Should You Disclose Your Disability in Job Applications or Interviews?
The term "disability" can be defined as a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on your ability to carry out normal day to day activities.
Of course, this is a broad definition and covers a wide range of conditions (ie. Aspergers) or impairments. In saying that, there are some questions that are often asked of us:
Do you need to disclose your disability?
It is up to you whether you want to disclose your disability. Some disabilities are more challenging than others to disclose. For example, a mental health disability can sometimes be less hard to disclose as opposed to a physical impairment which is more noticeable.
The decision to disclose your disability cannot just be made on a logical basis only. It's also essential to think about how you are going to feel when talking about your disability.
There are those people who are confident with this and would rather get everything out in the open as soon as possible. In contrast, others will procrastinate and worry about them being stereotyped and want to be seen for their achievements and skills and not their disability.
When deciding whether or not to disclose, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Will my disability affect my ability to do the job without any additional workplace modifications from the company?
If you answered no to this, then there is unlikely that it's worth disclosing, however, if you answered yes then I would suggest disclosing but then you need to pick the right time to disclose.
2. Does your resume have gaps in history?
If your resume has gaps in its employment history, then it can really worry employers. If you have a lot of gaps in your employment history due to your disability, then it might be a good idea to address those gaps through disclosure. Remember that not all employers are going to be understanding and disability aware.