Should you Disclose a Disability?

blog-disability2Disclosing a disability when in the midst of a job search is a complex decision. While some disabilities are clearly visible, others are not. Although the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against prospective job applicants with a disability, statistics show that the percentage of disabled people who are unemployed in spite of the law, has not decreased significantly.  The revisions to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, that went into effect March 24, 2014, holds federal contractors accountable for 7% utilization goal for candidates with disabilities.  This is a noble goal federal contractor will need to aspire to.  This should give candidates with disabilities enormous confidence about increased job opportunities in the near and distant future. Another component of the new regulations is that it allows employers to ask candidates to voluntarily disclose their disabilities by using an OFCCP approved form.    Here are some tips about disclosing a disability:

  1. Today, more job seekers with disabilities are entering the workforce. For persons with disabilities, there may be additional things to consider when going through a job search, such as disclosure—if, when and how to tell people about your disability
  2. Discuss if you need any special accommodations. For instance, if your disability concerns your vision, you may want to ask if you will be able to obtain the use of a specific computer monitor. If you need to take periodic breaks, you may want to discuss if this is an option during the interview or early on with your manager.  Visit the Department of Labor site for disability employment policy resources.
  3. Richard Pimentel has published The Art of Disclosing your Disability.  It is a manifesto on talking about your disability in interviews.  The document features excerpts from working with people with disabilities in a job placement, job retention environment..   In a question and answer format.
  4. Should you disclose your disability in a resume?  Read this article to find out more.

Finally, visit our Disability Job Exchange for more information on disability laws, career advice and tools.

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