3 Tips to Disclose your Disability to an Employer

How to disclose a disability-three things to tell your employer:

1.What information do I disclose?

If you choose to disclose your disability to your employer, determine exactly what information you will provide to your employer.  When considering what information to disclose, remember that the only information you need to disclose about your disability relates to:

  • any adjustments required to ensure a fair and equitable selection process
  • how your disability may impact on some aspects of the inherent requirements of a job and
  • any adjustments that may be required to complete the inherent requirements of the job.

You do not need to disclose specific medical or personal information about a disability.

2. When do I disclose my disability to my employer?

There are many opportunities for you to disclose your disability to an employer.  If you have decided to disclose your disability, you will need to decide when to disclose.  To assist you with this decision, we have outlined the benefits of disclosing disability at different stages of employment.

Prior to an interview

Disclosure prior to an interview may:

  • enable you to have a frank conversation with the employer about disability issues in relation to the inherent requirements of the job as this discussion can help determine whether work related adjustments are required and/or whether support services are needed
  • allow the employer to make the necessary arrangements for access to the building, if mobility is an issue
  • enable you to obtain information about an organisation’s employment equity strategies
  • enable you to obtain information about an organisation’s support structures for employees with disability
  • enable you to obtain information about an organisation’s workplace adjustment schemes
  • eliminate any surprises or awkwardness when speaking with the employer.

At interview or after offer of employment

Disclosure at an interview or after an offer of employment has been received may:

  • enable you to get workplace accommodations that are necessary to do the job
  • provide the employer with evidence of your skills, abilities and ways for overcoming any implications of a disability
  • increase access to appropriate employment supports
  • provide access to appropriate supports increasing the likelihood of job retention
  • enable you to obtain information about an organisation’s employment equity strategies
  • enable you to obtain information about an organisation’s support structures for employees with disability
  • enable you to obtain information about an organisation’s workplace adjustment schemes.

Disclosure at the time of starting a job may:

  • enable you to get workplace accommodations that are necessary for you to do the job
  • increase the responsiveness of employers and co-workers to your needs
  • enable you  to obtain information about an organisation’s support structures for employees with disability
  • enable you to obtain information about an organisation’s workplace adjustment schemes.

3. Talking with your employer

When disclosing disability to your employer:

  • be clear and matter of fact about why you are disclosing and your desired outcomes from doing so
  • be knowledgeable about your disability
  • discuss the impact of possible symptoms and side effects of any medication on the workplace
  • provide some options and strategies for workplace adjustment to make it easy for your employer.

If your disability is visible you may wish to anticipate concerns and answer those specifically:

For example: ‘We have not discussed my disability or how it might impact on the job. I notice as a sales job, that this job involves some driving. I have my own car and have been driving for ten years so this will be no problem’.

For more information contact us at Inclusive Volunteering.