The Law: The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)
The employer has a duty to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to premises and working practices to ensure you are not at a substantial disadvantage compared with others. This covers the recruitment process and your terms and conditions under employment.
Rights covered by the DDA include: your chances for promotion, transfers, training and benefits, unfair treatment compared with other workers, harassment, victimisation and unfair dismissal.
The decision rests entirely with you. It is not a legal requirement that you disclose your disability at an interview or on your CV.
However, if your disability requires the need of support during an interview, it is best that you let the company know in advance so they can make the preparations. This could mean anything from interviewing you in a room that offers wheelchair access, to having an interpreter present.
Giving false information on forms that ask about disability and health is also not advisable. This could lead to you losing your job. It is important to remember that just because they ask, does not mean this has any negative implications. The question is largely asked to ensure that the appropriate health and safety measures are in place.
Many people believe that disabilities ultimately can have a negative impact on gaining employment.
Jobseekers are perhaps more likely to choose not to disclose their disability rather than share it and risk ‘losing a job’.
Don’t assume that an employer will view disability negatively or as a reason not to employ you, as this is not the case. The Employment Equality Act means that an employer cannot discriminate against someone with a disability.
As most companies operate equal opportunities policies, these are very positive towards accommodating those members of the workforce with a disability.
If you choose to disclose your disability in an interview, it gives you the chance to fully explain it positively. Your disability may have forced you to gain skills which are beneficial and useful to an employer. So use it to your advantage, people won’t see it as a disadvantage, and if you do, you aren’t doing yourself any favours.
I have a friend who is a colour blind graphic designer. His boss knows, and he is great at his job. This is my personal proof that having a disability doesn’t have to stop you doing something you love.
For more information, please visit http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/Pages/default.aspx