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Why do some people hide their disability in the workplace?

Study guide

Working is stressful, even for those who are in perfect health and do not have a mental or physical disability. Various work occupations, interaction with the employer and co-workers, coping with clients and various other factors, all add to this tension and stress. Now, think of an employee or worker who also hides some kind of disability: waking up early every morning, getting on work habits, following workplace policies, and… specifically, it becomes much more difficult for such a person and carries a heavier burden than regular employees. He takes a shower. What you have in front of you is a complete description of the details of research that has been done on the situation of people with disabilities in the workplace. The main reasons why some people hide their disability in the workplace, the effects that this secrecy can have and compare it to talking about disability openly are the issues that the research has been focused on and, further, in more detail in We will give their case. be with us.

A person with a disability is someone who suffers from some kind of injury or physical or mental disability, and as a result, is limited in performing one or more of the main daily activities. According to the research results cited in this article, of the total number of employees evaluated, 30% were in a state of health in which, by definition, they were diagnosed with a disability. Most of these employees kept their status a secret and shared only 39% of their disability with their employer. The number of employees who reported their disabilities to team members and other colleagues was even lower than in the previous group (24% and 21%, respectively).

Some people have no choice but to make their disability public. Thirteen percent of the staff surveyed said their disability (or at least one of their disabilities, if they had multiple disabilities in that unit) was potential, and as a result they could not virtually hide it, and this aspect of their identity was exposed. It is public. This percentage includes employees who, for example, have to use a device such as a wheelchair or a cane or have artificial limbs.

At the same time, more than half of the employees (62%) said that their disability was unavoidable. They agreed that “others will not find out about my disability unless I talk about it myself.”

Non-recurring disabilities include depression and other mental disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; inability to focus on a particular subject, and excessive physical activity are some of their symptoms), diabetes, and others.

Among them was a 26 percent group of employees whose disability, depending on the situation, may or may not be possible. For example, a person with a coma uses a special cane only in places that are unfamiliar to him.

Given these percentages, you will find that most disabilities are not (or only occasionally) capable. As a result, disclosing disability becomes a choice for the person with the disability, and if he or she wants to do so, it is still up to him or her to decide on issues such as when and with whom to talk.

Investigating the effects of revealing a disability versus hiding it

The effects of making a disability public versus hiding it

In another part of this study, the value and impact of disclosing disability was assessed: Based on this assessment, it was found that if people with disabilities reveal their disability to more people who interact with them, compared to those with disabilities They do not reveal themselves to anyone, they will be more than twice as happy (65% vs. 27%). They are also less likely to be constantly involved in emotions such as anxiety (18% vs. 40%) and less likely to feel isolated (8% vs. 37%).

During the research and conversation with the staff, another point was revealed to us: the benefits that talking about disability can have in the long run. This example helps clarify the issue: Chris Schlechty works for Microsoft and is a software developer. He has muscular dystrophy [نوعی بیماری که رشد ماهیچه‌ها را مختل می‌کند و با ضعف و ناتوانی عضلانی همراه است] He is afflicted and, in addition to the responsibilities that his main job requires, he has another duty to ensure that the needs of people with various disabilities who use their products are met. Anyone who has any questions about how accessible the company’s products are to this group of people should contact Chris first. Chris’s unique insights enabled him to identify unmet market needs and benefit his employer from his innovation, all of which he owes to his disability.

That said, disclosing a disability can be both beneficial and rewarding for a person with a disability. So why do we still see people hiding their disabilities?

Why do some people hide their disability in the workplace?

Discrimination in the workplace between healthy and disabled employees is an issue that is prohibited by various laws. Unfortunately, sometimes the culture of work environments and human relations overrides the laws that are enacted in support of workers and employees with disabilities and does not allow such laws to be enforced. What is meant here is a work environment in which even indirect gestures – and sometimes even explicit encouragement – can indicate such discrimination.

People with disabilities who work in different places cite several reasons for hiding their true identities: for example, fear of being ridiculed and harassed by others, fear of being affected by their relationships with their co-workers, fear of being lazy or less lazy in the eyes of others. Comment and, as a result, be affected by their career advancement.

Strategies to help make disability public in the workplace

Solutions to help make disability public in the workplace

Unfortunately, there is no immediate solution, but if you evaluate the culture of your work environment, you can take steps to make your disability public and get rid of the constant tension and anxiety that stems from keeping your disability alive. In the following, we will introduce a number of strategies to achieve this goal.

1. Search for organizations and departments that support the disabled

There are organizations and departments that sometimes try to convey the message in various ways that they take the issue of non-discrimination between employees with disabilities seriously and extend their support and assistance to people with disabilities. It is often in the early stages of the hiring process that such organizations can be identified. For this purpose, you should search the website of the relevant organization, the statements published by that organization and other related sources and see if there is a direct reference to the employment conditions of the disabled or not? If so, does it have a plan to support and assist people with disabilities in adapting to the workplace? By finding answers to such questions, a better understanding of the policies of organizations and departments in dealing with people with disabilities can be found.

It becomes easier to make disability public by accessing the work environment of such organizations and departments.

2. Get to know the employer better

Employees who disclose their disability often raise the issue with their employer. It makes perfect sense, because it is the employer who has a direct impact on equipment access, and in matters such as work flexibility and workload, he or she can make a difference and help his or her employees.

Having said that, discussing the issue with the employer is another way to make the disability public, but there are employers whose approach and behavior in the workplace make them more suitable for this purpose and, regardless of the disability and similar issues, limit certain aspects of people’s lives. They do, they like to give everyone a field based on their true abilities. If you have such an employer, you can move forward with more confidence and encouragement. There are six characteristics that can be seen in such employers: they listen to each member and employee, the feedback they provide is enforceable, they accept suggestions, they try to empower team members, they create a safe space to express ideas, and they succeed. Are written by the efforts of all team members.

3. Disclosure of disability to a colleague

People with disabilities who are not comfortable with disclosing the matter to the employer can turn to a partner they trust. If this is also difficult and beyond one’s means, another alternative would be to use the counseling services of centers and organizations to help the disabled. One thing that should not be overlooked is the importance of talking about the disability and the comfort that comes with it; Whether this conversation is done in the form of consultation with the mentioned service centers or in other centers and organs. Talking about it, a person with a disability gets rid of emotions such as embarrassment, which is accompanied by his disability, and gradually finds an alternative feeling that there is no problem if people face his real self and the disability does not diminish his values. کرد.

Of course, the scope of activities of these centers is very wide and includes services such as culture and information in order to teach appropriate treatment to people with disabilities, counseling and dialogue with people with disabilities, finding a job for them and so on. For example, as a result of the activities of one of these service centers in Qazvin, factories were built and set up with 92% of its staff being disabled.

last word

If you have an incurable disability, it is up to you to decide whether or not to disclose it, and it is ultimately up to you. But if the organizational culture or even the behavior of a colleague has paved the way for publicizing the disability, make the most of it. If you do not have to hide your disability in the workplace, you will get rid of stressful and frightening thoughts and you will have the opportunity to focus all your attention on your work and obviously with such an approach you will be more successful in your work and life in general. Your camouflage will be sweeter.

what is your opinion? Do you agree with disclosing disability in the workplace? Do you have any experience of employees or employers dealing with people with disabilities? We look forward to hearing from you.




Why do some people hide their disability in the workplace?

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