Disclosing a Disability


Why should I disclose?

Disclosing a disability can be daunting, and it is not always clear why an employer would need this information, especially if it is a hidden disability that you usually keep private. However, the disclosure is of benefit to you, not your employer, and there could be various stages of the application process that require things that you could be disadvantaged by with your disability. Therefore, disclosing a disability allows there to be equal opportunity amongst candidates.
For example, during an assessment centre for a graduate scheme there may be an examination - if you have a learning difference (such as dyslexia) you should have the opportunity to have extra time so you have a fair opportunity of competing against other candidates.
Another example may be that the interview typically takes place on the third floor of a building with predominantly stair access - if you disclose you have a mobility disability the interviewers know to move the interview process to a more accessible location.

Reasons for disclosure:

  • Protection under the law.
  • Proactive approach – you can present your disability confidently and positively.
  • Positive employers – employers who focus on your ability rather than disability, for example Employers’ Forum on Disability, Change 100, Employability.
  • Disability Confident scheme.
  • Access to Work Scheme which supports disabled employees with work station equipment and software


When should I disclose?

There is no right or wrong time to make a disclosure, but often companies will give you the opportunity at the beginning of the application stage, or on a seperate form called "Equal Opportunity Monitoring Form". However, it is down to your own judgement and what would be beneficial and comfortable for you. 

For example, someone who has multiple disabilities may feel only one needs to be known during the application stage to give them better opportunity during the process, then later once they are starting the job they may feel more comfortable disclosing other access needs to a HR department. It is whatever benefits you, the individual.

Consider your own situation in making your decision when to disclose. Options include:

  • Application form – This is the first contact you will have with the employer. You could use the supporting statement space to disclose, or you may be asked outright if you wish to disclose.
  • Equal opportunity monitoring form – but this probably won’t be passed on to those interviewing/managing you.
  • Covering letter – could be a good place because you can explain things in more detail.  Avoid putting it on your CV.
  • Assessment Centre – but if possible tell the employer in advance so that reasonable adjustments can be made.
  • At a later stage – after the job offer or when you have started work.


Employer Responsibilities post-offer

After disclosing sometimes there may need to be additional conversations once starting your job that you may need to have with your employer and/or someone who works in HR. These are all to benefit you and to make sure you are comfortable in the workplace and have the correct access needs in place, so as before, only talk about what you are comfortable with. 
If you feel any measures could be of further benefit to your needs then you can request a meeting with HR and if they deem it necessary they can refer you on to an Occupational Health team who can help you find the best solution and inform your employers of what changes they need to adhere to.

Once an employer has offered a position they also have duties towards disabled employees:

  • To ensure reasonable adjustments are considered (usually via Occupational Health).
  • To ensure disabled staff are not treated less favourably.
  • To ensure disabled staff are not harassed or discriminated against.
  • To anticipate the needs of their disabled employees.



For more information regarding any of this, please email the Access Ability Service: accessable@le.ac.uk

University of Leicester Students' Union
Percy Gee Building
University of Leicester
University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH
Write to Us: Email

Powered by MSL

The University of Leicester Students' Union is a registered charity no. 1137811 and a company limited by guarantee registered in England no. 7303101