As an individual with a disability, you may understand that the Americans With Disabilities Act protects your right to accommodations at work. What you may not realize is that you have the choice about whether to disclose your disability to your employer.
There are a few things that you should understand about disability disclosure and your employer.
Why should you disclose your disability?
When you have an invisible disability, you may wonder if you even need to disclose it. You have no obligation to tell your employer about your disability. However, if you choose not to disclose it, your employer also has no obligation to accommodate you. You must make your employer aware of your disability and request accommodations for your legal protections under the ADA to apply.
When should you disclose your disability?
If you decide that you need to disclose your disability, deciding when to do so is important. There is no guideline for disclosure timing. You might choose to reveal the disability during the interview process, when you accept the job offer or even on your first day of work. Some people withhold disclosure until they receive a job assignment that necessitates accommodations. You decide which is right for you.
The Americans With Disabilities Act protects you from discrimination as a result of any disability and ensures that your employers make accommodations as needed. Understanding the basics of disability disclosure makes it easier for you to see why disclosure is important and helps you decide when to disclose your disability.