How to Disclose Your Disability

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Preparation

  • Become comfortable talking about your disability.
  • Identify any accommodations you may need, both during the interview and on the job.
  • When applying for a specific job, ask for a detailed job description.
  • Consider the advantages, disadvantages and timing of disclosure.
  • If you determine that disclosure is not needed, be sure you can perform the essential job functions.
  • If you determine that disclosure is needed, thoroughly plan how and to whom you will disclose.

The Disclosure Itself

  • Determine how you will describe your disability - in general or specific terms.  You may choose to:
    • Refer to your disability as a medical condition.
    • Simply say that you have a disability (without actually naming it).
    • Specifically name your disability
  • Always use non-threatening, but informative language when discussing your disability.
  • Be thorough, but do not go on and on when describing your disability.
  • Prepare answers to anticipated questions.  The best way to handle difficult questions is to be prepared for them.  Make a list of probable difficult questions, formulate answers for them and then practice the answers.
  • Describe your skills and abilities that will allow you to perform the essential functions of the job.
  • Explain any limitations you may have as a result of your disability that may interfere with essential job functions and identify what accommodations you will need.
  • Prepare a script:
    • Name the disability.
    • Enumerate your qualifications, skills and abilities which will allow you to fulfill the essential job functions.
    • Discuss any functional limitations you may have and how they may interfere with your ability to perform certain functions.
    • Name the specific accommocations you will need to overcome these limitations.
    • Discuss additional helpful accommodations.