• Tracey

I DON’T KNOW WHETHER TO MENTION MY DISABILITY (First posted in September 2015)

What advice would you give?

  • It depends in what context this relates to. If you apply for a job and do not admit your impairment then try to take them to court through the equality act then this would go against you I believe

  • Also any insurance claims might go void ...if you get the job

  • I'm not going to get into this one, other than to say some of us just don't have that choice..!!

  • In my opinion one has to be truthful and declare everything at the start. If one doesn't then it will be held against you, if anything happens. This applies to benefits , all sorts of applications and various documents. In other words it's illegal to cover up you disability.

  • I too think declaring a disability is the only way to go. Hiding it, if possible, can only lead to negative outcomes.

  • I would think that the individual would find it difficult, once in work, to claim legally that the employer has not made reasonable adjustments, if the employer was not aware that the person was a disabled person as they hadn't declared. But that could happen once they are in post.

  • I suppose that what I would do, in this person's situation is not to declare until I got a letter inviting me to interview and, once I had received that I would declare. If they suddenly withdrew the offer of interview I would take them to a tribunal for discrimination (though I wouldn't tell them that before either!!)

  • I might, if I thought it appropriate, bring a written statement about whether or not my impairment would affect the way I would do my job and the "solutions" to enable me to do my job more effectively- and possibly download some info about ATW (ha!)

I find this interesting because my son (early twenties) has a learning disability - quite moderate - he is actually very bright - but he has Downs Syndrome and this can affect the way he deals with instructions and speed of response etc. He went to mainstream school, never had a statement of educational needs and survived positively though there was a spell of bullying which we and he dealt with pretty well.

When he was growing up we never thought of him as having "a disability" We only got involved in the benefits system etc. when he left school and then college and it became clear to us that he might find it difficult getting a job - the employment climate being what it was at that time. He has had a couple of paid jobs but both have come to an end - one after two years - the other after six months. He has worked in a voluntary role for over three years.

Once he was 18 we gave him the choice about whether to apply for DLA or not and he chose to do so - on the premise that if he couldn't get a job and we were no longer around he would need to be in the system to get support. He now finds it really difficult to decide how to complete job applications - especially those online. He is completely convinced that if he declares a disability on an online application it is discarded immediately. Of course there is legislation which shouldn't allow this (hmm) but who says anyone takes any notice of legislation in an online situation and in the sector he wants to work in, the majority of applications are dealt with this way.

To be honest I often wonder if we did it all wrong - should we have said when he was small - you have DS - therefore you have a disability - would he then have been better off in the system? But then I'm sure he wouldn't have - we had to fight so hard to get people to think outside the diagnosis and see him as a child/youngster with capabilities, but I acknowledge the problem of how to fill in forms which give employers preconceptions about your capabilities and the problems they perceive might bring with you.


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