Career Resources

Disclosing a Disability to an Employer

Know why and when to discuss a disability with an employer.

Individuals may choose to discuss their disability with their employer for a number of reasons, including to request reasonable accommodations in order for them to perform their job. 

For people with visible disabilities (such as a physical disability that requires a wheelchair), their employer may already know that they have a disability, though the employee may need to share more information in order to discuss their workplace needs. 

For people with invisible disabilities, sometimes known as hidden disabilities, (such as chronic pain or mental illness), their first step in receiving accommodations is often disclosing their disability to their employer. 

Depending on your disability,  your workplace needs, and your goals for sharing more information, there are various times when you might choose to speak with the employer about your disability and needs. This might occur during the application and hiring process, after receiving an offer letter, or once you have been hired and are actively working. 

Here are additional resources to support individuals who are considering disclosing and/or discussing their disability with an employer:

Indeed, Disclosing a Disability 

Job Accommodation Network, Disability Disclosure 

CareerOneStop, Disclosing a Disability