To Disclose or Not To Disclose

Thursday, May 23, 2013

In the past week I have read two very personal articles regarding the issue of disclosing one's disability to a potential employer.

The first article, Why I No Longer Mention My Disability in Job Interviews, details the challenges of a young woman trying to find work while living with a hearing impairment. After being brushed aside for an interview because of her impairment, she decided to no longer disclose her condition unless it became absolutely necessary for the job.

The second article, Why I Always Disclose My Disability in a Job Interview, was posted yesterday and takes a polar opposite view from the article above. Being a wheelchair user and using lessons learned from online dating, this young woman found that disclosing her disability up front lets her take control of the conversation and ease fears.

So who is right? What is the best course of action? This is a question we receive almost daily in our work here at Champions and the truth is simply that both are right.

Disclosing is a personal decision, there is no predefined formula on how to do it. What is important is to have a plan. Both women in these articles had thought about disclosure, on how to approach an employer, and how to best demonstrate their strengths and aptitudes during a job interview. Building a clear and comprehensive plan is the best way to help an employer see your abilities - rather than your disability.

At Champions, we host a disclosure workshop every month where participants explore different ways to disclose a disability to a potential employer, the advantages and disadvantages of disclosing at different stages of the job search process, and how to develop a disclosure plan. If you need help  with understanding how your disability may impact your job search then this workshop is definitely for you.

Remember, "fortune favors the prepared mind".

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