The Friday Highlight: The Muse Offers Tips on Disclosing a Disability During the Pandemic

By Tara Drinks
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May 22, 2020

Welcome to the Friday Highlight.

We know that 2020 has been a stressful year for employers, employees, and job seekers. And it’s been especially challenging for people with disabilities.

So each Friday, we’ll be bringing you a snapshot of something we’ve found useful or motivating. Whether it’s a tip for how to stay on top of work, or something to take your mind off the news, we hope these highlights will be a positive and helpful way to round off your week.


Since the coronavirus pandemic began, feelings of anxiety and stress have overwhelmed many employees. That can be especially true for people with mental health conditions or other types of disabilities.

If you’re struggling to focus and complete your work, you’re not alone. Communicating with your employer might help. But disclosing a disability or a mental health condition can be hard to do.

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This week, we highlight a piece from The Muse that has some advice on disclosing:

“It’s important to know that you’re not alone in what you’re feeling right now, but you may differ from your coworkers in what you need to best get through it.

“You may also be afraid of asking for help or accommodations at a time when so many people are facing layoffs and so many companies are implementing cost-cutting measures in order to stay afloat. It’s difficult enough to have a conversation like this under normal circumstances and knowing there are already fewer resources available can make it even harder. Still, honoring your mental health is important. You’re no good to anyone if you don’t take care of yourself first. So yes, this is hard—but there are ways to make it easier.”

The article includes practical steps you can take toward disclosure, such as:

“If you’ve decided you would rather have this conversation by phone or video call as opposed to entirely by email, send HR and/or your manager a quick email letting them know what you’d like to discuss.”

Visit The Muse to read more. Tips include identifying your needs, making a plan, and knowing your rights under the law.

And whatever you decide to do, remember to take care of yourself as best you can—mentally, emotionally, and physically—during this global health crisis.

Tara Drinks is an associate editor at Understood.