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Hiring a Person with a Disability

The Interview

It is the responsibility of the applicant to request a reasonable accommodation for the interview and/or testing. You may require documentation of the need for an accommodation. The accommodation provided does not have to be the one requested; it just has to be effective. Consider more time for testing, a different format, simplifying language, breaks, accessibility and alternate forms of testing.

A few considerations:

  • Relax. The interviewee will be nervous enough for you both.
  • It’s ok to ask how to be of assistance to the interviewee.
  • Be aware of the essential functions and marginal functions of the job; why, how, where, when, and by whom a task is to be performed.
  • Have a list of questions tied to the applicant’s ability to perform job functions that make no reference to disability; ask all applicants the same questions.
  • Do not speculate about how the applicant will perform a job function as the applicant may have alternate techniques.
  • You may ask the applicant how he or she would perform a job function, with or without an accommodation. You may also ask to demonstrate a task, but only if all applicants are asked to do so.
  • Do not mention the interviewee’s disability unless the applicant raises the issue first.
  • Regard any information volunteered by the individual about his or her disability as a confidential record.
  • Do not interview or hire a person who does not have the professional or technical skills to do the job.
  • Refer to the individual first and the disability second. For example, a man who is blind, or a woman with mental illness. This is called People First Language.