In the many years I’ve worked at the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), one of the issues that has consistently come up when talking to individuals with disabilities is whether to disclose a disability to an employer. When individuals ask me whether they should disclose their disability, the first thing I always say is that it’s a personal decision, and then I offer to discuss things they might want to consider when making the decision. For example, from a legal standpoint, individuals may want to consider what the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allows employers to ask them about their disability or whether they need to disclose to be entitled to accommodations. From a practical standpoint, individuals need to decide how much information to provide, who to provide it to, and when to provide it.
To help individuals with their decisions about disclosing a disability, JAN maintains a page on disclosure issues and recently developed a training module and two training videos. The module provides a brief overview of applicable ADA rules and ideas for dealing with illegal medical questions, gaps in employment, and disclosure in general. One video depicts a job applicant’s decision about disclosing during a job interview and the other video illustrates an employee’s decision to disclose and request accommodations because her medical condition has flared up.
If you’re interested in the new training module, videos, and accompanying materials, visit the JAN Multimedia Training Microsite to download them for free. To see all the other information JAN has about disclosure, visit our disclosure page. And if you would like to discuss disclosure with one of our consultants or employment specialists, contact us any time.