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The Pros & Cons of Disclosing a Disability to Employers and Coworkers

Overview

This resource provides information for individuals with autism about the pros and cons of disclosing a disability.

Disclosing a disability such as your autism spectrum disorder is a highly personal choice that will vary based on the individual. It really depends on how comfortable you are as a person with the idea of disclosing to your employer. Regardless of which decision you make, there could be consequences whether you choose to disclose or not.

PROS

  • Your mental health might improve since you’ll need to do less masking.
  • Employers/colleagues will have a better understanding of needs for accommodations in the workplace.
    • Better understanding of the differences that may be present while working with both disabled and abled individuals.
  • Your employer may receive a subsidy for hiring and employing a disabled person.
  • Greater protection from the ADA.

CONS

  • After disclosing, you may face bias or discrimination based on your diagnosis from your coworkers and/or your boss.
  • You may not get hired for the job based on the fact that you have a disability or you may get fired because you have a disability.
  • You may be treated differently after disclosure or it may affect your relationships with coworkers and/or your boss.
  • Your boss may not approve your disability-based accommodations.

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This information was developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). For more information, please contact ASERT at 877-231-4244 or info@PAautism.org. ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, PA Department of Human Services.