Disclosing your disability (telling your prospective employer about it) and whether or when to do this when you are applying for a job is a very personal decision and one that we discuss on our pre-employment training courses.
Should all be good with the world, it would obviously make sense to tell an employer in advance about your disability so that any reasonable adjustments can be made. However, due to the concern (and, sadly, in many cases, previous experiences of discrimination) lots of disabled people are reluctant to do this.
Below Dave and I (Vicky) have shared our and other people’s thoughts regarding this.
In the most recent pre-employment training session that we facilitated, opinions regarding disclosing were very varied and this reflects what we have found on previous training courses. Differences of opinion about when in the application process to disclose were:
Some of the advantages and disadvantages of disclosing are detailed below:
Advantages of Disclosing
Disadvantages of disclosing
Although we believe things are changing for the better, it is understandable that people feel disclosing their disability is a bit of a gamble as it is hard to know in advance what an employer’s reaction will be. If you choose to disclose your disability, we would always advise the following:
Dave: I have, certainly since my sight had deteriorated to a point where I needed support to attend an interview, have always declared my disability. Many of my previous jobs and the examples I give in my application forms mention my sight loss so it would be difficult to hide it anyway. However, as Vicky has mentioned above, I always promote what I can do and not what I can’t do to ensure (hopefully) that potential employers can see that I would be able to do the job.
If you have any thoughts on this or would like to share what you do regarding disclosing your disability, then either post a comment or drop us an email as we would love to hear your thoughts.
Interested to learn more about VIDA Training? We provide professional, bespoke Vision Impairment and Disability Training, Consultancy and Employment Services. Please contact us for further information.
Our VIDA Insights...
Following our experiences from delivering our Vision Impairment Awareness training days over the past couple of years, we know that there’s loads more that we could talk about and examples we could have shared. Whilst these won’t be a substitute for our training, they will give you an insight (hence the name!) into our thoughts, observations and experiences from each of our perspectives - Dave’s living with sight loss and Vicky’s from being a sighted person and working alongside and supporting people who have sight loss.