Tip Sheets from the Alberta Learning Information Service. You can find more information about “Talking About Visible Disabilities” here on their website.
When you have an invisible disability, you’re living with a chronic condition that can’t be seen. The list of invisible disabilities is long, ranging from fibromyalgia and learning disorders to epilepsy, mental illness, heart disease, cancer and many more.
A significant number of people in the workplace have an invisible disability. Although many disabilities do not affect job performance, the onset or recurrence of a disability may affect your ability to do the job.
If you have an invisible disability, you may be worried that you could have difficulty finding or succeeding at a job. Many people have misconceptions about people with disabilities, and some employers may not hire you if they know about your disability.
One of the most challenging aspects of dealing with an invisible disability is deciding when, or if, you should disclose—identify and give details about—your disability to an employer. This tip article offers information and suggestions to help you make that decision.
Career planning, job search and the need to disclose
Unless your invisible disability could put you or someone else at risk, telling an employer about it is a matter of personal choice. If safety is an issue, you’ll need to disclose your disability at an appropriate time.
Disclosure is less likely to be a concern when you use effective career planning and job search techniques:
1. Analyze the kind of work you’re able to do. Apply for positions you know you’re qualified for and can handle. For example, if you’re a heavy equipment operator whose arthritis is under control, look for a position where an apprentice is available to help you with tasks requiring physical strength.
2. Look for employers who are likely to focus on your abilities and potential. Be sure your skills are a good match for the position and the work meets your needs. For example, if you’re a manager whose chronic fatigue syndrome is under control, apply to organizations that encourage employees to maintain a work-life balance.
3. Figure out what you need to succeed at a job, and apply for positions that meet most of your needs. For example, if you’re a computer technician with an auditory perceptual deficit (difficulty hearing information accurately), look for a quiet work environment where most communication happens online, rather than in person or by phone.
What to include in your resumé
Unless you’re sure an employer is hiring for diversity, don’t disclose your disability on either an application form or in your resumé.
Choose the type of resumé that will be most effective for you. Though many employers prefer chronological resumés, this resumé type emphasizes gaps in your employment history. A carefully designed combination resumé, focusing on both skills and employment history, may be your best choice. Be sure to include education, training or volunteer experiences that may account for any employment gaps. If a combination resumé draws too much attention to the times you were not employed, use a functional resumé that allows you to focus on your skills.
See more at – https://alis.alberta.ca/ep/eps/tips/tips.html?EK=7371