Disclosing your disability on an application form

Unlike CV’s where you have a degree of flexibility when it comes to disclosing your disability, an application form is different.  An application form is a legal document and if you give false information and an employer finds out then you could end up losing your job.

Application forms usually have a section that asks about health conditions or disabilities or they come with a health monitoring form.  It’s up to you whether you want to disclose your disability at this stage. I would recommend you do, purely because of the legal implications involved.  If you prefer, you can disclose your disability later on in the application process.  The decision is entirely up to you because you know yourself better then anyone.

If you do decide to disclose your disability on the application form, then consider the following points;

  • Think about how your disability has developed your existing skills (i.e. verbal skills, computing, written skills etc.)
  • Be positive about your skills and experiences. Provide relevant information about what you can do and not what you can’t do.
  • Give practical examples of how you have met and overcome various challenges in your life (i.e. passing your driving test, looking after a family member with an illness etc.)
  • Demonstrate that your disability has not limited your personal/academic achievements or work performance.
  • Don’t use complicated medical terms to describe your disability. Tell the employer what your disability is in the simplest possible way.

In conclusion, the decision to disclose your disability is a personal and often private matter and only you can decide what’s right for you.  More often then not, your decision will rest on, you, the nature of your disability and the role you are applying for.  It’s a huge decision for anyone but before you make the decision think carefully about the outcome.  Decisions such as this can sometimes be the deciding factor behind whether you get the job or not.