Bestest Friend and I are doing a blog project. Each day we will write about a pre-determined theme chosen by a random noun generator. The theme for the twenty-seventh day of the month is "Priority."
As some of you may know, I have been job hunting for what seems like a billion years. I do not want to talk about the job search much (because it is both humiliating and soul crushing), but what I want to talk about is the equal employment opportunity questions that frequently come at the end of an application - these are the ones that ask about race/ethnicity, if you're a veteran or not, and if you're disabled. The disability question frequently looks like this
and then asks the following question.
I have a lot of questions. First up, did anyone notice that Celiac disease is on this list? After filling out about a million of these forms, I asked my husband if he considered himself disabled. He very carefully answered the question about how with a well-controlled diet he is considered in "remission," but that he does need accommodations around food, which could be a problem with certain jobs (think: astronaut or soldier and even Catholic priest), so he'd probably check the "I do not want to answer box." Eating is a "major life activity" and he does have limitations.
Which brings me to the heart of the matter. My husband's disability (?) rarely comes up in his job. Yes, he's had some very awkward interviews. Academic interviews tend to take place over multiple days and generally include things like dinner with faculty members and lunch with students and my husband simply cannot eat at restaurants, so he definitely went and ordered salad and poked it around with a fork without taking a single bite to be polite, meaning he frequently went entire days without actually eating anything. But, in general, he doesn't need to eat while at work, so it doesn't interfere with his job.
But what if your disability did require some sort of accommodation, no matter how small? What if you need a special chair with lumbar support? Or reading screens to magnify the size of font? Or whatever.
Would you disclose? Would it matter to you how large or small the accommodation would have to be? Or would you simply not answer? What do you prioritize in a case like this - privacy or accommodation?
I don't know which I'd choose.