left the door open. He told me to talk to him when I return from my convalescence.

Right now I am recovering from this recent surgery... transplant ACL & LCL ligaments for my left knee... according to my surgeon, this is last resort before total or partial knee replacement.

Because of the structural damage & nerve damage I have resigned to the fact that I am physically handicapped at the age of 23. I am not trying to wallow in self-pity but I know that because of my situation it will be uphill battle for employment for me.

But it feels doubly difficult for me... I need to make resumes and start applying for jobs soon but the reality is that my surgeon has restricted me from walking on my left leg for 12 weeks. Add to this heavy pain meds and the prospect of interviewing & working in this condition seems daunting to me.

But I don't want to give up hope. I haven't lost my mind in the accident and I am currently studying online for a Computer Science B.S. and I am trying to make up for lost years. My supervisor does not have a bachelors so that tells me it is not a requirement in this field.

What do you guys think? I know this is pretty anonymous but I thought this would be worth a shot to see if anyone has similar past experiences, advice, words of encouragement.

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Could it have been because of the down turning of the

by DanLM In reply to overcoming disability in ...

economy? Or did they say anything to you to indicate otherwise? As much as I like to bash California, I do think they are much more open to equal opportunity hiring... And your disability does not seem to affect you getting the work done. Other then you are still going through corrective surgery?

Because of your comments about your manager, they may also require you to be able to start right away which may have swayed part of the decision. But I do not see you mentioning that as being part of what they told you.

I don't know though... Pure conjecture on my part to this point.

I would keep in contact with the manager though after the operation, he wouldn't have said that I don't think unless you had made a positive impression on him.


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