According to the Job Accommodation Network, an employee may have to make a choice as to whether or not to disclose a disability to request a reasonable accommodation at work. Factors may include the nature of the disability, type of accommodation, and personal feelings. If and when to disclose a disability is the job seeker’s choice and can be an additional challenge if the disability is not apparent. The ADA states that accommodations can be requested at any point during the application process or employment and to follow the company’s procedures when doing so. If someone is asking for a reasonable accommodation for workplace barrier that, due disability, impacts performance or equal access. It is acceptable to ask without citing the ADA, and only disclose the information to anyone who is not involved in making the accommodation.
How does Disability Disclosure help a person with a disability?
Requesting a reasonable accommodation at work can help the employee be successful in their position. The Job Accommodation Network recommends disclosing a disability to make a reasonable accommodation at the appropriate time and to follow company guidelines when doing so. They also suggest limiting the conversation to their direct manager and/or Human Resources so as to maintain confidentiality.
How may a person with a disability access services?
The Job Accommodation Network suggests “providing basic information about your condition, your limitations, and what accommodations you may need…before job performance suffers or conduct problems occur.” Employees should be prepared to provide all requested/required documentation to support the request.
Organizations supporting individuals with disabilities can provide guidance in the process of requesting a reasonable accommodation and choose the organization(s) with whom they feel comfortable working.
Written by: Eric Freilich, Senior Career Consultant, CareerSource Palm Beach County