33 Disclosure

In addition to discussions with the employer regarding conditions that will help the student work effectively, individual students may have other considerations that require accommodations for personal safety. Instructors will need to take reasonable steps to determine what information the student feels it is important to share with an employer/supervisor to ensure their personal safety. Upon application to the ASE ER program, it is recommended that the potential risks of participating in work experiences are clearly outlined when asking students to disclose issues which may impact their safety.  Potential worksite risks should be clearly explained to students. When interviewing students for potential work experiences, employers are only allowed to ask questions about a person’s abilities as they are specifically related to job function. Also, employers are expected to employ universal precautions, so there is no additional onus on ASE ER students to disclose personal medical information unless it related to the specific job function (e.g., there would be no obligation to disclose conditions such as hepatitis C, or a mental health condition). There may, however, be a personal situation or medical condition (e.g., diabetes), where it may be helpful for the employer to be aware of, in order to provide any necessary assistance or accommodations and to ensure safety (e.g. a written site safety handbook is of no use to the student if they cannot read). Disability Alliance BC has created a useful guidebook entitled, Disclosing Your Disability: A Legal Guide for People with Disabilities in B.C. [1]

Another useful resources is The 411 on Disability Disclosure: A Workbook for Youth with Disabilities (American.  Free, downloadable in Adobe format at http://www.ncwd-youth.info/411-on-disability-disclosure )

Disability disclosure is a very personal matter and each student will need to decide what information they choose to disclose. There are situations where instructors are the position of talking about their students, such as when marketing for work experience sites. Instructors are reminded that they are bound by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) and individual discussions with each student are necessary regarding the information the student wants to share with employers. Students generally find it advantageous to disclose the accommodations they require (e.g. verbal, visual or graphic instructions/reminders rather than written instructions) and do not need to provide specific information about their disability.  It is recommended that instructors obtain written consent from students about the specific information they are allowed to share with employers. A sample disclosure form is included in the appendix.


  1. Disability Alliance of BC. (n.d.). Disclosing your disability: A guide for people with disabilities in BC. Retrieved January 18, 2018, from Disability Alliance BC: http://disabilityalliancebc.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/DisclosureGuide.pdf

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Disclosure by Nicola Soles is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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