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To Disclose or Not to Disclose

It can be challenging to decide whether or not to disclose a learning disability like dysgraphia at work. Unfortunately, people with learning disabilities sometimes experience unfair stigma. 


While there are laws in place to protect people from discrimination due to disabilities, those laws don’t impact negative perceptions. It is against the law for an employer to make hiring decisions based on disabilities. However, if you interview for a position, disclose your dysgraphia, and don’t get the job, it would it be difficult to prove that your disclosure is what caused them to not hire you. In addition, even if you were able to prove it, would you want to work there anyway? 


At the same time, you may know exactly what accommodations you need in a work environment, and if those accommodations aren’t possible for some reason, you may want to know that up front. That doesn’t mean you have to disclose your dysgraphia though. If you are offered a position, that could be your opportunity to ask the hiring manager about certain expectations of the job. For example, how much of your work will require written reports or note-taking in meetings? Would you be allowed to take notes on a tablet or laptop? Asking questions up front about work responsibilities can help you make the best decision about how to move forward. 


Only you can make the decision to disclose your learning or other disabilities at work but you are not required to do so if you don’t want to. Consider how your dysgraphia might impact your work. It may be perfectly adequate for you to present it simply as a challenge for which you have identified assistance strategies. Everyone has challenges with certain workplace tasks, regardless of whether they have a learning disability or not. As you build a relationship with your supervisor and colleagues, you may feel more comfortable talking to them about dysgraphia. Then again, you might not. It’s up to you to decide what’s best for you.



For more reading on workplace accommodations of learning disabilities including dysgraphia, visit here.

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