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Encouraging Self Disclosure in National Service Presenters: Chad Gobert Joseph Tierney Hillary Vargas
Self-disclosure refers to your communicating information about yourself and may involve: 1.Your values, beliefs, and desires 2.Your behavior 3.Your self-qualities or characteristics Self-Disclosure
Catharsis Self-clarification, self-validation Reciprocity and impression management Relationship maintenance and enhancement Reasons Individuals Self-Disclose
Benefits in service –Individual service performance –Serving with others Comfort in asking for reasonable accommodations Benefits of disclosure in service
How Willing to Self-Disclose Are You? Rate on a scale of 1 – 5 the following questions: 1. What are your hobbies? 2. What is your worst fear? 3. What aspects of your personality do you dislike? 4. What is your educational background and how do you feel about it? 5 = would definitely self-disclose 4 = would probably self-disclose 3 = don’t know 2 = would probably not self-disclose 1 = would definitely not self-disclose
Known to SelfUnknown to Self Known to Others Open Pane Known to self and others Blind Pane Blind to self, seen by others Unknown to Others Hidden Pane Open to self, hidden from others Unknown Pane Unknown to self and others Johari Window The Johari window is a way of showing how much information you and others know about yourself.
In a typical relationship, the sooner an individual engages in self-disclosure, the better the relationship will be. True or False? FALSE- why?
Culture of program environment –“Gossipy” –Excessively competitive –Racially insensitive Fear of potential reactions Refusal by others to share equipment Not relevant Stigma associated with disability Need to disclose to other people outside of service program first Why not simply disclose?
The Law Does NOT Permit Programs to Inquire into Disability, BUT… Pursuant to Section 503 of the Rehab. Act, a program may invite applicants to voluntarily self-identify as an individual with a disability for affirmative action purposes, so long as this information is kept private and confidential. Voluntary Disclosure –An individual with a disability may voluntarily disclose to anyone she or he chooses –Voluntary Disclosure ≠ waiver of confidentiality
When Service Members Should Disclose Reasonable Accommodations –If a service member/applicant with a non-apparent disability requests a reasonable accommodation, the program may ask the individual for reasonable documentation about his/her disability or functional limitations, and the member must provide such documentation in order to receive accommodations. Post Offer Medical Exams –A program may condition offers on applicants satisfactorily completing post-offer medical examinations, which may yield disability-related information. –Note: programs can only condition offers on such medical exams if they require that all prospective members take such exams
Social isolation –Did not get close to people for fear of personal questions Feel compelled to misrepresent –Explained medical appointments by saying she was part of a nutritional study –One individual told others she had a different diagnosis Unable to request accommodations Report less support than people who did disclose Stress of keeping the secret Impact of non-disclosure
1.Why/when do you choose to disclose/not disclose? 2.In times when you did/did not disclose, how comfortable or uncomfortable did you feel? a.What contributed to feeling more or less comfortable after disclosing? b.Upon reflection, did you agree with your concerns after the disclosure was/was not made? 3.What advice would you have for those who may decide to disclose their disability? 4.What advice would you have for supervisors to encourage disclosure? Discussion
Member Stories Hillary Vargas, Teacher Partner for The Learning Community and AmeriCorps Alumni Calling from Providence, RI
Promoting disclosure in your program Availability of reasonable accommodations is openly posted and publicized Individuals are asked about their experience and satisfaction Individuals with disabilities are full participants in program and service activities Making sure expectations for individuals with disabilities are the same as for others Display of statements, such as “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
Practice the skills of effective and active listening Support and reinforce the discloser Keep the disclosures confidential Guidelines for Responding to Self-Disclosure
Things to Remember about Disclosure It is 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 May share information regarding disabilities if member provides approval in writing or alternative verifiable method Human Resource personnel and supervisors are trained/informed in the confidentiality of medical, disability and accommodation-related information