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For individuals with disabilities, the decision to disclose a disability during the employment process is one of the most important decisions to make. With concerns about discrimination, it can be difficult to know if, when, or how to disclose your disability to an employer. Galt Foundation has come up with this guide to help individuals with disabilities navigate this process.
Galt Foundation’s mission is to find meaningful job opportunities for people with disabilities and provide support through the stages of the employment process. But for those navigating the application and hiring process independently, there are many additional factors to take into consideration. One such factor is whether or not to disclose a disability.
The Americans with Disabilities Act protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination in the workplace. However, many people with disabilities still find themselves unsure whether or not they should disclose their disability to a prospective or current employer.
Choosing to disclose your disability is a highly individualized decision, but there are best practices you can follow. Below is a collection of recommendations sourced from experts in the field to help guide you as you consider the decision of disclosing your disability throughout the employment process.
Creating Your Resume
The resume stage is when hiring managers look for relevant education and skills related to the job they are hiring for. As someone applying for a job, your resume should be about showing that you are the best candidate for the job opening in order to secure an interview.
It is the general consensus among experts to avoid disclosing your disability on your resume.
There are some times when disclosing a disability may be desired. For example, if you wanted to proactively explain any disability-related gaps in a resume. Or, if the job posting directly mentions giving preference to candidates with disabilities.
Before Your Interview
Similar to the resume stage, you are not required to disclose your disability before your interview. If you require or suspect you might need reasonable accommodations for the interview itself, you will need to inform the employer so you can both prepare accordingly.
In order to prevent any biases from occurring, if possible, you can reach out to the company’s human resource staff to request accommodations. This will ensure the hiring manager is able to focus on your skills, abilities, and fit for the job opening.
Please note: The COVID-19 crisis has made many interviews and workplaces remote, so ask the employer beforehand about the interview process and any accessibility measures you may require.
During the Interview
Depending on the format of the interview, you may not need to disclose your disability at all. Again, the choice is entirely what you think will be the most successful. However, if your disability is visible or discernable, addressing it at the beginning of the interview may help you dispel any misconceptions and also place the focus back on your suitability for the job.
One example may be, “Firstly, I would like to address [how you prefer to introduce your disability]; however, [with or without any necessary reasonable accommodations], I am able to confidently perform the tasks in the job description.
Before You Begin Employment
Similar to the interview stage, after the job offer, you can request any reasonable accommodations prior to the start of your employment to allow the employer to provide any accessibility requirements such as planning for additional breaks or preparing specialized technology. If you do not require accommodations, you are not required to disclose your disability throughout your employment, unless you find it is affecting your job or performance.
Let Galt Foundation Help
Not sure where to start in your employment journey? We’re here to help. Galt Foundation is one of the world’s largest temporary staffing organizations for individuals with disabilities. With over 20 years of experience, we’ll support you through the employment process and match you with the right job opportunity.
Feel free to get in touch with our expert team. You can reach us here or call us at 1-877-361-1277 – we’re always happy to help!