Deciding to tell a potential employer about your disability is not always easy. And, what works for one person might not work for another.
To disclose or not?
If you are deciding on whether or not to disclose your disability in a job interview, you should ask yourself some questions.
- Do you have a visible or invisible disability?
- Do you feel comfortable talking about your disability?
- How do people react when learning about your disability? How does that reaction make you feel?
- Is there a safety risk to others if you choose not to disclose it?
- What are the job requirements? Sometimes the employer needs to know about your disability to accommodate you and ensure you do your best on the job.
- How can you tell your employer that the disability will not impact the quality of your work?
- Is the employer inclusive, or have they hired people with disabilities before?
- Will your job references disclose your disability to the employer?
- How does it make you feel when people negatively react to learning about your disability? How do you manage that reaction?
If you do not need accommodations to do the job, and your disability does not put anyone else’s safety at risk, you probably do not need to disclose your disability.
However, if you require accommodations to be successful and safe on the job, you should disclose your disability. You can do this during the interview, cover letter or resume, or before meeting the employer. There are pros and cons to each option.
Additionally, there are rules about what employers can ask about your disability. Read more about what employers can ask in an interview.
There is also the duty to accommodate, which is the employer’s responsibility. They must adjust the conditions of employment to address any potential discrimination, as long as it doesn’t cause reasonable or significant hardship. The person who requires accommodation must participate in the accommodation process. You can learn more about the duty to accommodate.
If you’re a person with disabilities entering the workforce for the first time, or re-entering the workforce, connect with EmployAbilities. We offer training programs, advice, and guidance regarding job searching, employment, and more.