To Disclose or not to Disclose and reasonable accommodation?

What does it mean to Disclose or not to Disclose? This is a  my Personal account regarding disclosure. When applying for a new Job Disclosure is very important. Disclosure meaning that when you apply for a job you need to state in your application that you are hearing impaired. You should also state this in the interview. Big Questions is , wont I be victimized? The reality is by Law you may not be victimized. I applied for a new job and did not declare in fear of being told that I don,t Qualify for the job or I wont fit in.

I got the job but a few months down the line I became a victim of verbal abuse / abuse due to the fact I did not disclose my disability. Had I disclosed I would have been protected by the disability Legislation. So by openly not talking with my employer how can I expect reasonable accommodation from my Employer.

Note: ( The reality is that workplace accommodations will / can only be provided when the employee discloses His / Her impairment and requests reasonable accommodations. )

There are a few points to remember before you disclose. You yourself need to understand your impairment. You need to have a full Audiologists report to understand where you fit in. You also need to know what reasonable accommodations you have in mind. Are you able to perform the necessary Job functions? What is the Employers attitude towards people with disabilities in general.

In my case my employer was not educated regarding my disability or general disabilities. After confrontation I sat down with my Employer and explained what my Impairment is about and my rights as a Person with Disability . My Employer eventually had a idea what it was all about. I explained to my Employer that in our work situation this is how He should reasonably accommodate me. This is what I asked the Employer to do for me and we agreed upon it and paved the way forward.

  1. Communicate with me via whatsapp.
  2. Phone me to my Cell Phone as I use a phone clip.
  3. If you want to speak to me and I am busy tap me on my shoulder to get my attention.
  4. Face me when you speak to me.
  5. Speak clearly and dont mumble.
  6. Write a message on paper and give it to me.
  7. Send me a E-Mail.
  8. When we have a meeting I need to sit close to the speaker as possible.

My employer thought that this was a mouth full but said that they will try these basic methods of communication. Well to this day it has worked for me and we are all happy. Our communication in general has improved 100%. In addition to this my Employer has also asked me if there is anything additional they can assist me with. I thought of adding a phone amp to my office land line. My Employer paid for it no cost to me. I have put the amp with my phone and tried it but does not really improve my land line usage.

To sum up.

  1. Disclose.
  2. Have your Audio gram on hand  / know what your impairment is about.
  3. Ask for reasonable accommodation at your Employer , University , Church , Hobby Group etc etc etc.

Dont forget you are Protected by the White Paper.

If you want to know more about reasonable accommodations and disclosure why not ask a Question. You can e mail Mr. Fanie du Toit at

You can also e mail me if you would like to know more about my personal Journey regarding my hearing loss. My e mail is