Disclosure: A Dilemma

I’ve been looking for a job since 2019 and haven’t found anything yet. I’ve filled out hundreds of job applications and have received no offers. In the same time frame, my 18-year-old sister, who doesn’t have Cerebral Palsy, has found two jobs. I’ve had employers rescind interviews because of my CP. I couldn’t even get a job at Stop And Shop or McDonald’s.

Deciding whether or not to disclose my disability has been challenging. Last October, I wrote about why I disclosed my disability to potential employers. Cerebral Palsy is an apparent disability. I can’t hide my wheelchair or walker. An employer will know I have Cerebral Palsy when I come to the interview.

As time as passed, I’ve wondered if I should continue to disclose my disability. Employers are no longer interested in hiring me once they find out I’m disabled. Legally, I’m not required to tell anyone in the workplace that I have CP. I disclose my disability because it’s easier than not disclosing my disability.

I’ve never been ashamed of my disability. Cerebral Palsy is a part of who I am. I’ve always had CP. I’ll have it if I live to be 100. I do wish I didn’t have Cerebral Palsy so that I’d be employed right now. Equal Employment Opportunity needs to be more than just a law; it must be widely practiced. I shouldn’t have to wish I didn’t have Cerebral Palsy.

Disabilities shouldn’t prevent people from finding employment. Employers need to hire people with disabilities. All people should be able to find work, including people with disabilities. We can be wonderful employees, but employers won’t know that if they never hire us.

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