Advantages and Disadvantages of Disclosure

The following information can help you decide if and when to disclose information about your disability, depending on the situation. Click here to view the information in a table format(19KB).

Option 1: Third party referral

Advantages

  • A recommendation from someone the employer knows can increase the chances of being invited for an interview.
  • Employer is immediately aware of your situation.

Disadvantages

  • Little or no control over what is said about you.
  • The information could be used to screen you out of the interview process.

Recommendations

  • Use this option if the person making the recommendation knows you well and is supportive of your goals.
  • Follow up with a phone call to the employer to answer any questions.

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Option 2: Written application (résumé, cover, or application form)

Advantages

  • The employer may appreciate your willingness to be forthcoming and open.
  • The employer may be actively recruiting for diverse workforce.

Disadvantages

  • Does not allow you to address questions the employer may have.
  • Limited space to explain your abilities, accommodations, etc.
  • Could be used to screen you out.

Recommendations

  • Use this approach if your disability might be an advantage in terms of being hired (the employer has an employment equity program).
  • Focus on your skills and abilities.

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Option 3: When the interview is scheduled

Advantages

  • Employer has already expressed an interest in interviewing you.
  • Employer can prepare for interview (accommodations).
  • A better opportunity to explain your situation.

Disadvantages

  • Employer may react negatively (feel you’ve been dishonest).
  • Employer may draw inappropriate conclusions and not give you serious consideration.

Recommendations

  • If you require accommodations for your interview, you might want to disclose at this point.
  • If the interviewer is not the one scheduling the interviews, you may want to call back and disclose to him/her.

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Option 4: After scheduling the interview

Advantages

  • Same as above

Disadvantages

  • Same as above

Recommendations

  • Same as above, plus it allows you time to prepare what you want to say and how to say it.

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Option 5: At moment of meeting

Advantages

  • Reduces risk of the employer forming preconceived opinions about your abilities.

Disadvantages

  • Employer may feel unprepared for the interview or react negatively.
  • Interview setting might not be appropriate.

Recommendations

  • If your disability is not visible and you are self-confident and able to keep the employer’s attention focused on your skills and abilities, you might want to use this method.

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Option 6: During the interview

Advantages

  • Provides an opportunity for you to reassure the employer and answer questions.

Disadvantages

  • Same as above.

Recommendations

  • If your disability is not visible, you can disclose at this pint and, focusing on your abilities, explain any accommodations you will require.

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Option 7: After receiving an offer

Advantages

  • If your disability will not adversely affect your ability to do the work, the employer cannot withdraw the offer.

Disadvantages

  • The employer’s reaction could be very negative.

Recommendations

  • This option could be used if your disability is not visible, will not affect your ability to do the work and you will not require accommodations. If you are in this situation, you may also choose not to disclose at all.

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(Adapted from Career and Placement Services – Tips, University of Alberta)

Source: Tips for Job Seekers – Employment Series for Persons with Disabilities. Alberta Human Resources and Employment, Career and Workplace Resources.

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