Career Guide for People with Disabilities
Getting and keeping a job
One of the first questions when looking for employment is “Should I disclose my disability?”
The only scenario you’re obliged to disclose a disability in is when requesting accommodation. With that exception, there isn’t a definite answer on whether or not to disclose a disability. At the end of the day, you decide how much you’d like to share, when and to who.
Here are some considerations to keep in mind about disclosing a disability:
>Getting reasonable accommodation will help you be successful in your position. You will no longer have a barrier preventing you from doing the job and advancing in it. At the same time, you will live authentically, and bring your whole self to work.
>Timing is important. If you need accommodation, you can choose to disclose your disability and request it after accepting the job offer. This doesn’t necessarily need to happen during the interview. However, it’s better to do it before there are work performance issues. The best timing would be within the first week of starting a new job. Have a rundown of what accommodations you need before you disclose your disabilities to your employer.
>A disability can change or advance. If these changes affect your work performance, it’s best to notify the relevant people. They will adjust the accommodation and create a comfortable workspace for you.
>You have the right not to share information about the disability. It isn’t mandatory to tell co-workers or other employees about your accommodation or disability. As for your employer, he is obligated to keep the information confidential.
>During the interview, disclosing your disability is a matter of personal choice. However, non-disclosure may not be possible in certain situations. For example, if you are deaf, you may need to request an interpreter for the interview. Or if you are in a wheelchair, you may need to notify the employer beforehand to ensure they have ramps, etc.
Whatever you do – avoid connecting a disability with a weakness. And the employer does not have the right to ask about your disability.
Check out the full article here with tips on your job search, knowing your ADA rights, 73+ careers for People with disabilities and other resources.