What resources help individuals learn how to talk about their disabilities?
Many resources are available to help individuals develop strategies for talking about their disabilities in specific situations. A disability disclosure strategy, which includes when and how to reveal information, is unique to the individual. It is appropriate for each person to develop different strategies for different situations, such as those related to college, employment, and social settings.
Each postsecondary institution has its own procedures for students with disabilities to register for services and request reasonable accommodations. Therefore, it is important for students to be proactive in contacting schools and asking about procedures.
A comprehensive resource for youth that addresses disclosure for school, work, and social life is called The 411 on Disability Disclosure: A Workbook for Youth with Disabilities and maintained by the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth.
Resources that address disclosure for employment include:
- Youth, Disclosure, and the Workplace: Why, When, What, and How published by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy;
- Customized Employment Q&A: Disclosure published by Training and Technical Assistance for Providers (T-TAP); and
- Employees' Practical Guide to Negotiating and Requesting Reasonable Accommodations Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) published by the Job Accommodation Network (JAN).
Additional information about disclosure can be found in the DO-IT Knowledge Base article When and how should a student with a disability disclose his or her disability to a potential employer?
You may also be interested in viewing the video Part of Me, Not All of Me in which teens with disabilities share their interests, activities, and other aspects of their lives showing that their disabilities do not define who they are.