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Deciding to Disclose Your Disability

Do you know when to disclose your disability? Disclose means to tell someone personal information about yourself. If you have a disability, it is up to you whether you decide to tell others; however, after high-school, you may need to disclose your disability in order to request modifications in college or the workplace.

Following are reasons to disclose or not disclose your disability at college/ training program or the workplace:

Reasons to Disclose Reasons Not to Disclose
Required in order to request accommodations at school or the workplace If there is no need for accommodations
Provides legal protection against discrimination and can assist in eligibility under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (according to the Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA) To protect your privacy
Can help others have a better understanding of you and your abilities Fear of people treating you differently
Can improve your confidence in your ability to speak up for yourself and your needs Disclosing personal information can be difficult
Source: National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth. (2005). The 411 on Disability Disclosure Workbook. Washington, DC: Institute for Educational Leadership.


Note: After you leave high school, you are no longer entitled to receive services and supports. However, you may be eligible for services and supports based on your situation, disability, and whether you disclose necessary information. Be sure to ask schools, employers, and agencies about eligibility requirements for services and accommodations.