On July 20, 1990 President Bush signed into law the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) as a vital section of legislation. This new law requires changes in both business and public services. Some of these changes are material and cost money; others involve adopting new outlooks toward people with disabilities.
Three major issues contribute to a fabulous opportunity for people with disabilities to become eternally deep-rooted in the work force:
First, the likely possibility that the lessening labor pool of employment-ready personnel may create worker deficiencies during this decade. This will cause employers to efficiently recruit and retain qualified employees. Since Americans with disabilities correspond to the largest single chunk of potential employees, shrewd employers will court this underemployed community.
Second, a new surge of young Americans educated under the Handicapped Children Act of 1975 is graduating. This new generation will have improved educations and high potential for themselves after graduating from high school and college. Thus, they will be more malleable to competitive jobs than preceding generations of the disabled.
Third, many graduating students who do not have disabilities have gone to school with disabled classmates. Therefore, with the publicity, much of the discrimination in the work force will naturally dissolve.
The 1990’s offers less job safety for many, but expands and supplements job possibilities for the disabled. You may be new to the work force or in the middle of a career modification. In either case this decade will afford you a new job market as economic, political, and demographic demands close down old opportunities and open up new ones. Employment
When to unveil your disability The decision to disclose your disability and when to do so may be the single most significant consideration in your job search. This is a personal decision that has to be made for each job lead you follow and will be based on the character of your disability and your understanding of the potential employer.
When reviewing this issue, ask yourself this question: If I reveal my disability, will I be hired? If the answer is no, then don’t do it. If, however, you feel the employer will hire you and make a just and reasonable accommodation, then you may wish to think how and when to inform the employer of your disability.
Even though the law states you do not have to divulge your disability to a potential employer unless it relates to the conclusion of necessary job functions, you may want to be open on this subject. If you are initially frank, you may set the stage for enhanced respect by your employer. This exposé may be viewed as a sign of character, force, and confidence. How this fragile communication is made can be vital to your obtaining the job.
At Referral If you are one of the fortunate job seekers to get a foot in the employment door through a recommendation, you don’t have to worry about disclosing your disability. The employer probably knows about your exact limitation. It is likely the individual who made the referral has bridged that gap before your interview. This is ideal because during the interview both you and the employer will likely be more at ease. But most people with disabilities do not have this benefit. The imposing question of when and how to tell employers can be very distressing. In a fair-minded and reasonable world, you would be able to divulge your disability openly in your resume, cover letter and throughout the interview. However, we all know there is discrimination in the job market. Employers have biases and prejudices they might not even be conscious of. These may be carried into the job selection process.