Pros and Cons of Young Employees Disclosing a Disability to Employers



Bill O'connorA young adult with a learning disability looks forward to the chance to take on responsibility, make decisions and build interpersonal communication just like any traditional prospective hire. As always, one of the decisions a candidate or new employee must make is disclosure of disability to an employer. Others can provide help and support when it comes to making the decision. Parents especially, because of how well they know their child and understand the disability, can help more than anyone else.

When someone discloses a disability in school, their performance can be judged fairly and others can provide more support if needed. Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) might have goals to teach self-advocacy, a factor that can lead to success.

However, jobs don’t have IEPs, and few managers know how to deal with learning issues.

This self-advocacy issue is a big crossroads. Asking the candidate if he/she needs help with the disclosure decision can make it easier for them to make the decision in each situation. Here are some pros and cons to consider when helping candidates:


Accommodations in the workplace:  The ADA requires that employers provide reasonable accommodation, but here, these laws can help only if the candidate speaks out. This could even require documentation to activate these laws. Human resources may be the best place to start rather than the hiring manager themselves.

Return on human investment for the employer:  Subsidies and tax breaks can be earned though hiring these candidates, so this could shine well on hiring officers as well as HR.

Learning solutions for the future: Fair judgement of job performance can be determined by the employer, so resources, like job coaches, can help the candidate. A coach can provide on-site support and other resources that can help them succeed in the workplace in their young working history.


Concerns about being given less responsibility: Someone may worry that they won’t be trusted to take on important projects if they tell their boss about their disability. They may also be concerned that disclosing their disability could lead to being passed over for a promotion or a raise.

Confidentiality issues: Someone may worry that if they tell their employer, word will get out and fellow coworkers will know about their disability. Human resources officers know that information about a worker’s disabilities must remain private and that employers can get in trouble for breaking that rule. If a new worker lets fellow employees know about the disability, this becomes information that can be known by other employees.

Know rights at work and how anti-discrimination laws are designed to prevent an employer from doing these kinds of things.

As you’re helping your child think about how to disclose their disability, you can give them other advice on how to make their first job a good experience. If they are finishing high school or college, you can also take steps to ease their transition into the working world.

AbilityLinks Blog

Closing the Distance between Veterans Returning Home and Employers Seeking New Talent



While very tight in the past 6 years, the job market has improved steadily in 2015, and there has been an even stronger focus on diversity initiatives. Federal contractor requirements for setting veteran and disability hiring goals as well as new tax breaks have given companies the flexibility to access these segments of the population that are most in need of newly created  jobs. Our veterans were put in these incredibly dangerous and stressful situations and they put their civilian jobs and education on hold. They need and deserve employment when they come back to civilian life.

Companies want to do more but are concerned about the bottom line. Business is business. Some say veterans are passed over for jobs not because they are unqualified, but because they lack required credentials, a formal education or a way to describe their military skills in a way that translates to the civilian workforce. With that in mind, here are examples and reasons why hiring a veteran can add value from a business perspective. By emphasizing these skills and traits on a resume and during the job interview veterans can increase their chances of being hired.

1.  Work under pressure 

In the military, veterans keep a clear head and focus on results even when things seem to be getting out of hand. They face high-pressure situations while serving in the military.

2.  Loyalty and teamwork

Veterans understand the value of ingrained loyalty respect for procedures and are less likely to jump between jobs they have a firm grasp of the team player and individual effort.

3.  Focus 

Military veterans are among the most highly committed and focused people you could ever meet. With them, failure is not an option.

For employers, there are also benefits to hiring a veteran. 

1.  New tax credits outlines a host of new and existing tax credits that encourage employers to hire vets.  These incentives and benefits positively impact small and large businesses. Click link to learn more. New small business tax incentives also come from the Hire More Heroes Act affecting businesses that hire vets who already receive health insurance coverage.  

2.  Veteran and disability hiring goals.

Federal contractors are working under new regulations requiring setting disability and veteran hiring goals. Doing so improves the quality and diversity of their workforce and demonstrates the company’s compliance with new regulations. 


 Framing skills gained in the military in ways businesses can connect to, new tax incentives and hiring goals for small and large businesses can all make a difference and bring unemployed veterans and businesses together in a partnership that benefits both.                                

AbilityLinks Blog – Disability Issues