Disclosing Disability…Is it safety, shame, perspective, strategy or all of the above?


As someone who has actively looked for new jobs while having MG it is hard when you see certain things on the application such as the disability disclosure forms and knowing when you go to a job interview if you will have any symptoms that will tell your potential employer that something may be different about you that you do not wish to disclose. The problem with disclosing things are that in some cases with disabilities like my case of MG it does not always affect my ability to do my job. When I am stable I can do anything that anyone else in my job can do. However, yes just like with anyone other disorder when you first get it, it takes time to find out what you have and to get to the bottom of it and some trips to specialists and maybe even some hospital stays.

Once you are beyond that though you generally have a firm grip on things. Then you fall into the area where you are proud of being a survivor of your illness, a champion; however, society still can have a way of making you feel ashamed making you feel less of a person, because they are still the ones that offer you the jobs. Though it is illegal to tell someone you did not hire them because of a disability people still consciously and even subconsciously decided they are not going to hire the disabled person, preferring the more ‘abled’ individual. They give other reasons why they did not hire the person, but sometimes you just know why. Since I have a disorder people cannot see I do not tell people because I refuse to let that be a deciding factor. You cannot always prove that is a reason why you were not hired, but if you did not state it you can usually be sure it was not even on the table. SO though I am proud to be a champion and survivor and I buy the shirts and stand for MG, I still say ALL OF THE ABOVE! Because for now we still have to evolve society in baby steps just like we do everything else. They still ‘see’ the disabled person as incapable even though we know that not to be true, not even giving us a chance to prove ourselves in most cases. So I reserve to the right to employ all tactics I can, I will not hide nor openly disclose my condition. This goes beyond just my case of MG, his goes to mental health/ illness other autoimmune illnesses that are not easily seen as well as physical illnesses. How will you deal with the stigma?

What will you do?


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