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    If I have a telephone interview, are they allowed to ask about any handicaps? If they ask, do I have to respond?


    I am sure that they are not allowed to ask directly. They may try and slip it in. I wold try and come up with an answer that conveys the point that you have nothing that would impede your work in this given position. (I assume you aren't appyling for a job as "ceiling light bulb replacement" or the like ....
    T7-8 since Feb 2005



      If they don't ask? Don't tell them. That should not matter. An employer asking a future employee if he or she has a disability is unusual question to ask. At some point in time you must tell them for any reasonable accommodations and safety reasons too.

      What I learned when I started job hunting is to leave disability relating things off your resume' and once you got an interview date and time then I disclosed that I am a 'chair user. I would ask, "Is your facility wheelchair accessible?" At that point in time they now knew I am a person with a disability.

      No employer can ask you about your disability or you got it. All they can ask is how they can accommodate you at the worksite.

      I did have one employer ask me how I became a 'chair user? I simply stated, "That is an illegal question to ask me." So be aware of the questions they ask.

      Today we are the "in" group of people employers are looking for.

      "We must overcome difficulties rather than being overcome by difficulties."


        Originally posted by bbs
        If I have a telephone interview, are they allowed to ask about any handicaps?

        If they ask, do I have to respond?
        No, but if you just refuse, that may be a mark against you, illegal though that may be. The question could come from ignorance. A potential employer could be concerned that you are not able to do the job they are hiring for or that accomodating you would be too expensive. I assume that you are applying for a job that you are qualified for and that you are reasonably certain that the facility where you would be employed can accomodate your disability. If that is the case, then if the interviewer brings it up, that is how you should respond and then change the subject. A first interview is not the time to worry about disability accomodations or salary. Save that for the next step.



          Technically they're not allowed to ask, although I personally have a slightly altered take on that. I was just reading this page: and they talk about reasonable accomodation. I can see it being very relevant - if they would have to renovate their entire buidling in order for someone in a powerchair to get around, it would totally not be worth hiring the person with the powerchair. If they don't want to hire you because of your disabilities you probably wouldn't like working there. If they fiscally are unable to accomodate your disabilities, it wouldn't be good for you to work there.

          On the other hand, if you don't expect to have to do much beyond "I need the desk raised up about 4 inches with these handy dandy desk riser things" then as I see it (can't stress enought that this is my own opinion), there's not much reason to avoid answering except to get black marks against you. If you're not forthcoming with the answers they want (and may actually need) to know at least enough to assure them that it's not going to be an issue, they're going to be far less likely to call you back. That said, I don't advocate disclosing your entire medical history either.

          I went to a placement agency recently to try to get some more work out of the house (business has been stupid slow for me lately) and until *I* brought it up, no one asked me anything. When I talked to the person at the placement agency on the phone, she sent me on an interview, I told her I needed a wheelchair for easier mobility, she told me where the ramps where. She called me into her office later that day, gave me directions, told me where the special parking was, where the curb cut was, and said "if you need any help with the door just ring when you park and someone will come out." No one asked me a thing about it, but bent over backwards to accomodate, right up to finding me a higher table to use to fill out forms. When I said in passing that I hadn't worked for anyone other than myself since I hurt my back, the guy doing my paperwork said "I'd love to ask how you hurt your back, but feel free to tell me where to go if you don't want to answer."




            i have to go with jeannette's extremely level approach to this....very sensible and reasonable


              bbs, I assume you are in the USA? Then the ADA, and EEO regulations both apply.

              They can ask about physical capacity for a specific job. For example, they can say "this job requires walking most of the day", or "this job requires lifting 25 lb. on a frequent basis" , etc. They can then ask you if you have any problems with any of the physical requirements of the job. If you don't, then you just say no. If you do, this is where you have the opportunity to ask for reasonable accomodations. They cannot ask you if you have a disability, and if you tell them you use a wheelchair, they cannot ask you for your medical diagnosis.

              If they do ask, and you don't get the job, you have a good opportunity to file an EEO/ADA complaint with the Dept. of Labor. The onus would be on them to prove that you did not get the job for other reasons than the fact that you have a disability.

              The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


                oh, thank you everyone. I feel so much better. Tomorrow is the day, I feel a lot better about things now. I appreciate ALL of your responses and help. I feel better prepared now. THANKS



                  Good luck with your interview!