The biggest advantage of disclosing your disability is that then you are entitled to receive reasonable accommodations to be successful at work. People with disabilities may require accommodations to apply, interview, or perform the job. Legislation such as the Equality Act 2010 in the U.K. and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the U.S. has ensured reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities.
Reasonable accommodations are “any change in the work environment or in the way things are customarily done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform a job, or gain equal access to the benefits and privileges of a job”.
Some of these accommodations include changes in the facility or polices and assistive technology. In the United States, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said that allowing individuals to work from home may be a reasonable accommodation, and the ADA and FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) allow employees the right to work-leave for medical reasons.
If you don’t disclose your disability, then you cannot expect an employer to make such accommodations.
If you need accommodations at any point, then you are going to have to disclose your disability. However, you do not have to disclose more information than is necessary to explain why you need the accommodation; how much information you disclose is up to you. You can request accommodations to complete the application process, for the interview, or at any point that you are employed.
You don’t need to disclose your illness prior to the need for accommodation in order to receive one, but you should request accommodation before your work suffers.
It is also recommended that you don’t use unnecessary medical jargon and focus on how the accommodation will help you do an excellent job. Additionally, it is advised that you are prepared when you disclose and already you know what specific accommodations (or equipment) that you need and offer proactive solutions.