www.diverseabilitymagazine.com DIVERSEability Magazine 27
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How to Disclose your Disability
Preparation is essential for disclosing your disability. Effective dis- closure requires discussing your needs and providing practical sug- gestions for reasonable job accommodations if needed. One way to become comfortable with discussing your disability is to find some- one you trust and practice the disclosure discussion with that person. The two of you can put together a disclosure script. It should contain relevant disability information and weave in your strengths. Always keep it positive!
What to Disclose About Your Disability
There is no required information to share about your disability. It will be different for everyone. For example, if you have an apparent disability, it is often beneficial to address how you plan to accomplish tasks required by the job. This can affirm to the employer that you are suited for the position. Additionally, by demonstrating your ease and comfort with the job requirements, you can relay to the employer other traits that are desirable in an applicant. A person with a hidden disability, on the other hand, will first need to decide whether to dis- close the disability and subsequently determine what information to share about the disability. Generally, if you choose to disclose, it is most helpful to share the following: General information about your disability Why you are disclosing your disability How your disability affects your ability to perform essential job tasks Types of accommodations that have worked for you in the past Types of accommodations you anticipate needing in the workplace
To Whom to Disclose Your Disability
Disclose your disability on a need-to-know basis. Provide fur- ther details about your disability as it applies to your work-related accommodations to the individual who has the authority to facilitate your accommodation request. Consider disclosing to the supervisor responsible for the hiring, promoting and/or firing of employees. This person needs to be informed of your disability-related needs to pro- vide the necessary support and judge your job performance fairly.
Disclosure Protections and Responsibilities
As a person with a disability, you have disclosure protections as well as significant responsibilities to yourself and your employers. You are entitled to: Have information about your disability treated confidentially and respectfully. Seek information about hiring practices from any organization. Choose to disclose your disability at any time during the employment process. Receive reasonable accommodations for an interview. Be considered for a position based on your skill and merit. Have respectful questioning about your disability to determine whether you need accommodations and what kind. You have the responsibility to: Disclose your need for any work-related reasonable accommodations. Bring your skills and merits to the table. Be truthful, self-determined and proactive.
Source: Department of LaborPrevious Page