How to Disclose Your Disability
- 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.