The 411 on Disability Disclosure: Addressing Self Disclosure During the Transition Process Job Corps Webinar April 18, 2012 Curtis Richards Patricia D. Gill
Agenda • About the Office of Disability Employment Policy and the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth • Disclosure • Post-Secondary School • Employment • Community • Disability Inquiries
Terminology We’ll Use • Disability-related information (telling) • Any information that discloses that the customer has a disability (e.g., information about special education, notes that a customer has been referred to Voc Rehab, etc.) • Disability-related inquiries (asking) • Asking customers questions that are likely to elicit information about disabilities • Asking customers to undergo assessments to determine if they have hidden disabilities(such as learning disabilities)
What is Disclosure ? • Intentionally releasing personal information about yourself for a specific purpose • How your disability affects your capacity to learn and perform effectively • The environment, supports, and services you’ll need in order to access, participate, and excel at work, school, and social. • Critical for both youth with visible AND hidden disabilities • Most of all, a PERSONAL decision
Why is this important for YWD? • Get a clear understanding of their rights and responsibilities if/when they disclose • Helps YWD make informed decisions about disclosing disability that will effect educational, employment, and social lives. • To get the services they need!!! • Advantages and disadvantages to making this decision.
A Piece of Youth Development and Leadership • Disclosure falls under the Guidepost YDL because accommodations are a right • Self-identity as a person with a disability ties into the disability history/culture/community piece • Part of what this guide hopes to do is give YWD the tools to combat the stigma of disability
Key Issues of Disclosure • Where to disclose? • When to disclose? • Whom to disclose to? • What are the rights/responsibilities of the individual disclosing?
Why Disclose in Post-Secondary School? • At the post-secondary level, accommodations are only provided when a student discloses and asks for them • Requires open communication with professors, disability support services, and the student
To Whom? • Professors, TAs, etc. • Counselors/Advisors • Disability Support Services
Rights • Be treated fairly and in a non-discriminatory fashion • Discuss academic needs, supports, and accommodations in a non-judgmental setting • Have information about your disability treated confidentially and respectfully • Know what happens to personal information you choose to share with counselors, faculty, or staff • Obtain information about DSS as well as physical/progrommatic accessibility at the institution of your choosing
Responsibilities • Investigate and fully understand the academic and practical requirements of your chosen course of study, including determining that this option matches your skills and abilities • Recognizing that disclosing on an application form or prior to enrollment does not eliminate your responsibility to contact DSS for accommodations • Find out about options for accessing institution of your choice • Advise faculty and staff of your disability related needs • Understand that DSS may not be able to address needs if not disclosed in a timely manner • Be self-determined and practical
Why Disclose in Work? • Employers and co-workers not required to provide accommodations unless the YWD discloses • Obtain information to assist you in developing a career plan that addresses possible barriers and accommodations • Identify disability-specific employment services & support networks • Discuss employment requirements with recruiters or other professionals • Discuss disability issues with prospective employers to determine whether requirements of the position can be met, with/without reasonable accommodations. • Investigate available workplace supports • Develop mentoring and peer support structures with employers and employees with and without disabilities
To Whom? • Career Counselors • Disability-specific adult employment services personnel • One-Stop Career Center personnel • Prospective employers or human resources personnel • Workplace mentors
Rights • Have information about your disability treated confidentially and respectfully • Seek information about hiring practices from any organization • Choose to disclose at any time during the employment process • Review appropriate accommodations in an interview so you may demonstrate your skills and abilities • Be considered for a position based on your skills and merit • Have respectful questioning about your disability for the purpose of reasonable accommodation • Be self-determined and proactive
Responsibilities • Disclose your need for accommodation if you desire any work-related adjustments • Search for jobs that address your skills and abilities • Inform the manager or interview panel about your need for appropriate interview accommodations in a timely manner • Identify appropriate and reasonable accommodations for an interview • Negotiate reasonable accommodations w/an employer at the point of job offer and beyond • Bring skills and merits to the table.
Why Disclose in Social Settings? • Start relationships/friendships with honesty • Discuss specific needs in order to identify accommodations in the community • Receive any necessary assistance that may be needed while participating in community or social activities.
ToWhom? • Friends • Relatives • Owners or staff members of various businesses • Public transportation staff • Parks and recreation staff • Events coordinators • Mentors/Role Models
Rights • Be treated fairly and in an non-discriminatory fashion • Have info about your disability treated confidentially and respectfully • Work collaboratively with others to identify necessary supports for your success • Obtaining about disability support services as well as physical/programmatic access in community settings • Be self-determined and proactive
Responsibilities • Investigate and fully understand your disability and disability-related needs as they pertain to community living • Find out about options for accessing the community settings of your choice • Advise community members and friends of your accommodation and support needs • Understand that community members and friends may not be able to address your needs if not presented in a timely manner.
Disclosure Beyond Just Services • Enables youth with disabilities to: • Know their history • Own their Culture • Connect to their Community
Disability Inquiries • The question of whether it is legal to ask disability-related questions turns on whether your agency is • providing general services, • providing employment-related training, or • acting as an “employment agency.” Most important differences are: • what disability-related questions you can ask a customer and • what you do with the information you obtain in response to these inquiries
General Service Provision • When providing general services (such as assessing a customer’s skills, prior work experience, or employability; creating a service strategy for a customer; or providing supportive services such as child care or transportation), need to understand whether a customer has a disability that prevents him or her from achieving full employment success. • In the context of providing these types of services, disability-related inquiries are not only legal—they are recommended.
General Services • When providing these types of services, it is appropriate to ask whether someone has a disability, and to help the person determine whether a particular disability-related accommodation, auxiliary aid or service, assistive technology, or program modification would be helpful to the person. • It may also become necessary to look for symptoms of hidden, previously undiscovered disabilities that are barriers to employment success, and to refer a customer who has such symptoms for a disability-related assessment or evaluation.
Employment Related Services and Training • When serving as an agent for an employer, it is illegal to ask disability-related questions before a customer is selected to receive services or to be referred for a job. • Clear firewalls should be instituted between the staff who work with employers, and the staff who provide services to job seekers, to ensure that the staff who work with employers do not inappropriately receive information about a particular jobseeker customer’s disability status.
Employment Related Services and Training • A Job Corps Center may disclose disability-related or other medical information about a particular job-seeker to an employer only where ALL of the following circumstances are satisfied: • (1) the job-seeker has made an independent decision to disclose such information to the employer; • (2) the job-seeker has specifically asked the Job Corps Center or its staff to make the disclosure on his or her behalf; and • (3) the latter request has been initiated by the job-seeker, not by the Job Corps Center.
Other Considerations • If part of your Job Corps center service is job referral or to act as an intermediary for an employer, you must also be very careful what you do with the knowledge you have of someone’s disability. • You cannot use that information to steer someone to a particular job, employer, or career path. • You also cannot tell an employer or a job-training provider that a particular customer has a disability, except in the very limited circumstances detailed above. • Although any medical information obtained during the hiring process (pre and post-offer) must generally be kept confidential, it is not illegal to share such information with first aid and safety personnel if the disability is such that it may require emergency treatment.
NCWD/Youth Disclosure Resources • 411 on Disability Disclosure: A Workbook for Youth with Disabilities www.ncwd-youth.info/411-on-disability-disclosure • The 411 on Disability Disclosure: A Workbook for Families, Educators, Youth Service Professionals, and Adult Allies Who Care About Youth with Disabilities www.ncwd-youth.info/411-on-disability-disclosure-for-adults • Cyber Disclosure for Youth with Disabilities http://www.ncwd-youth.info/cyber-disclosure • Disability Inquiries In The Workforce Development System www.ncwd-youth.info/information-brief-09
More Resources • National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth www.ncwd-youth.info • DOL’s Office of Disability Employment Policy www.dol.gov/odep • Job Accommodation Network www.askjan.org • Disability.gov (search “disclosure”)
Contact Information Curtis L. Richards Director, Center for Workforce Dev. firstname.lastname@example.org 202.822.8405 x163 Patricia D. Gill Senior Program Associate email@example.com 202.822.8405 x154
Educating Center Staff • Center staff should be aware of disclosure issues. • appropriate sharing of information
Center Staff • What NOT to do: • Make assumptions on what is best for an applicant/student. • Create accommodations without first discussing them with the applicant/ student. • Discuss accommodations without the applicant/ student present. • Change/modify accommodations without the applicant/student’s input.
Center Staff • What NOT to do (continued): • share health/disability information with work based learning sites or potential employers unless: • The student has made the decision to disclose and/or • The student had specifically asked you to do so
Educating the Student • All students should be educated about workplace rights: • Self advocacy • Workplace rights • Disclosure Centers are encouraged to use the Disclosure Workbook as part of the CTS curriculum
Educating the Employer • Get them involved! • Center’s programs and activities • Include disability organization representatives on the community relations and business industry councils • Provide employers with information on hiring individuals with disabilities through discussion and literature.
Regional Disability Coordinators • Boston Region–Lisa Kosh firstname.lastname@example.org • Philadelphia and Atlanta Regions–Nikki Jackson email@example.com • Dallas Region–Laura Kuhn firstname.lastname@example.org • Chicago and San Francisco Regions–Kim Jones email@example.com