Part II Accommodation, Disclosure, Legal Rights and Obligations
Ultimately, the decision to disclose is a personal one, based on weighing the pros and cons while taking into consideration the nature of your disability, your strengths, weaknesses, and the demands of the job you are applying for.
By putting effective career planning and job search techniques into practice the student will likely be able to minimize any concerns they may have around the disclosure of their disability (ALIS, 2016c).
If the student needs accommodations in the workplace, they should keep in mind the following:
- In Canada, employers have a legal obligation to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities
- Be an expert on your disability and clearly explain to your employer why you need the accommodation and how it will help you perform your duties successfully
- In most cases, accommodations cost relatively little and are easy to implement
- If your employer denies a request for accommodation they must demonstrate that the accommodation places them in a position of undue hardship
- If your employer denies an accommodation you may appeal the decision to your local human rights commission
- Keep your expectations reasonable and work with your employer to come up with a suitable solution
One of the biggest questions students with disabilities have is whether or not they should disclose that they have a disability to an employer.
In deciding to disclose or not, some important considerations are:
- Disclosure is a personal decision; some individuals will disclose, while others choose not to
- If you choose to disclose your disability to your employer, decide what is the best time to disclose
- If you have a visible disability, give some forethought as to the timing of disclosure, especially if you are going to need accommodations
- If you have an invisible disability, you may not need to disclose it unless your ability to perform some tasks or safety is a consideration
- If you decide to disclose, talk about your disability in a positive way by focusing on abilities, not limitations, if any
- Know what accommodations you will need and work with your employer to implement them
One reason why persons with disabilities will disclose is if they need accommodations to perform some of their duties.
It is crucial to encourage and teach self-advocacy, as it is the student’s responsibility to apply for jobs, go to interviews, choose whether or not to disclose their disability, and request accommodations if necessary.