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SIG: Understand the Invisible Illness and Learn What Reasonable Accommodations Should be Considered
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SIG: Understand the Invisible Illness and Learn What Reasonable Accommodations Should be Considered

Employment Relations & Engagement SIG Program
Presented by: Holly Bertone
Location: University Of Virginia School Of Continuing And Professional Studies
This program has been approved for 1.5 HRCI and SHRM credits.

When: Friday, June 22, 2018
8:00 AM
Where: University Of Virginia School Of Continuing And Professional Studies
7054 Haycock Rd
Falls Church, Virginia  22043
United States

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ERE SIG: Understand the “Invisible Illness” and Learn What Reasonable Accommodations Should be Considered

Friday, June 22, 2018
8:00 AM - 10:00 AM



  • Member Rate: $0
  • Non-Member Rate: $15



‼️ This program has been approved for 1.5 HRCI and SHRM credits.

Approximately 50 million Americans are afflicted with Autoimmune (AI) Diseases, about 20% of the population. AI occurs in 75% of women compared to men, and predominantly during childbearing years. Many of these women are taking care of their own families, aging parents AND working a full-time job outside of the home. 

There are over 80 different AI conditions, including Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Graves Disease, and Crohn’s Disease. Autoimmune Diseases are often referred to as “invisible illnesses” because symptoms are often unnoticeable such as chronic fatigue and joint pain. 

Balancing family and career can be difficult for many woman, but add a chronic illness to the equation, and the struggle becomes real and sometimes unbearable. Managers regard them as “lazy” or “faking it” when that is simply not the case. Most often, neither the managers nor the employees are aware that Autoimmune Diseases are considered a legal disability and these employees have rights in the workplace. Many do not know how to ask for reasonable accommodations and what accommodations are available to them. 

In many cases, one or two simple accommodations can make the difference between an employee who is frustrated and struggling, and an employee who is happy and productive. By understanding what AI is, and how to legally support your employees, you can help to increase productivity and reduce turnover in your organization.

The #1 Amazon bestselling author of Thriving in the Workplace with Autoimmune Disease, Holly Bertone wrote the first book ever to educate individuals specifically with autoimmune disease on their legal and disability rights in the workplace. The book was born out of author Holly Bertone’s personal and painful experience and lack of resources available specifically for individuals with autoimmune diseases in the workplace. Bertone has taken this mission on the road to help educate employees, managers, and HR professionals in the workplace.

Presentation Content Outline:
My story of disability discrimination
What is Autoimmune Disease?
Is Autoimmune Disease a disability?
The reality of employees with Autoimmune Disease and the ramifications on productivity, morale, and turnover
Reasonable accommodations for Autoimmune Disease

Learning Objectives:

Learning Objective #1
Learn what Autoimmune Diseases are and their importance in the organization as a legal disability

Learning Objective #2
Learn how Autoimmune Diseases can negatively affect employees in the workplace, and how this impacts employee productivity, morale, and turnover. 

Learning Objective #3
Learn what the top reasonable accommodations are for those with Autoimmune Diseases.



Holly Bertone
President & CEO
Pink Fortitude

Holly Bertone, CNHP, PMP, is a #1 bestselling author of the book Thriving in the Workplace with Autoimmune Disease: Know Your Rights, Resolve Conflict, and Reduce Stress.  Holly is a highly sought-after speaker and wellness expert. After spending 20 years as a Project Manager in both government and industry, she is now the President and CEO of Pink Fortitude, LLC and runs the health and wellness website Holly is a breast cancer and Hashimoto’s survivor and turned these two significant health challenges into a passion to help others. She inspires others with her quick wit, brutal honesty, and simple ways to be healthy in real life.
Holly is a Certified Natural Health Professional, a Certified Essential Oils Coach, and is enrolled in a Naturopathic Doctorate PhD-style program. She holds a Masters Degree from Johns Hopkins University, a Bachelor’s Degree from Elizabethtown College, and is a Project Management Professional (PMP). 
Holly is passionate about reaching out to cancer and autoimmune survivors, and also volunteers for organizations supporting our military veterans. In her free time, she loves to garden, and hit flea markets and yard sales. Holly is married to a retired Green Beret, is a stepmother, and lives in Alexandria, VA.

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