When asked on an application form: Do you consider yourself to have a disability under the disability discrimination act? - what would you put? I’m stuck, I don’t consider myself disabled (that could be down to acceptance) but is saying no bending the truth. It’s not good when I’m stuck on a yes or no question lol.
Well yeh, I can see why this answer doesn’t have an easy yes/no answer for you.
Not sure, but someone else will tell us, if you don’t declare M S and you are offered the job, then ask for adaptations you may need, they won’t be too chuffed. I will watc h your post for replies and see what others say.
Good luck hun
MS is automatically a disability under the terms of the Act, so strictly speaking - YES - whether you feel yourself to be disabled or not!
However, because the question is worded subjectively: “Do you consider…?” your answer cannot be lying - it’s asking for your feeling or opinion, not a declaration of fact or law.
I’d be very surprised if you are required to answer the question at all (usually there’s some small print to the effect that: “This section is used for monitoring purposes - you don’t have to answer if you don’t want to.”)
But if you are concerned about literal truth, and you know MS is covered by the Act, it’s no longer really a matter of what you consider - the law says it’s on the list. One of the reasons for that is that not everyone looks disabled or feels themselves to be disabled on first diagnosis, so they could be disadvantaged by their difficulties being “hidden”. They could also be disadvantaged by an employer who realises MS is degenerative, and makes excuses to get rid of them before they get too sick. This: “hidden but will almost always get worse” aspect is why it has explicit protection under the Act.
I had this dilemma when filling in job application forms too. Like you I don’t feel disabled and show no obvious signs of disability. However I answered yes on the forms. I got both jobs I applied for and when I told both of my line managers of my MS afterwards they both hadn’t known apparently only the HR dept got to see that part of the form. I always think honesty is the best policy.
Thank you for your replies, both very good points
Well done on getting both jobs, that gives me hope Cathy, thank you
I’ve always been an honest person, and i guess it could just make it things awkward later down the line.
I believe that section is for HR’s eyes only to avoid discrimination. I don’t consider myself disabled but would prefer to be honest and disclose. I doubt if the person interviewing you gets to know about that beforehand.
Oh thats good to know if its only HR that see this section. I don’t consider myself disabled but if I say no I am worried it could generate problems later down the line.
My main work related problems is my memory & fatigue but this doesn’t stop me from completing my job.
I find loads of people are negative about me getting a new job coz of my MS, but I’m only 33, physically I’m fine just have the odd problems with my legs & the odd spell of dizziness that passes.
Minnie, you can’t be reprimanded or disciplined later over a question that only asks what you consider to be the case. That’s the whole reason it’s worded that way - it’s neither true nor false, but “what you consider”. It might not match what somebody else (either the employer, or another applicant with the same symptoms) would consider, but that’s irrelevant, as it’s not asking: “Would WE consider you disabled?”, or: “Would anyone else consider that you are?” - only what you think yourself.
So regardless what you put, you can’t be hauled over the coals for it later. In your place, I would feel more comfortable answering “yes”, as I’d feel to answer otherwise would be stretching it a bit - I know damn well it’s covered under the Act. But should you decide to put: “NO”, it’s not a disciplinary matter. If you get the job, and it later crops up, and they ask: “But why didn’t you say anything?”, you say: “Because I didn’t consider I was, at the time.” End of story.
You’re not legally obliged to declare disabilities anyway (might be legitimate exceptions on health and safety grounds, for some jobs). So you can’t be “in trouble” for not doing so.
Do whatever sits best with your conscience, and what you genuinely believe, but don’t worry about “repercussions” - it’s against the law for there to be any.