Should You Disclose Your Disability on Your Resume?

Crafting the perfect resume takes a lot of careful thought and questioning. Do I include all previous work experience? What section goes first? Do I disclose my disability on my resume? This last question may be the trickiest of them all, because the answer is really that it depends. There are many factors to weigh when deciding if you should include your disability on your resume. Here are a few starting points!


Do Your Research 


The first step to making this decision is researching the company you are applying to.  What is the company’s policy on disability? Many companies nowadays include a comment on their job post highlighting that they do not discriminate based on race, gender, or disability. If the company includes such a statement that means that disclosing your disability on your resume should not harm your chance of employment.


Question Yourself


Before deciding to include your disability on your resume, evaluate the relevancy. In other words, will your disability in any way effect your ability to get the job done? If your disability will have absolutely no effect on your job, then it is not imperative to include it on your resume. However, if you will need special accommodation to perform your job fully due to your disability, it is important to be upfront and transparent about this so that the company can meet your needs.


Check the Application


The fact that you are crafting a resume means that you are most likely applying to a job or several jobs. Check the application for a specific job you are applying to before adding your disability on your resume. Many online job applications offer a section where you may disclose a disability. You also have the chance to opt out of answering the question, so if you feel that your chance of being employed is diminished by your disability, you can leave it out. If you include it on your job application, it is not necessary to highlight it in your resume.


Learn about the Americans with Disabilities Act


In order to fully assess your individual situation, learn more about your protection under the ADA.  You will find that you are allowed to disclose your disability to an employer at any time, so if you decide to wait until an interview or a job offer to disclose, that is completely acceptable. The ADA offers support centers and advice on addressing disabilities in the workplace that can be very helpful for jobseekers.


Overall, the decision is ultimately up to you when you would like, if ever, to disclose your disability. While most employers will appreciate the openness and transparency early on in the process, there still can be unfortunate discriminatory effects of doing so.  Weigh the pros and cons, consult the ADA, and supports systems around you to best determine if you should disclose your disability on your resume.


Written By: O.Greendyk