Disclosure During Application

It is generally not considered standard practice for applicants to disclose their disability in their resume and/or application letter unless:

  • it is relevant to the position
  • work related adjustments are required to ensure equal opportunity in the selection process and/or
  • the organisation is supportive of equity practices

Disclosure of disability should not be the central issue of concern in the process of seeking employment. As with all steps in the job recruitment process, the emphasis in applying for employment should be on the skills and experiences of the applicant to meet the requirements of the position.

There is no legal obligation for an applicant to disclose their disability in an application form. An applicant may choose to ignore the disability specific questions or answer the question(s) as 'Not Applicable'.

All applicants, including applicants with a disability, are however responsible for investigating and understanding the inherent requirements of the position to determine whether they are able to perform them in the position of employment. Applicants with a disability who require work related adjustments to meet the inherent requirements of the position may choose to disclose their disability when accepting a job interview, in the interview or when the position of employment has been offered.

If an applicant chooses to disclose their disability on their resumes, application letters and/or application forms, they are effectively disclosing their disability to the employer and/or selection committee convenor as well as the interview panel

It is the responsibility of the employer or selection committee convenor to ensure that any personal information is kept private and confidential and that this information does not negatively impact on the selection process.

If an applicant chooses to disclose their disability in the application or resume, the disclosure should not be about the disability in general. Disclosure should only relate to the inherent requirements of the position and how work related adjustments might overcome any barriers.

An applicant may choose to state or imply their disability status in their resume and/or application letter to:

  • reflect on their life experiences which may be relevant to the position
  • give reason for possible breaks in their employment history, which may be evident in their resume
  • demonstrate personal qualities, abilities, problem solving skills and other work based skills that may have been developed as a result of the applicants disability experience
  • identify workplace adjustments that would be required if the applicant was successful
  • request a need for adjustments to occur in the selection process itself
  • take advantage of an organisation's equitable employment opportunities and practices

If a person has disclosed their disability in their letter of application or resume, it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that the applicant is not excluded from the application process due to their disability. The employer and interview panel are required to assess all applications, including any applicants identified as having a disability, by evaluating whether the information presented in the application addresses the inherent requirements of the position.