Explain a Disability on a Job Application Form

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects job applicants who have disabilities from unfair prejudice in the hiring process. In fact, you are not even legally required to disclose your disability to a prospective employer, according to the ADA. However, employers are often required to reserve a certain number of positions for individuals with disabilities, so it may benefit you to disclose your disability in some cases. This guide will provide detailed steps of the best way to go about introducing your disability when applying for a job.


  1. Know your rights. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has outlined procedures to which every employer is legally bound. Chief among these procedures is a confidentiality agreement, so you should never feel a need to withhold any information relevant to your disability. You are entitled to accommodations throughout the entire interview process. Educate yourself on this topic to protect yourself from any potential wrongdoings on behalf of your prospective employer. http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/jobapplicant.html#potential
  2. Find a job that you can do well. It will not be effective for you to apply for jobs that your disability prevents you from performing adequately. Instead, look for jobs that you can do comfortably for extended periods of time. Not only will you benefit from stronger consideration in the application process, but you will end up with a more enjoyable career.
  3. Write a cover letter for your résumé. Your cover letter should be uniquely tailored to the job position to which you are applying.
  4. Decide whether or not to include your disability. Remember, the ADA protects you from needing to disclose your disability to any prospective employer. Should you choose, for any reason, to disclose it, include a brief introduction of the disability in the second half of your cover letter.

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