Disclosing Disability

People are not required to tell their employer, or a potential employer, about their disability. It is a very personal decision for many people, perhaps even your loved one.

While disclosing disability is not required, it may be helpful in some instances. An employer is not required to provide accommodations if they are unaware that they are needed. They cannot guess what your loved one may need in order to perform a job successfully or on the same level as his or her coworkers. It is the responsibility of a person with a disability to inform his or her employer, or potential employer, what accommodations may be needed. 

Once an employer is aware of a person's disability and believes they need accommodations, they are able to ask the employee what accommodations he or she needs. The accommodations must focus directly on what the employee needs to complete his or her employment tasks. 

Frequently asked questions about disclosing disability

If my loved one chooses to disclose his or her disability, when would be the best time to do so?

There is no right or wrong time. Some people choose to disclose their disability during an interview. Others choose to disclose their disability during the interview. Others choose to disclose after an employment offer is made. Still others choose not to disclose a disability until it interferes with functions of his or her job. Again, there is no right or wrong time to disclose a disability. But it is recommended that if your loved one chooses to disclose their disability, they should do so before issues arise that may impact their job performance so that the disability is documented and accommodations are provided in a timely manner.

What if my loved one does not want to disclose his or her disability, but later decides they would like accommodations?

Your loced one may disclose their disability to his or her supervisor, or human resources, at any time. He or she may request accommodations that directly relate to his or her disability and his or her job responsbilities.

Are records confidential?

Yes. An employer may not tell your loved one's coworkers about his or her disability.

Where can I find informatyion on possible employment accommodations?

Visit the Job Accommodation Network for more information on a variety of topics related to employment accommodations.