Despite the fact that many companies seem to be promoting diversity candidates with disabilities still face discrimination during the selection process. This is why the arguments for and against disclosing your disability on an application form still raises a few eye brows.
Reasons for disclosing a disability
- Triumph over adversity-overcoming a disability or personal difficulty is an achievement and many employers see this as a hugely valuable experience.
- If you disclose your disability during the application process and then you feel that you have been treated unfairly, you can make a complaint under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).
- Access to Work Scheme-you can get funding from Access to Work for any specialist equipment that you may require or help towards travel costs.
- Positive aspects of your disability-you can take the opportunity to describe your disability in a positive light by providing evidence which suggests that the unique experiences you have had with your disability may be useful in the work place. For example, through the use of specialist IT equipment for sight loss, you might have acquired excellent IT and organisational skills.
- Position of trust-you may feel comfortable with the idea that you have been honest about your disability, particularly as the position you are applying for requires someone who is honest and disciplined.
- Look out for the ‘Two Ticks’ disability symbol on job advertisements. Usually this is awarded by Jobcentre plus and means that the employer has made a commitment to employing people with a disability.
Reasons against disclosing a disability
- Your disability is a personal and private matter so you might feel uncomfortable disclosing it to a stranger.
- Your disability may have nothing to do with your ability to do the job that you are applying for.
- Employers may not view your application objectively. They may have a tendency to focus on your disability rather then your personal abilities and skills.
- The employer may have misconceptions about the implication of your disability. For example; they might think that you will require additional time off because of your disability or specialist equipment to carry out your job efficiently. This would require additional finances which the employer may not have.