When to Disclose Your Disability

“Sometimes the worst thing about having a disability is that people meet it before they meet you.” – East Seals Society poster

Only you can decide whether to disclose your disability to a potential employer. If your disability is visible, it may be best to address it directly, early in the interview.  A failure to disclose early may result in the interviewer thinking more about your disability rather than focusing on what you have to say.

If you decide to disclose, let your employer know that you have weakness on one side of your body and have had this since birth. Then tell them how this disability has given you creative problem solving skills as you’ve learned to adapt to your surroundings. You may decide to share something that was difficult for you and how you problem solved to overcome or find alternatives in that situation. Turn your differences into something that will be of benefit to your potential employer.

If you need accommodations, discuss what you need – not what you can’t do.  For example, don’t say, “I can’t type without a special hand rest.”  Instead, say, “I can type 85 words per minute when using a special hand rest.” It’s important to know your strengths, your limitations, and your accommodations.

Other Resources

The Why, When, What, and How of Disclosure in an Academic Setting, After High School

Should You Disclose a Disability on Your Resume?

Tips for Disclosing Your Disability

Online Dating:  When (and How) to Disclose Your Disability

Disclosing Your Disability