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What are the advantages and disadvantages of disclosing your disability to a potential employer? Show more Show less
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According to the CDC, 61 million adult Americans (or 1 in 4) have a disability. People with a disability have an unemployment rate that is twice as high as the rate for the rest of the population. It can be harder to get a job for people with disabilities. One of the biggest issues around applying for a job is deciding whether or not to disclose your disability to a potential employer. Legislation such as the Equality Act 2010 in the U.K. and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the U.S. have ensured certain protections such as protection from discrimination, reasonable accommodations, and restrictions on what employers can ask about your disability. Pre-offer employers can ask voluntary demographic information (including if you have a disability) to ensure diversity, or make limited enquires to determine if you can perform the tasks vital to the role and post-offer employers can ask medical questions (or require an examination) as long as they do for all individuals selected. However, it is generally up to the individual to decide if, when, and how much to disclose. There are both advantages and disadvantages to disclosing your disability to a potential employer.

Disadvantages of disclosing your disability Show more Show less

Employers knowing that someone has a disability can result in discrimination. Employers may use the disability as a reason to eliminate the person from consideration. It can also mean that they are misunderstood, treated differently, left out, or passed over for promotions/raises.
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Disclosing a disability results in employers not giving you a chance

Employers knowing that you have a disability can result in them not giving you a chance. Your disability might serve as a reason to eliminate you from consideration. It can also cause the interview to be all about your disability instead of your abilities.
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The Argument

Employers knowing that you have a disability can result in them not giving you a chance. Laws such as the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) restricts what employers can ask about your disability before a conditional job offer has been made because employers frequently used this information to exclude applicants.[1] Choosing to disclose your disability before you are hired can mean that you don’t get the job. Disclosing your disability prior to the interview might serve as a reason to eliminate you from consideration and mean that you get fewer interview invitations.[2] If you do get an interview, then learning about your disability can serve as a distraction. The interview can end up being all about your disability instead of your ability to perform the job well.[3] Finally, even without overt discrimination or distraction, knowing you have a disability can impact how the employer perceives you. Employers may have preconceived notions of your disability.[4] The possibility of discrimination in the hiring process is a big disadvantage to disclosing a disability.

Counter arguments

There are laws such as the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) to protect people with disabilities from hiring discrimination.[1] If you are qualified for the position, there is no reason to think that you won’t get hired because of your disability. Employers are human and everyone has different issues, they understand that.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Your disability might serve as a reason to eliminate you from consideration. [P2] Learning about your disability can cause the interview to be all about your disability instead of your abilities. [P3] Knowing you have a disability can impact how the employer perceives you.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] There are laws to protect people with disabilities from hiring discrimination.

References

  1. https://www.eeoc.gov/pre-employment-inquiries-and-disability
  2. https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/disclose-disability-on-resume
  3. https://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/2016/mar/11/i-have-a-disability-when-do-i-tell-a-prospective-employer
  4. https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/learning-disabilities-at-work

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This page was last edited on Monday, 10 Aug 2020 at 03:28 UTC

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