Whether you are a person living with epilepsy, care for someone who does, or are an interested community member, we hope that you find this information useful.

Job types that might be suitable for you could include apprenticeships, traineeships, open employment or supported employment with a New Zealand Disability Enterprise.

Apprenticeships and traineeships are a way of undertaking training and work at the same time, and can lead to a nationally recognised qualification. Apprenticeships and traineeships can be undertaken by anyone of working age and are available to school-leavers, as well as those re-entering the workforce or wanting a career change.

Open employment refers to jobs in the open labour market. Depending on the job, you might need to have a particular qualification (like finishing year 12) to be able to apply. In some cases, having epilepsy may mean that you are not able to apply for certain jobs. This may be the case if you have uncontrolled seizures, making the risks to yourself, colleagues (co-workers) and the community too great should a seizure occur.

Unfortunately, some areas of employment are unavailable to anyone with epilepsy, even if they have good seizure control. For example, someone with epilepsy cannot work as a pilot or a commercial driver, such as a train or tram driver.

Some people living with epilepsy and in employment or volunteering positions benefit from the use of an Seizure Management Plan. An SMP is an individualised document developed with the person with epilepsy. It describes the person’s seizure types, how they would like to be supported during the seizure and emergency procedures. Some people like to use an Emergency  Medication Management Plan in their workplace, to ensure others know what to do in the event of a seizure or an emergency.

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