Our Values in Action–Safety: Embracing Support & Navigating Work with a Disability

Hi everyone, my name is Crystal Thaxton and I am a Corporate Talent Acquisition Partner, supporting DZConneX and Yoh. I am no stranger to sharing blogs; you may recognize me from Overcoming Adversity: Beyond Your Disability Part One and Part Two. As I continue to navigate my health journey, I wanted to take some time to share a recent experience with you.

Back in 2015, my life took an unexpected turn when I was diagnosed with epilepsy while working with a previous employer. Despite the challenges of this, I pushed myself to my limit, as that was what it seemed like I should do at the time. Fast forward to April 2021, I joined Yoh and made the decision to disclose my epilepsy to my manager at the time. What followed was a refreshing response—one of understanding, accommodation, and unwavering support.

From day one, my manager viewed my epilepsy not as a limitation, but as something we could "work around." Their attitude was clear: if I ever needed anything, all I had to do was speak up. This supportive culture extended beyond my immediate manager; every manager I've had since joining Yoh has treated me with the same level of understanding and respect. Despite not experiencing seizures for a few years, my management has consistently encouraged me to prioritize my health by attending necessary epilepsy appointments every six months.

Recently, on 3/14/2024, I had a minor scare and experienced a seizure, reminding me of the unpredictable nature of epilepsy. The following day, during a 1:1 call with my current manager, James Marshall, I chose to disclose what had happened, as it is important for him to recognize the lingering effects of such. What followed was a testament to the empathy and care embedded in Yoh and Day & Zimmermann’s workplace culture.

Without hesitation, James immediately prioritized my safety and well-being, pushing aside all tasks at hand to focus on my health. Although I assured him that I was okay to continue our call, he made it clear that my health came first. He insisted that once our meeting concluded, I log off and dedicate time to rest and recuperate.

This experience reinforced the importance of open communication and the critical role that safety plays in the workplace, especially for individuals with medical conditions like epilepsy. It's not just about accommodation; it's about creating a culture where safety is non-negotiable, and employees feel empowered to prioritize their health without fear of judgment or repercussions. My manager’s response made me, as an employee, feel safe, valued, and supported, no matter what challenges I may face. 

As I continue to navigate work and life with epilepsy, I'm grateful for the supportive network at Yoh and the understanding that my safety and well-being is always a priority.


Crystal Thaxton

Crystal Thaxton is a Corporate Talent Acquisition Partner, supporting DZConneX and Yoh. She also serves as a co-chair to Day & Zimmermann's The Abled and DisAbled Advocates Partnering Together (ADAPT) Employee Resource Group.