Candidates & Apprentices
If you are concerned about disclosing your disability know that you are not alone. The decision to disclose, and when to disclose, can feel overwhelming.
Apprenti wants to equip applicants and apprentices with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions about navigating the workplace with a disability. To start, remember you have the power to choose to disclose your disability and when to disclose.
Know Your Legal Rights
- The Americans with Disability Act Amendment Act (ADA), a disability legislation in the US, does not include a list of medical conditions that qualify as a disability. Rather, the ADA states that someone has a disability if they have “a physical or mental impairment substantially limits one or more major life activities.”
- If an employee is unable to perform their job as a result of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations, as outlined under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and ADA.
- Apprenti seeks equal justice and equal dignity without discrimination. If you feel that you have been harassed, bullied and/or experienced other disruptive behavior please report l to Andrea Anderson[firstname.lastname@example.org].
What to consider before requesting an accommodation?
1. Should I disclose my disability?
- This is a personal question that requires self-reflection. Please review these questions: If you disclose, will it give you the opportunity to share how your disability helped you develop and foster skills that will help you excel in the role (i.e. problem-solving, grit, leadership, etc.)? If you don’t disclose, will it make the application process unexpectedly challenging? If you don’t disclose, do you anticipate that you will be fearful of being discovered? If you don’t disclose, will you feel like you can’t bring your authentic self to work?
2. If I decide to disclose, when is the best time?
- While there is not a universal ‘best time’ to disclose a disability, here are a few scenarios to consider –
- Disclosing before the interview: If you think your disability will prevent or limit you from fully participating in the interview process, it may be helpful to disclose your disability as soon as possible. This will help Apprenti and/or the employer implement your accommodation request or suggest an alternative.
- Disclosing during the interview: If you plan to tell stories about or reference your disability during the interview, it may be helpful to disclose your disability at the beginning of the interview.
Additionally, if you think the employer may have questions about your disability and workplace accommodations, it can be beneficial to take a proactive approach and to address those concerns directly.
Upon receiving an Offer Letter: If you need an accommodation to perform the essential functions of your job, we encourage you to notify the training provider and/or your employer before your first day. This will initiate the accommodation request and approval process.
Can the employer ask if I have a disability during the interview?
No, an employer cannot ask you if you have a disability nor ask about the nature or severity of your disability during the interview.
Who has access to the disability related medical information I share?
Disability-related medical information is stored in a confidential file — separate from your general personnel file. Only authorized individuals have access to the information.
Do chronic conditions qualify as a disability even when they are not active?
A chronic condition that causes periodic flare-ups is a disability if it “substantially limits one or more major life activities” in its active state.
I am a caregiver of an individual with a disability. Can I receive a reasonable accommodation?
No. To be eligible to receive an accommodation, an individual must have an ‘actual’ or ‘record or’ a disability, as defined by the ADA Amendments Act.
What if I don’t know if I have a disability, can I still reach out to the Apprenti Access Team?
Yes! You do not need a documented disability to talk with the Apprenti Access Team. We are happy to discuss barriers and work and what supports you may need, even without a diagnosis. You can reach us at email@example.com or (206) 513-7924.
I would like to request an accommodation. Who should I contact?
Reach out to Apprenti’s Access Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 513-7924.