Tip Sheets from the Alberta Learning Information Service. You can find more information about “Talking About Visible Disabilities” here on their website.
Disclosure and the job interview
If you decide to disclose your disability in an interview, follow these suggestions:
- – Mention your disability when the interviewer says, “Tell me about yourself.”
- – Talk about your disability briefly, clearly and without being defensive.
- – Tell the employer about any accommodations or coping strategies you’ve developed as a result of your disability. This emphasizes your proactive approach.
- – Be concise. Say something like, “For the last three years, I’ve been dealing with a medical issue, but it’s under control now and I’m ready to work.” Legally, the interviewer can only ask questions about your disability that relate directly to the requirements of the job.
- – Be prepared to explain any gaps in your resumé, even if you decide not to talk about your disability. (See the scripted answer, above.)
- – Stay positive. Return the focus to the skills, experience and enthusiasm you’ll bring to the position and what you can do for the organization.
Disclosure and the job offer
If your disability could be a safety concern for yourself or others, discuss it with the employer after you’ve been offered the job. Your employer can take appropriate steps to avoid any possible risks. For example, if you have epilepsy and there’s a chance of a seizure, your employer can ensure a co-worker with first aid qualifications is available when and where you work.
If your invisible disability poses no safety concern, you may decide to discuss it when you‘ve been given a written job offer, or if you’re required to pass a medical exam, since your disability will probably come to light at that time.
If you think your immediate supervisor would be supportive, you may decide to disclose to him or her. Disclosing to human resources staff is another possibility.
If you accept a job offer without disclosing your invisible disability, it’s important to get a letter from your doctor stating that, at the time of employment, you were deemed fit to work. Keep this letter for your records.
Disclosure on the job
You may need to disclose if you need accommodations or time off for medical appointments or recovery. Remember that anyone can develop a disability, invisible or not, at any time. You haven’t been dishonest in not disclosing your disability. You were able to work because your disability was under control. This is why a note from your doctor dated from the time of your employment is essential.
Don’t overlook the skills you’ve developed as a result of living with your invisible disability, such as creative problem-solving, flexibility and determination. By using effective career planning and job search techniques, you’ll be able to assess your skills and connect with an employer who recognizes what you have to offer.
See more at – https://alis.alberta.ca/ep/eps/tips/tips.html?EK=7371