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Careers and Enterprise

For students with a disability

The information below is to assist Queen Mary students who have a disability.

Do I have to disclose my disability to an employer?

Most employers know that they should not ask applicants at interview if they have a disability or other health-related questions, except in a few very limited circumstances. This is to ensure that applicants are offered work on their own merits and are not discriminated against because of disability.

What is disclosure?

It is never far from a disabled jobseeker's mind and usually comes to the fore when filling in a job application form. It is the word used to describe that tricky situation that many people with disabilities will recognise - do I choose to tell a potential employer that I am disabled or not?

Could disclosure be a good thing?

If you don't give advanced warning, you won't necessarily get an accessible interview. The room could be too small or upstairs, which would cause problems for wheelchair users or with mobility impairments. Assessment tests may be unreadable or cause difficulty if you're dyslexic or have vision difficulties. The interview itself may even be difficult if, for instance, you're hearing impaired and there is no loop, or if it is held in a room that echoes.

Do prospective employees have to disclose their disability to their employer?

There is no general duty for employees to do so, but if they do volunteer this information, interviewers must not respond by asking further questions about it. Interviewers should take particular care not to be influenced by the information in their selection decisions.

Candidates should discuss their condition, however, when it might pose a risk at work to themselves or others. Employers should ask candidates whether they need any 'reasonable adjustments', sometimes also called 'access requirements', for any part of the recruitment process. This is not the same as asking a candidate whether he or she is disabled.

The Careers & Enterprise Centre is accessible to wheelchair users. See the Disabled Go website. For further advice about the support available, please see the Disability and Dyslexia Service website.