When to Disclose a Disability
For job seekers with a hidden disability disclosure isn’t necessary until a job offer is received. For others, it’s necessary to disclose a disability before an interview so accommodations can be made. For more tips on disclosing a disability, check out the University of Minnesota Disclosing a Disability Handout (pdf).
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, an employer must provide you with reasonable accommodation for both job interviews and employment unless it provides an “undue hardship.” For more details on what constitutes reasonable accommodation and related tips visit the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission web site.
To learn about accommodation options for specific disabilities visit the Job Accommodations Network and click on “Accommodation Search.”
How to Disclose a Disability and Ask for Accommodation
Know when/how you’ll disclose your disability and plan to keep it simple. Many employers are happy to accommodate you, some simply don’t know how. If you can provide them with information, it can show initiative and put the employer at ease:
Thank you for your email. I would be delighted to come in for an interview on November 7th at 2:00pm. I look forward to learning more about your organization and sharing with you how my education and experience can benefit your organization. I wanted to make you aware that as a person with a hearing impairment, I will need a sign language interpreter for my job interview. Typically, the employer arranges this service by calling (name of organization) at (phone of organization). Please let me know if you have any questions.
Finding Job Openings
Many organizations want to hire candidates with disabilities and will tailor a position to your abilities. Contact organizations and ask if they have a human resources staff member that specializes in recruiting students with disabilities. Introduce yourself and inquire about opportunities for someone with your education and experience.
When searching job posting sites, try a key word search for “disabilities” to find organizations that work with disabled clients or that have stated “Students with disabilities are encouraged to apply.”
Disability.gov (Click on "employment")
Extensive information related to working abroad, accommodations, self employment and more.
Listings of professional association committees and groups targeting educational, career or employment concerns.
The American Association of People with Disabilities is the largest national non-profit cross-disability member organization in the United States.
The Job Accommodations Network (JAN) provides free consulting to individuals with physical or intellectual limitations that affect employment.
Helpful disability related resources for new workers, including information on disclosure, illegal interviewing questions, and identifying disability friendly employers.
One-stop resource for people with disabilities interested in study, work, intern, volunteer, research or teach abroad programs.
Need more information than what you find here? Contact Career and Internship Services at 612-624-2710 or firstname.lastname@example.org for an appointment.