Disclosing my disability in a New Job

Hi, folks, I hope you can forgive me for not posting anything for the past two weeks. I was away in Sweden with my family. We stayed on the outskirts of Stockholm next to a lovely lake with some beautiful walks and scenery. I have now recovered from the hole in my wallet as Sweden is a massively expensive place to visit.

In today’s post, I will be talking about my opinions on my personal experience of having to disclose a disability when going through the process of getting a new job. As I say, this is a very personal experience. Some people may have obvious disabilities that they just cannot hide from potential employers and others, like myself, may have an invisible disability which leads us into the murky waters of mulling over when or even if we need to disclose our disability.

A couple of months ago I applied for and was successful in landing a new job in a day care and nursery setting, basically, from the 4th of September I’ll be working with children from the age of 0 – 5 as an early years practitioner. However, it’s not as simple as just going for an interview and being able to start the next day.

When working with children or vulnerable adults you need to first get yourself a DBS check. A DBS check is a Disclosure and Barring Service check that basically makes sure you’re not some kind of criminal that’ll want to abuse the people you are working with in any way.

For me, the second part of the process was filling out an occupational health form which just makes sure I’m fit to work. One of the questions on the list was; do you consider yourself to be disabled?

This is a tough one because in one respect no I don’t. Yes, I have my challenges and struggles because of my visual impairment but I don’t really consider it to be a full on disability. However, the logical part of my brain says that technically that would be seen as a disability by organisations. That is the only reason why I answered yes to the question.

I then had to give an explanation of my ‘disability’. I only wrote the name of the condition which is Albinism. Having discussed it with my mum, we both felt that when it comes to getting a job, it’s best to put as little information as possible to decrease the amount of possible discrimination further down the line.

The equality act 2010 states that if I do decide to declare a disability and am discriminated against because of that, then I have all the balls in my court. BUT if I don’t report a disability, and my employer finds out they are able to take action if I’m not capable of performing the necessary tasks of my job.

So my mum and I decided it would be in my best interest to use the word albinism rather than visual impairment. That way I would find it easier to explain what that meant regarding work rather than giving my employers any chance of creating any false assumptions based upon two loaded guns of words.

It was a tough decision to make but one that I felt will play out for the best in my situation. If they ask any questions regarding my ‘disability’ I can answer them to the best of my abilities and work out any reasonable adjustments that may be necessary along the way.

I shall keep you updated as to how things go with the situation and how I find woring in this particular enviroment as an individual with a VI.

Until next time my lovelies I shall love you and leave you. 🙂


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