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Disclosing a disability

disability symbolYou do not have any legal obligation to disclose a disability unless you want to. It is your personal choice.

When making this decision you should consider whether your disability potentially raises a health and safety issue, for example, if you have epilepsy and may experience a seizure at work. Another factor in this decision is whether or not you require any adjustments to enable you to undertake your day to work or even to attend the interview.

Top tips

  • Always present your disability in a way that will show you in a positive light.
  • Emphasise how your disability may have enhanced your skills and abilities in some areas.
  • Employers want enthusiastic and positive employees, so concentrate on achievement and skill.
  • Look for disability-positive employers, but consider all opportunities on their merits.
  • Market yourself positively by familiarising yourself with the job description and person specification.
  • Only discuss your disability in terms of its relevance to your performance in the job.
  • Don't assume the employer will have a negative attitude - your experiences and skills may give you the edge over other candidates.

Useful links

Target Jobs – Within their careers advice section, they have information related to equality and diversity.

Prospects – Provide careers advice and job and course opportunities to students and graduates. This includes an examples of a cover letter disclosing a disability.

CareerBox – The self-promotion section contains a wealth of useful information related to cover letters as well as equality and diversity.

Example wording for disclosure

This following cover letter is a good example of how a positive disclosure of your disability can for part of a great cover letter. The disclosure text is highlighted in bold.

Dear Mr Mitchell

Re: Trainee Manager

I am writing to you in connection with the trainee manager vacancy, which was recently advertised in Prospects Today. Please find enclosed a copy of my CV.

As you will see from my CV, I have recently graduated from Southampton Solent University with a degree in Business Management. I believe that this, together with my work experience to date, has equipped me with the knowledge and skills relevant to the above role. In particular, I would like to highlight the following aspects of my experience which I believe would add value to your organisation.

Detailed knowledge of business administration systems – developed through my recent degree level study, where I specialised in Human Resource strategy and a three month work placement with the Ordnance Survey, both of which have provided me with a valuable insight into current industrial management practice and an awareness of likely future developments in this field.

Effective communication and interpersonal skills – developed through working on several team based projects at university as well as the above placement and a number of part-time positions, where I dealt regularly with customers and colleagues at all levels. My recent summer placement within the Customer Service Division of HSBC developed my ability to deal effectively with people from a wide variety of backgrounds in an organization which places high value on customer service. Additionally, my own experience as a customer and as someone with a visual impairment has developed my awareness of the need to treat everyone as an individual with individual needs.

Experience and expertise in current IT applications – initially developed through the need to overcome my disability by learning at an early age to use complex computer software to read text and subsequently through ongoing IT courses at school and college and regularly completing assignments.

Additionally, I have a very high degree of flexibility and adaptability which has been developed largely as a positive consequence of my disability which has never restricted my ability to provide an excellent service to my employers and customers. I have a strong desire to develop a career in management and am particularly interested in working for Excell Employ as I have a keen interest in the ongoing development of the IT industry.

I am available for interview at any time, I would appreciate such an opportunity, which would allow me to discuss with you in more detail, why I believe I meet the requirements for the position.

Yours sincerely



Page last updated on Wednesday 2 March 2016 at 3.26pm.


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