[AI] Disclosure of disability in a job application: your personal views

Kartik Sawhney sawhney.kartik at gmail.com
Fri Sep 14 01:43:24 EDT 2018


This is a very personal decision in my opinion. A resume is meant to
highlight some of the most important things you'd like to tell about
yourself to a potential employer. If you decide that disability is one
of those things, then sure, it should be included. However, if you
think that disability is not as key from a resume perspective, and
you'd only like to include it to give a heads-up to the employer, then
I don't think that's necessary, especially for a visible disability.
In any case, during the interview, the interviewers would know that
you are a person with a disability. But at that time, you will have an
opportunity to explain how you can accomplish your job well using
assistive technology and how you have not let your disability be an
impediment in the past. In India and the US both, there continues to
be a lack of awareness, but it is not always the case that people
don't want to understand. Your resume may be reviewed by people who
genuinely don't think you can do the task because they really don't
know anything about disability, but the same people might be the most
supportive once you demonstrate how you do your work. Of course, you
might need to disclose even before interview but after you have been
shortlisted for one to get reasonable accommodations. Personally, I
disclose disability indirectly on my resume through my work in the
field and awards etc.


On 9/13/18, Rahul Bajaj <rahul.bajaj10038 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi All,
>>> I hope this message finds you well.
>>> I was actually wondering what you thought about something that flows from
>>> a conversation that I had with some blind lawyers in the US in a meeting
>>> aimed at guiding some fresh law school graduates with disabilities who
>>> are finding great difficulty getting employed.
>>> One line of argument was that a disabled lawyer should not disclose their
>>> disability in their job application/cv, given that this wouldgive an
>>> employer a potential reason to discriminate and to find strategic ways to
>>> disguise that discrimination in such a subtle way as to ensure that it
>>> does not appear legally suspect (principally by citing reasons not
>>> related to a person's disability for not giving an interview call or the
>>> like, when the actual reason is disability). Proponents of this view
>>> believe that the interview process is solely aimed at ascertaining
>>> whether an applicant is qualified for the job concerned and that a
>>> disability has no bearing on that determination. By bringing the
>>> disability into the picture, you often end up colouring a potential
>>> employer's views about you in a negative way. They argue that the
>>> disability can be discussed once a decision to hire you has been made,
>>> for discussing reasonable accommodations.
>>> On the other hand, I am of the view that it is important to proceed on
>>> the premise that people do not have a discriminatory intent and to
>>> disclose the fact of your disability upfront while also making clear that
>>> your disability has not held you back from realizing your full potential,
>>> as opposed to brushing this issue under the carpet and thereby
>>> squandering the opportunity to disabuse a potential employer of false
>>> notions and stereotypes about a disabled person's competence. My view is
>>> that concealing the fact of one's disability at the time of applying
>>> prevents a potential employer from reflecting on the modus operandi that
>>> a disabled employee is likely to adopt to perform their functions and
>>> consequently from asking questions about the disability in the interview
>>> which can enable them to form a more informed view about the applicant's
>>> suitability.
>>> I'd be grateful if you could share your personal view about this,
>>> whenever convenient, based on your own experience and conversations you
>>> may have had with folks with disabilities. Some of them were suggesting
>>> that my views may be based on some unique features of Indian society
>>> which merit closer scrutiny.  Thank you.
>>> Best,
>>> Rahul
>>> Sent from my iPhone
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