Working with a rheumatic disease: an interactive tool for youth and young adults


Youth and young people with rheumatic health conditions such as juvenile arthritis and lupus face unique challenges as they begin their working lives. Working with a Rheumatic Disease is an interactive tool designed to help youth and young adults identify and navigate these challenges, and to overcome them by offering information and recommendations from trusted resources.

The tool was developed by the Institute for Work & Health to fill a gap identified by research showing that young people with arthritis and other chronic health conditions face distinct challenges in accessing job accommodations and other job supports. The tool was developed with stakeholder support from Cassie + Friends, a charity that champions awareness, support and research for paediatric rheumatic diseases. That support included pilot-testing the tool among young adults with rheumatic illness. The development of the tool was funded by the Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy (CRWDP), a seven-year research initiative housed at IWH that aims to improve work disability policy in Canada.

Who should use this tool?

This interactive tool is designed for youth (teenagers) and young adults who are just entering, recently entered or contemplating entering the workforce. The tool takes users through one of three paths, depending on how they identify:

  • I am looking for work
  • I have a job
  • I'm not able to work

The tool then asks users to answer "yes" or "no" to questions that will help them identify important steps and potential challenges along the way, pointing to web-based resources that offer guidance.

Also available is a downloadable and printable handout that compiles the list of resources referred to in the tool.

Access tool and handout