In a previous blog we defined full disclosure of your disability, and accommodations. Often times individuals will have more than one disability, but only one of them may be a concern in the workplace. What I mean by this is that one disability may stay hidden while the other one is visible.
As I have worked through the disclosure process with my clients, they frequently only want to let one disability be known. To work through this we often use the SODAS method, which stands for: Situation Options Disadvantages Advantages and Solution.
The following is an example of the SODAS method:
Situation: I have more than one disability and don’t know if I should disclose all, one, or none
First you list the disadvantages to each of the options.
- Full Disclosure – I may get made fun of, or discriminated against
- Partial Disclosure – They won’t be aware of my other disabilities that may affect my work
- Non-Disclosure – I will have no additional support
Next list the advantages to each of the options.
- Full Disclosure – My employer will know how to help me be successful
- Partial Disclosure – My employer knows what affects me the most, and I am able to successfully work through, and with my other disabilities with no additional support needed from my employer. I can also go back and fully disclose if needed.
- Non-Disclosure – I am not treated any differently and no one knows I have a disability.
Solution: Once you have listed the disadvantages and advantages of each, you can then more readily decide on a solution.
For this example we are choosing partial disclosure, which means that you feel you are able to work through your other disabilities without help from your employer, but you know you can always do full disclosure if needed.
This is a small tool we use to help work through the decision on which way to disclose. As I have said in past blogs, disclosing a disability is a very personal decision, and one that you must make for yourself. You can ask others for their input and their advice, but ultimately it is your decision and your right to disclose fully, partially or not to disclose at all.
by Maggie Cromeens
Maggie earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal and Fine Arts with a Major in Communication/Public Relations and a Minor in Non Profit Management from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She has worked for Compass Resource Group since 2011. She assists adults in Texas with disabilities in achieving their employment goals by providing training, job placement assistance, environmental work assessments, social skills training, and job coaching. She has been instrumental in shaping the services at Compass Resource Group to meet the needs of young adults on the Autism Spectrum who are transitioning from high school. She is a member of the DARS Statewide Developmental Disorders Team