Job Seekers & Employers
Helpful information for Job Seekers
Disclosing Disability: Your Choice
Disclosing a disability to an employer is a personal choice. People with disabilities are not required to disclose their disability and it is against the law for employers to ask an employee is the employee has a disability. An employer can ask if the employee needs accommodations to do the job.
Job applicants will probably want to think about whether or not they need to ask for job accommodation. People with disabilities should be prepared to do at an interview; it’s best to think about an answer beforehand to be confident in presenting a well-thought request. It is always good to rehearse. If you know someone who is an employer you might want to ask him or her to go through a practice interview and critique answers, prior to the “real” interview.
Some people with disabilities will want to disclose their disability at the interview to let the employer know how they intend to adapt the job tasks and alleviate any of the employer’s unnecessary concerns. Others who do not need many accommodations may prefer not invite any potential employer bias, and may choose not to disclose their disability.
Some employers appreciate being approached with trust and complete openness, while other employers may not know how to respond, or may respond poorly. Only the person with the disability should decide what will be disclosed.
Remember, too, there are many employers seeking qualified applicants with disabilities to work in their organization. LIFTT suggests starting your employment search by contacting disability-friendly employers. You may find the list of Employment Resources useful.
If you are a person with a disability, please contact LIFTT for additional information about realizing your employment goals.
Helpful information for Employers
When do I have to provide an accommodation?
You must provide a reasonable accommodation if a person with a disability needs one in order to apply for a job, perform a job, or enjoy benefits equal to those you offer other employees. You do not have to provide any accommodation that would pose an undue hardship.
What is an undue hardship?
Undue hardship means that the accommodation would be too difficult or too expensive to provide, in light of the employer’s size, financial resources, and the needs of the business. An employer may not refuse to provide an accommodation just because it involves some cost. An employer does not have to provide the exact accommodation the employee or job applicant wants. If more than one accommodation works, the employer may choose which one to provide.
- JAN – Job Accommodation Network – An excellent resource for exploring reasonable accommodation.
- Small Employers and Reasonable Accommodation
- Employer Assistance Referral Network (EARN) – A national toll-free telephone and electronic information referral service to assist employers in locating and recruiting qualified workers with disabilities. EARN is a service of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy with additional support provided by the Social Security Administration’s Office of Employment Support Programs. 1-866- EARN NOW (327-6669)