We will: 1.Understand factors that are conducive to a feeling of belonging and/or discomfort for anyone. 2.Demonstrate understanding of disclosure and self-identification of a disability. 3.Understand the difference between individual disclosure and measurement (outcomes). 4.Understand the significance of an inclusive service environment for create an atmosphere of comfort and openness related to disclosure. 5.Identify several changes or new strategies to employ to make a program or site more welcoming to people with disabilities.
Reasons for not Disclosing Culture of program environment –“gossipy” –Excessively competitive –Racially insensitive Fear of potential reactions –Refusal of other service members to share equipment or bathroom Not relevant Stigma associated with disability Need to disclose to other people outside of service program first
Impact for not Disclosing Socially isolation –Did not get close to people for fear of personal questions Feel compelled to misrepresent –Told other service members she had a different diagnosis –Explained medical appointments by saying she was part of nutrition study Unable to request accommodations Reported less support than people who did disclose Stress of keeping the secret
If I did not disclose a disability when I was selected, can I still ask for a reasonable accommodation? You always have the right to request an accommodation. What kind of documentation can staff ask after I have requested an accommodation? When an member requests an accommodation and the disability or need for accommodation is not obvious, a manager may require that the member provide medical documentation to establish that the member has an ADA disability and needs the requested accommodation If I am not sure I want to tell my supervisor about my disability, do I have to?If you need a reasonable accommodation in order to perform essential job functions, you should inform the supervisor an accommodation will be needed. Programs are required to provide reasonable accommodation only for the known physical or mental limitations of a qualified individual with a disability. Generally, under the ADA it is an individual's responsibility to inform a supervisor that an accommodation is needed. http://www.jan.wvu.edu/job/Step4.htm
Knowledge of Disability and Accommodation Courts Have Generally Ruled: Must have fairly specific knowledge of disability, to be obligated for providing reasonable accommodation General awareness of presence of disability not sufficient “Second-hand” knowledge not sufficient No claims of discrimination upon disclosure, “after the fact”
Things to Remember about Disclosure It’s up to the individual to disclose a disability The amount of information provided about a disability is up to the individual If an individual discloses a disability, that information must be maintained confidentially and cannot be disclosed to others All medical and/or disability-related information is kept in locked files separate from personnel records, with limited access allowed by only select personnel HR personnel and supervisors are trained/informed in the confidentiality of medical, disability and accommodation-related information.
IMAGINE a totally inclusive environment…. Where everyone belonged…. How do you know it is happening? What do you see? What do you hear? Who are the people? What are people doing? What does it feel like?
Indicators of a Welcoming Service Program Individuals with disabilities are full participants in program and service activities Individuals with disabilities are treated as peers Expectations for individuals with disabilities are the same as for others “Qualified individuals with disabilities and those from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. We provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals and conduct all activities in fully accessible settings.” Questions and solutions naturally arise about accessibility when planning activities Products and interior decorations portray images of people with disabilities
Inclusive Service Environments: Indicators of a Welcoming Service Program cont. Individuals with disabilities assist in reviewing materials & practices Materials available in alternative formats Availability of accommodations is openly posted & publicized Buildings and programs are accessible Interviews, meetings, and social gatherings are held in accessible locations Individuals are asked about their experience and satisfaction Evaluate the effectiveness of products and strategies
Tips for Managers Know and be clear about the essential functions/tasks Become educated about legal responsibilities Ask only task-related questions Don’t ask for more information about the specifics of disability than a person volunteers When an individual discloses a disability, ask if reasonable accommodations are needed, describe the accommodation process and maintain confidentiality Make all applicants aware of their right to reasonable accommodation Create a culture which welcomes and values people with disabilities and is accepting of individual differences Clearly communicate policies to all staff