Job Seekers: If and When Should You Disclose a Disability?
Most employment experts advise not to reveal a disability on a résumé. The purpose of a résumé is to get an interview by showcasing your talents and skills to do the job.
Deciding if and when to disclose at any other time depends on several factors, especially if you will need an accommodation on the job.
Many resources can help you decide:
- Should I or Shouldn’t I? from Job Accommodation Network
- CareerOneStop – Talking with an employer about your disability involves several decisions.
- Disability Disclosure and Interviewing Techniques for Persons with Disabilities – from Job Accommodation Network.
- Watch the video Disability Disclosure to learn how others with disabilities have made this personal decision.
- Watch the video Disclosing a Disability to an Employer from the Center For Family Development.
Employers: Applicants with Disabilities – Can I Request Disability Related Information?
The Americans with Disabilities Act does not allow employers to ask questions about disability or request medical examinations until after they make a conditional job offer. But there are resources to guide employers.
- “Hiring Do’s and Don’ts – Pre-Job Offer and Post-Job Offer” is part of “ADA: A Primer for Small Business” available on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission website.
- A Guide to Lawful Applications and Interviews is a helpful guide from the Idaho Department of Labor with information on interviewing and providing accommodations for applicants with disabilities.
About Job Accommodations – A Job Seeker’s View
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified employees and applicants with disabilities unless it would create an undue hardship such as cost, disruption or altering the nature of the workplace.
Sometimes, special equipment can make a job easier to do. Other times a change in how a job is done may be a good idea. The employee or job applicant is responsible for requesting reasonable job accommodations for a disability, but usually the employer and individual work together to choose the best option. Several resources can provide valuable information:
- The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) – free, expert and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues.
- Accommodation information A to Z – a directory of information on disabilities, accommodation ideas and organizations.
- Searchable Online Accommodation Resource (SOAR) offers various accommodation options for people with disabilities in work and school.
- Learn more about accessible workplace technology at PEAT (Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology.)
About Job Accommodation – An Employer’s View
Understanding how to accommodate workers with disabilities is essential for employers to be disability-inclusive and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. There are many resources to help employers – from interviewing, hiring and accommodating people with disabilities to thriving with a diverse workplace. Some of these include:
- Job Accommodation Network (JAN) Outreach Video – a four-minute introduction to JAN, a free national resource that provides expert and accurate technical assistance about job accommodations and employment laws.
- JAN Workplace Accommodation Toolkit – information businesses need to create inclusive workplaces while complying with disability-related employment laws.
- Benefits and Costs of Accommodation
- A Guide to Lawful Applications and Interviews – a guide from the Idaho Department of Labor that includes information on applicants with disabilities.
- Building an Inclusive Workforce – strategies and tactics for effectively including people with disabilities in your organization.
- Disability Employment and Inclusion: Your Guide to Success – a comprehensive set of tools and resources from Workplace INitiative for accelerating disability inclusion.
- TalentWorks – an online resource for making eRecruiting technologies accessible to all job seekers—including those with disabilities.
- TechCheck – a tool that assesses the accessibility of an employer’s technology.
- Youth Employment Solutions Center – includes a section for employers and providers about hiring and supporting youth and young adults with disabilities in employment.
- National Technical Assistance Center on Blindness and Visual Impairment – information on hiring, retaining and promoting employees who have blindness and low vision.
- Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) – free consultation and technical assistance for employers seeking to recruit and hire qualified individuals with disabilities.