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Thread: When Applying For A Job....

  1. #1

    When Applying For A Job....

    and you get contacted for an Interview, do you let them know you need special accommadations before you meet or wait until they meet you face to face?

    I am a c-7 incomplete and I started applying for jobs outside the home. I spend most of my time in a w/c but can walk. I have full use of my left side but right side is much weaker.

    I have been working at home but miss being out in the mainstream, so I am working with Vesid to help me thru this transition. So, I am also looking on my own, which leads back to my question, should I tell them before we meet or after and avoid the shock on their faces when the see me in my w/c.

    Your thoughts please, please be kind.

    TIA
    Chrl

  2. #2
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    Let them be shocked. Equal opportunity and all that. My advice is not to say a word ... show up like anyone else would to an interview.

    I've always stuck to that.
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by lynnifer View Post
    Let them be shocked. Equal opportunity and all that. My advice is not to say a word ... show up like anyone else would to an interview.

    I've always stuck to that.
    Ditto ...

  4. #4
    I disagree...I have found that employers appreciate the honesty. Dont be specific as to what you can and cant do, but you need to make sure you can even get in the place so use that as an ice breaker. Just tell them you use a wheelchair and be done with it. It will make you feel much more comfortable with the situation and its a more professional way of handling it.
    C5-6 - 22 years

  5. #5
    Senior Member mr_coffee's Avatar
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    I agree with not mentioning your disabled because it may put them off.

    I never told any of them I was disabled, when they saw me they were shocked. The guy at IBM actually felt bad that he made me fly to NC. I think it worked out well though and after the co-op was over he told me how impressed he was at my abilities despite the chair.


    I also agree with quartermile though, if you can't physically make it into the interview that would also be bad.
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  6. #6
    No need to tell them about your disability or need for accommodations in a phone interview or when setting up an in-person interview.

    Have the in-person interview set. Then find out about the accessibility of the location (no need to talk about your disability; maybe just do some research, site visit preinterview, and/or call the receptionist for general info re access). This is for YOUR benefit. You don't want to surprised when you show up, nor forced to deal with a situation that may be a distraction from the job interview itself. However, HOW you deal with whatever situation you face or arises during the interview, may make a huge impact, negative or positive.

  7. #7
    Senior Member brucec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chick View Post
    No need to tell them about your disability or need for accommodations in a phone interview or when setting up an in-person interview.

    Have the in-person interview set. Then find out about the accessibility of the location (no need to talk about your disability; maybe just do some research, site visit preinterview, and/or call the receptionist for general info re access). This is for YOUR benefit. You don't want to surprised when you show up, nor forced to deal with a situation that may be a distraction from the job interview itself. However, HOW you deal with whatever situation you face or arises during the interview, may make a huge impact, negative or positive.
    sounds good
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  8. #8
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    I have never told them in advance. I went for the interview and when I was offered the position I asked to see the bathroom situation before fully accepting the job and proceeding to Human Resources.

    I have to admit that I failed to scope out the front door accessibility of one possible employer before setting up the interview. The night before the interview I drove past the building to find the steepest incline of a ramp that I could not negotiate independently. So, I had to call first thing in the morning to cancell the interview. When asked why I lied and said that I had accepted another job.

    Lessons Learned:
    1) Whenever possible check in advanced the accessibility of the parking lot [spaces, ramps to the sidewalk, distance to front entrance, width of the parking places] and the accessibility of the front door.
    2) Always check out the bathroom and cafeteria accessibility
    3) You are not obligated to fully disclose your medical condition during the hiring process.
    4) Think carefully before answering "Do you need any special accommodations?" Once I responded "No" and found out later on that I could have been provided with a laptop to use in the office and to take home.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by quartermile View Post
    I disagree...I have found that employers appreciate the honesty.
    I agree with that. I'm searching for a job now, and my plan is to submit my resume as usual then let them know about the chair if they call for an interview. I tried the whole shock approach before, but they said they would have liked to know before hand. The general business area of that job was accessible but the accounting department, where I would be working, was upstairs with no elevator, so I didn't get the job.

    There are some jobs you may want to disclose the disability with though. There was a job at a counselors office who specialized in preparing people for the workplace after becoming disabled. In my cover letter, I wrote something like: as a physically disabled person, I could help show clients there is life beyond the disability and their goals can be achievable. I got the interview but declined the job because it was only 4 hours a week. Not enough!

    You just have to make a judgement call as to whether you should let them know or not. In my opinion, it depends on the job.
    ~Ashley~

  10. #10
    All of you make good points, I will have to think as to when to tell them up front and when to wait.

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