Job Search Tips for Students with Disabilities
Watch our online presentation: Job Searching for Students with Disabilities (opens in new browser window)
Disclosing Your Disability and Requesting Workplace Accommodations
As you begin your job search, ask yourself: as a future employee, and a person with a disability, what do you want and need in a workplace? This should help guide your job search.
Do Your Research
Research various companies that you hope to work for. Do they advertise or promote values such as inclusiveness, diversity, respect, or work/life balance? Companies who do are quite likely to welcome employees from diverse backgrounds, however don’t necessarily discount a company right away that does not advertise these values.
Do you need to disclose your disability?
Ask yourself: will disclosing my disability help me get the job, and does it help me get the accommodations that I will need to perform the job?
You are not required to disclose your disability if:
- You can do the work without accommodation.
- Your disability will not pose a danger at work to you or others.
How and When to Disclose Your Disability
There are several points within the hiring process when you can disclose your disability1:
- When the interview is scheduled, if you require any accommodations for the interview itself.
- During the interview.
- When the job is offered.
There are pros and cons to each one, and the decision should be based on your needs and comfort level. If and when you do decide to disclose your disability, there are some things to keep in mind:
- Be able to describe the impact of your disability on the job in regards to safety, efficiency, and reliability.
- Be able to describe your self-management skills and how you would handle the duties of the job.
- Stay positive and keep the focus on your skills and qualifications.
Requesting Workplace Accommodations
Employers have a duty to accommodate the disabilities of potential and current employees up to the point of undue hardship2. A range of accommodations may be used, many of which have little or no cost. Some examples of accommodations include:
- Scheduling accommodations, such as modified shifts or job sharing.
- Environmental and technological accommodations, including modified lighting, assistive devices, software, or automatic door openers.
If you are requesting workplace accommodations:
- Know your needs and be able to describe what type(s) of accommodations you would require on the job.
- Be prepared to provide the sources and approximate costs of these accommodations, as well as potential sources of funding if applicable.
Know Your Rights
Disability is a protected characteristic under the Manitoba Human Rights Code3. Discrimination based on disability, or any of the other protected characteristics under the Code, is prohibited. If you feel you have experienced discrimination by a potential or current employer, contact:
Manitoba Human Rights Commission
Toll Free: 1-888-884-8681
References and Further Resources