The competition for jobs is as fierce as ever. As the economy continues to waiver, employers have an upper hand when searching for the most qualified candidate to fill positions in their companies. If you have a disability, even if it is not immediately obvious, then the task can seem even more daunting.
Dealing with a disability during a job search adds issues and complexities that a candidate must deal with, but in many instances, these can be minimized if you handle them the right way.
As a job hunter, the first issue you must face is when to disclose that you have a disability. People with chronic illnesses and medical disabilities are not legally bound to disclose they have these conditions if they are not obvious or if they have no direct impact to the job in question.
The Americans with Disabilities Act expressly forbids companies with more than 15 employees from discriminating due to physical or mental disabilities, asking applicants about current or past medical issues, or requiring applicants to undergo pre-employment medical exams.
But despite rules that are in place, some companies do discriminate, and so it’s best to gauge each job opportunity as it comes up, deciding how and when it might be the most appropriate to disclose a medical condition. The nature of the medical issue may also have a direct bearing on when to disclose it as well. A condition such as diabetes that can be easily controlled by snacking on the right foods on a regular basis may be received differently than by someone who has a heart condition that worsens in times of stress.