Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes …

I. Autism in the professional world

What is type 1 diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic disease that impacts the way sugar is used and managed by our bodies. The pancreas will moderate the level of sugar in the blood by secreting insulin, which will allow the sugars to be used by organs and muscles. Diabetes, which affects nearly 5% of the world’s population, involves a dysfunction of this system. There are 2 types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes0.5% of the world’s population : Insulin is not created by the body. Type 1 diabetes is considered an autoimmune disease because the body itself destroys the cells in the pancreas that secrete insulin. Type 1 diabetes requires a daily and regular ingestion of insulin to allow good management and use of sugar. Type 1 diabetes is detected in young people (from childhood, adolescence or early adulthood). Unfortunately, there is no treatment other than the ingestion of insulin. Thus, the majority of professions are accessible to people with type 1 diabetes.
  • Type 2 diabetes4.5% of the world’s population : This is the most well-known type of diabetes. It usually appears after 40 years, and unlike type 1 diabetes, the hereditary factor is significant (up to 70%). It is often linked to a healthy lifestyle that can be improved (lack of physical activity, diet, etc.). Type 2 diabetes can be linked to a lack of insulin production or to insulin that is no longer working. There are medical treatments and an improvement in the hygiene of life is advised.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at type 1 diabetes.

Diabetes can cause 2 situations:

  • Hyperglycemia . There is too much sugar because it could not be distributed by insulin and then transformed to be used by the body
  • Hypoglycemia . There is not enough sugar in the body. When sugar is distributed by insulin, sugar can be stored. Reserves are created. By popularizing, the insulin deficit also impacts sugar reserves. Thus, after a great physical effort or a stressful moment, a situation of hypoglycemia can appear. It requires the consumption of sugar to remedy the lack.

Tips for integrating the person with diabetes into the world of work

A person with type 1 diabetes can have the same life as a person without diabetes.

The impacts of type 1 diabetes on work are organizational and do not change the skills of the person. The main needs are:

  • More frequent medical appointments than a non-diabetic person, sometimes requiring a certain flexibility
  • The ability to take breaks for insulin injections or to manage hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia
  • The need to have a balanced and healthy diet, even if a burger from time to time is not refused.

Simple advice and a little flexibility have the ability to have a very positive impact on people with type 1 diabetes in the world of work. You will find them below.

Organization

The flexibility of the work allows you to take care of yourself without constraints while continuing to do the required work.

– You can ask to have a flexible schedule (for example, postponed meetings or you will be away for a few hours to be recuperated) for medical needs.

– You can ask to be able to take breaks as soon as necessary (in particular for hypoglycaemia or hyperglycaemia).

– The meetings :

  1. If you have to speak up, you can make sure someone can replace you if you have an emergency related to your diabetes.
  1. If you wish, you can notify the meeting participants in advance that you can be absent for medical reasons.
  1. If you wish, you can request to sit near the exit if you need to be outside for a few minutes for an emergency related to your diabetes.
  1. If you leave the meeting, you can request a debriefing.

– You can ask to work from home if it makes it easier for you to take insulin or travel to medical appointments. It is important, as much as possible, to visit the office from time to time to preserve the social bond.

Logistics

– Remember to carry a source of sugar with you if you have hypoglycaemia

– You can ask for a place or room where you can isolate yourself to give your insulin injections or if you need to be calm after hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia

– You can ask to have access to a fridge if you have glucagon kits.

– Dining options may not be right for you. If they don’t suit you, don’t hesitate to bring your own meals.

Integration

– Emergencies and needs related to type 1 diabetes can make it more difficult to talk to colleagues. The social bond at work is very important to make work enjoyable and not to feel alone. The ideal is to be able to have lunch or coffee with colleagues at least once a week.

– Extra-professional events such as drinks, sporting or cultural outings can be organized between colleagues. Sometimes type 1 diabetes can make it difficult to attend these kinds of events. If you want to participate, but need to adapt (not having a beer, eating well during exercise or taking breaks etc.), go for it. You can explain to your colleagues that it is for medical reasons but there is no obligation.

Communication

– Periods of hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia require rapid action. Some of your colleagues don’t know. If you need to isolate yourself quickly, simply explain it, avoiding any words that may sound aggressive.

– Type 1 diabetes requires a certain flexibility of work. This may surprise some of your colleagues or superiors. You don’t have to talk about your diabetes. You can however explain that you need these accommodations for medical reasons, which sometimes require you to isolate yourself urgently to take the necessary treatment. This will allow them to better understand your needs and adapt to them more easily.

Organization

A person with type 1 diabetes may require flexibility in work organization to meet their medical needs:

– Have a flexible schedule (move meetings, an absence of a few that can be made up during the week) for medical appointments.

– Have the opportunity to take emergency breaks to manage hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia attacks

– Have flexibility during meetings:

  1. Allow the person with type 1 diabetes to take a break if they need to manage a medical emergency.
  2. Be able to notify meeting participants that the person with type 1 diabetes may be absent for a few moments at any time from the meeting for medical reasons
  3. Reserve a place near the exit for the person with type 1 diabetes if they need to be discharged urgently.
  4. If the person with type 1 diabetes needs to speak during a meeting, another person can be prepared to step in if an emergency break is needed.

Logistics

– Provide a source of sugar if the person with type 1 diabetes has hypoglycemia

– Offer a place or room where the person with type 1 diabetes can isolate themselves to make their insulin injections or be calm after hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia

– Provide a fridge if you have for certain treatments.

– Allow the person to bring their own meals, if they wish, even if the canteen policy prohibits it

Integration

– Emergencies and medical constraints linked to type 1 diabetes can make it more complicated to create social links by participating in cafes, lunches or extra-professional events. It is important to make the person feel welcome even if they have to be away for a few minutes or be late. Thus, she will be able to feel integrated.

Communication

– Do not be surprised if there is increased stress during hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. The increased stress can lead to aggressive or inappropriate communication. If so, feel free to talk it over with your colleague and make him / her comfortable. Sometimes these situations may require immediate action and therefore leave little time to explain.

– Type 1 diabetes requires a certain flexibility of work. In the legal framework, if the arrangements are put in place by the occupational physician, it is not compulsory to explain the cause. It is normal that the situation is not explained to you in detail. If the situation is not clear to you, do not hesitate to discuss it with the person concerned in a benevolent manner.

Type 1 diabetes and RQTH

What is recognition as a disabled worker?

Type 1 Diabetes is recognized as a disability by the House of Handicapped Persons (MDPH). Thus, a person with type 1 diabetes is eligible for the Recognition as a Disabled Worker (RQTH). The RQTH is the administrative recognition of disability.

What are the advantages?

RQTH is not mandatory. However, it is important because it allows:

– to benefit from schedule arrangements for medical and therapeutic appointments.

– to benefit from advantages during recruitment within certain companies. Companies are subject to a quota of 6% of employees with an RQTH. Certain recruitment policies are advantageous for people with RQTH in order to reach these quotas.

– benefit from the implementation of workstation arrangements as recommended by occupational medicine

– to access services and financial aid from AGEFIPH (The state body in charge of disabled people in a private structure) or FIFPH (The state body in charge of disabled people in a public structure)

– to benefit from special rules in the event of termination of an employment contract, such as doubling the length of the notice of dismissal.

– access to rehabilitation and vocational training courses in the event of incapacity for your former profession.

How to apply for his RQTH? To apply for his RQTH, you must complete a file to send to the departmental MDPH. The file is detailed here . If you need assistance, you can contact the branch of the Federation of Diabetics closest to you here .

When is it possible to request RQTH? RQTH’s application is a big step. It recognizes the handicap administratively. It is not always easy to apply for RQTH. Some people with Type 1 Diabetes will consider themselves to be disabled, others will not. The advantage of the RQTH is that it protects and encourages companies to adapt the work environment to the needs of the person.

The other difficulty is that disability can be seen as something personal that some people do not want to share with the whole company. It is important to note that the RQTH is CONFIDENTIAL. It is possible to share it only with the occupational physician, who will do what is necessary to adapt the position. There is no obligation to speak to the disability manager of the company or to human resources, even if this can help to have a daily follow-up.

Type 1 Diabetes is recognized as a disability by the MDPH (House of Handicapped People). Thus, a person with type 1 diabetes is eligible for the RQTH (Recognition as a Disabled Worker), which counts people with type 1 diabetes in the quota of 6%. The person can also request their RQTH when they are employed in your company. The request takes a maximum of 6 months.

II. Type 1 diabetes and maintenance

Before the interview

The interview is a complicated exercise, because it is an exercise where the way in which one interacts with the recruiter is important. However, you are quite capable of shining during this exercise!

Whether or not to declare type 1 diabetes

The declaration of type 1 diabetes (in the CV, in the cover letter) is your right before or during the interview. There is no obligation. Declaring your type 1 diabetes in the CV or cover letter allows recruiters to make the necessary arrangements during the interviews. Reporting before the interview allows you to be candid about type 1 diabetes and not have to overcompensate.

If you don’t talk about type 1 diabetes in your CV or cover letter, you can talk about it when Human Resources contacts you to schedule the interview.

Here you will find our guide to the declaration of disability in the business world.

If you talk about your diabetes, or at least your medical needs, you will be able to:

– Ask if a meal is planned. If so, make sure it matches your needs. Otherwise, advise that you will be bringing your own lunch.

– Prevent that you can be absent for a few minutes for a medical emergency. Ideally, you would want a place to isolate yourself near the interview room.

Prepare for your interview

Ask about

– Learn about the company (what are its activities? What are the latest news)

– Learn about the job you are interviewing for. If available, you can read the job description and learn about the skills required and the tasks to be done.

Request information

– Ask recruiters what dress code is required. If the requested outfit does not make you comfortable, you can ask to put on an outfit that makes you comfortable.

– Ask recruiters with whom you will be interviewing. You can then find out about your contacts upstream (by looking on LinkedIn in particular).

– Ask recruiters what is the format of the interview. (Interview with a person, case study, group interview, access plan, etc.). This will allow you to prepare yourself as well as possible. You can specify that group interviews are not the best format for you.

Prepare what you are going to say about yourself

The recruiter may ask you to introduce yourself and ask you questions about your motivations, strengths and skills, and past experiences.

Introduce yourself: You can give your first name, your last name, say what studies you have done and speak in 1 sentence (20 to 30 words maximum) about one of your passions.

Motivations : List a maximum of 3 reasons for your motivation. It is important to develop your motivations in 2 short sentences. These sentences can answer the question “why this motivation?”

Strengths and skills : You can list your 3 main strengths for this position. It can be your skills (in code, graphics, math etc. or your personality traits (courageous, persevering etc.). You can illustrate these strengths with an example each time.

Past experiences : The employer will ask you to present 1 or 2 experiences that you have had. This can be professional, associative, sports or student experiences (project at the university). For each experience you can

  1. describe what you did
  2. describe the result of what you did
  3. describe what you have learned and learned from your work

Talking about your diabetes during the interview

Talking about your diabetes is very personal. Being able to talk about it with a recruiter can:

  1. Create a bond with the recruiter. You share something very personal. You share part of your vulnerability. It’s something that touches people and creates a bond beyond the interview
  2. Help recruiters understand you better and understand type 1 diabetes.

When to talk about it? :

At the start of the interview or at the end of the interview.

How to talk about it? :

  • Factually: say what it means for you in terms of skills and difficulties

Positively: say it factually, adding a sentence about what type 1 diabetes does for you. Type 1 diabetes helps develop a lot of skills that can be very useful in the world of work.

In an interview, it is often difficult to get past a difference such as type 1 diabetes. If the person has been interviewed, it means that they have a profile that meets your expectations. Despite all the skills that can be read on their CVs, we tend to favor candidates without disabilities over different candidates.

First and foremost, the candidate must be told that if he has a disability, he can share it upstream, and this is important so that the interview is adapted and the recruiter can prepare and obtain information.

Here are some avenues to prepare before the interview to judge the candidate as objectively as possible:

– Before taking into account the candidate ‘s type 1 diabetes, does he have the necessary skills for the position ?

– Can we adapt the job to my diabetes ? See the layout section.

– Are the constraints linked to type 1 diabetes offset by those that type 1 diabetes develops ? During the interview, ask positive questions about type 1 diabetes (the biggest wins with type 1 diabetes, what type 1 diabetes can bring, for example). This will have a benefit for you, because it will allow you to understand type 1 diabetes as something other than a constraint, and for the candidate, who will be put in confidence and reassured.

Certain actions can also be taken before the interview :

– Allow extra time for the interview in case the candidate has hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia.

– Provide a room where the person can isolate themselves if they have hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia.

– Notify the person if lunch is planned. The person may prefer to bring their own meal to follow their diet.

– Plan for breaks if there are several consecutive interviews.

During the interview

General advice

– Be at the interview 10 minutes early.

– Put your phone on silent.

Maintenance tips

– If you feel that you have hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia, inform the recruiter that you need to isolate yourself for a few minutes for medical reasons.

–Take some sugars and your source of insulin with you. You may need it at any time.

–You can advise that you can be absent for a few minutes at any time for a medical emergency.

–If you have several interviews in a row, you can ask for breaks between each interview.

–If there is a meal, feel free to say if it does not suit your diet related to your diabetes.

General advice

Take an interest in what his disability has allowed him to do . The lived adventures are a gold mine to get to know the person and discover all his skills. Be careful, some people will be less open on this subject, in this case, respect their restraint.

Remember to be transparent with the interlocutor . If he talks about his type 1 diabetes, you have to be honest about the company’s position on recruiting. If doubts remain, it is possible to ask the candidate for examples of situations similar to those he will encounter on the job.

If you think the person has type 1 diabetes but don’t dare say so, you can ask if the person has RQTH . You can make the person feel comfortable and show that disability is not a taboo. However, it is not allowed to ask a person if they have a specific disability.

Do not base your impression on diabetes, but on the whole discussion with the person with type 1 diabetes .

Specific advice for type 1 diabetes

– Allow to take a break if necessary.

– Make water available.

– Provide a room next door for an insulin injection.

– Offer breaks between each interview if there are several.

III. Type 1 diabetes at work

Work integration

Type 1 diabetes can come as a surprise to uninformed people. Even though it’s difficult, it’s important to talk about your type 1 diabetes. Your difference can be felt, which is why it is important to explain why you are different. Saying it verbally is complicated because it’s sharing something (very) personal with a stranger. It should be noted that each person is unique. If you have any needs that are not in the list below, do not hesitate to communicate them.

Inform about your type 1 diabetes

You can inform your company about your type 1 diabetes through different channels (written or oral) and different people (human resources, manager, colleague etc.).

– You can inform one of your colleagues, your manager or a human resources person in writing (chat, email). You can explain in 3 lines what type 1 diabetes means to you and share this page.

– If you don’t want to share it with your entire team, you can first talk to one of your colleagues, a manager or someone from human resources.

During a first meeting, at the beginning of the exchange , you can indicate that you are a person with type 1 diabetes. You can take 2 short examples with a concrete situation (1 sentence for each), which explain what it is to live with type 1 diabetes.

– Talk about the positive aspect of your type 1 diabetes. This peculiarity can have a positive contribution, when the company encourages people with type 1 diabetes to do the things that make them different and in which they are excellent . This can be a real asset in business. You can take a real life example where you achieved something with your type 1 diabetes.

– You can also request accommodations that make you comfortable with the organization of work

Team awareness

Some people will come to work with you every day. Giving them precise information on type 1 diabetes and, above all, on your type 1 diabetes, will allow them to better understand your difference and facilitate daily collaboration. To educate your team, you can:

– Share this page.

– Offer a presentation to your team. It can be done by someone from the outside, by someone from the company, or by yourself if you wish.

Assert yourself at work :

The world of work is demanding. Type 1 diabetes means thriving in this world with a difference. You shouldn’t hesitate to say what makes you uncomfortable or ask for what you want, because if you don’t, no one will do it for you. It is true that it is often quite complicated, but you should not hesitate because it is your right.

– Some tasks may not be assigned to a person with type 1 diabetes because their colleagues may find that these will be more complicated. If there are specific things you want to do, ask your manager clearly.

Type 1 diabetes can come as a surprise to uninformed people. It can also have an impact on social life that should not be forgotten. If the person with type 1 diabetes interacts in a different way, it could be because of their type 1 diabetes. It may be important to take this into account in teamwork. It should be noted that each person is unique. The most important thing is to understand the needs of your employee with type 1 diabetes in order to best support them.

Team awareness

– Allow the person with type 1 diabetes to talk about their type 1 diabetes and what it means for them, if they wish. Not everyone is comfortable in this situation.

– Distribute the first informative part of this guide to all team members.

Work organization

A person with type 1 diabetes may require flexibility in the organization of work to meet their medical needs:

– Have a flexible schedule (move meetings, an absence of a few that can be made up during the week) for medical appointments.

– Have the opportunity to take emergency breaks to manage hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia attacks

– Have flexibility during meetings:

  1. Allow the person with type 1 diabetes to take a break if they need to manage a medical emergency.
  2. Be able to notify meeting participants that the person with type 1 diabetes may be absent for a few moments at any time from the meeting for medical reasons
  3. Reserve a place near the exit for the person with type 1 diabetes if they need to be discharged urgently.
  4. If the person with type 1 diabetes needs to speak during a meeting, another person can be prepared to step in if an emergency break is needed.

Communication

– Do not be surprised if there is increased stress during hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. The increased stress can lead to aggressive or inappropriate communication. If so, feel free to talk it over with your colleague and make him / her comfortable. Sometimes these situations may require immediate action and therefore leave little time to explain.

– Type 1 diabetes requires a certain flexibility of work. In the legal framework, if the arrangements are put in place by the occupational physician, it is not compulsory to explain the cause. It is normal that the situation is not explained to you in detail. If the situation is not clear to you, do not hesitate to discuss it with the person concerned in a benevolent manner.

Developing the person with type 1 diabetes :

– If you do not dare to give certain tasks to the person with type 1 diabetes, do not hesitate to discuss it with them. It is important not to limit the person because he or she has a peculiarity.

Evolve at work

Finding a job and integrating into the professional world are the first steps in a great adventure. There are several key steps that follow:

  • Validate the trial period
  • Be evaluated on the work done
  • Being promoted

Working with a person with type 1 diabetes is working with a person who has specific needs. These specific needs do not change the skills and work capacities of the person in any way, they only require a little more flexibility. Many tips and arrangements were offered in the first part. What is at stake is that people with type 1 diabetes can be fairly assessed at key stages. Thus, it is conceivable to achieve less on certain aspects (in particular the interpersonal aspects) but more on other aspects (in particular the technical aspects).

Highlight skills

Diabetes, through the daily challenges it imposes, allows the development of differentiating skills in the world of work.

  • Organization : The management of insulin injections, hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia and medical appointments requires meticulous and drastic organization. These organizational skills can be very practical, especially for projects that need to be planned and structured in advance.
  • Anticipate the risks : Living with type 1 diabetes requires limiting the unforeseen as much as possible by anticipating them. Being able to anticipate risks, unforeseen events or problems is a key quality in a majority of jobs where risks can have an impact in time and money.
  • Analysis / attention to detail : A person with type diabetes has to pay attention to many details to maintain their health (nutrient composition, feel etc.). This attention to detail can prove invaluable in technical trades requiring meticulous precision.
  • Perseverance : Dealing with day-to-day challenges can make other difficulties much easier to deal with. They also help to create real resilience.

It is important to keep in mind that no one can be defined by diabetes, which is only one characteristic among a whole host of factors that influence each person’s personality: culture, education, experiences … it is a person with a personal experience, which allows him to develop skills which are specific to him and which are out of the ordinary.

We must keep in mind that the adaptability of each individual is progressive: it is not because today an individual is disabled in a certain situation, that he will be so throughout his career.

The condition for developing these skills is the acceptance of the difference, whether it is one’s own or that of a colleague. The crucial element is not to limit the responsibilities of the person with type 1 diabetes. On the contrary, you must give him the opportunity to go beyond if he wishes, without forcing it.

Type 1 diabetes at work beyond the prejudices

A person with type 1 diabetes can achieve even the most “unrealistic” dreams. Of course, the path could be more winding, but the difficulties encountered, whether or not they are related to Type 1 diabetes, are also part of the richness of the person’s journey, of his project and of the people around him.

Some people with type 1 diabetes are brilliant scientists, others are business leaders or have great responsibilities (judge, senior management position. For example, Theresa May former British Prime Minister who handled Brexit lives with a Type 1 diabetes), others are artists or athletes (Alizéé Agier was champion of France and Vice-champion of Europe in Karate). Some people with type 1 diabetes feel limited by their difference, by the way they see it and how our society represents it.

By going beyond prejudices, we allow people who are often stigmatized to have the right to dream and achieve their ambitions. The challenge today is to provide our society with skills that we have ignored for too long. We focus on what is not possible to do, while we can be interested in what actions can be done in a different way, and the added value of these “different ways”.

Sonia Sotomayor, 3rd woman and first Hispanic to be appointed to the Supreme Court of Justice (only 9 judges sit on the Supreme Court). Sonia Sotomayor, shares in several interviews, and in her book, what her type 1 diabetes, diagnosed at 7 years old, has brought her. “When I was 50, I was able to get past my demon (being afraid of losing my life from Type 1 diabetes). I can’t deny what my Type 1 diabetes has given me. pushed me, like nothing else could have done, to accomplish as much as I could as quickly as possible. “