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A diverse museum

The Museum promotes a diverse and inclusive workplace culture and provides support for all employees. Without formal disclosure of a disability, the Museum is limited in how it can offer appropriate, timely and relevant support to employees in the workplace to enable them to do their jobs. Disclosure is the first step towards support and assistance in the workplace.

Disclosing your disability – factors to consider

Ultimately, the decision to disclose a disability is up to each individual. Before making such a disclosure, you should consider that there is no legal need to disclose any disability you may have, unless:

  • it will affect your performance or ability to do the inherent requirements of a job; or
  • it affects your ability to work safely and/or ensure the safety of colleagues around you.

What are the benefits of disclosure?

There are a number of benefits to disclosing any disability. Disclosure may be beneficial because:

  • it is the first step to creating a trusting and open relationship, allowing you and the Museum to develop the most effective workplace adjustments for you
  • you can challenge misconceptions, showing that your work will be business as usual
  • if there is a change in your disability, the Museum can respond quickly and effectively to keep you at work and able to work effectively. 

Why wouldn't you disclose any disability you may have?

Disclosure may not be beneficial if:

  • your disability has no impact at all on the inherent requirements of the position
  • it might lead unnecessary curiosity, concern or insensitivity.

What is a disability

There are many different types of disability, for example levels of vision, hearing, speech and intellectual impairment, mental illness, reduced use of limbs, learning difficulties.

The federal Disability Discrimination Act 1992 defines a person as having a disability when there is:

a)  total or partial loss of the person’s bodily or mental functions; or

b)  total or partial loss of a part of the body; or

c)  the presence in the body of organisms causing disease or illness; or

d)  the presence in the body of organisms capable of causing disease or illness; or

e)  the malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of the person’s body; or

f)  a disorder or malfunction that results in the person learning differently from a person without the disorder or malfunction; or

g)  a disorder, illness or disease that affects a person’s thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgment or that results in disturbed behaviour

and includes a disability that:

h)  presently exists; or

i)  previously existed but no longer exists; or

j)  may exist in the future (including because of a genetic predisposition to that disability); or

k)  is imputed to a person.

When should you disclose your disability?

You can disclose your disability before an interview, at an interview, after you have been offered a position or after you start with the Museum. There are separate benefits for each option, including:

Before and at an interview

  • creates open discussion about the inherent requirements, expectations and opportunities of the position
  • allows the Museum to provide interview access and support
  • removes surprises and awkwardness at the interview
  • allows you to demonstrate skills, abilities and ways of managing any effect your disability may have on the role.

When offered a position or after starting

  • gives you better access to information on the Museum's workplace adjustment, support and equity strategies and schemes
  • ensures the Museum is able to help you to start with all the assistance/equipment that you may need
  • allows increased understanding and response from the Museum and colleagues.

What information should you disclose?

If you decide to disclose any disability you may have, think about the information you will provide. You only need to provide information about:

  • any adjustments you may need for a fair and equitable selection process
  • how any disability you may have affects aspects of the inherent requirements of the role
  • any adjustments needed so you can undertake the inherent requirements of the role.

To whom do you disclose?

  • The Recruitment Officer (before an interview) to ensure that the interview panel is briefed and any necessary adjustments are made to assist with the interview, for example: 
    - if you use a wheelchair, the interview is in an accessible room for wheelchairs and the interview table is a good height
    - if you have a visual impairment, you are met at the front door and taken to the interview room
    - if you have a hearing impairment, the questions may be provided in writing to assist you
    - consideration of other options that would assist.
  • Your supervisor or your Business Unit Manager who will discuss with you the reasonable adjustments required to ensure that the inherent tasks of the position can be completed and that you have appropriate training and development opportunities.
  • The Human Resources Advisor or Human Resources Operations Manager who are responsible for coordinating workplace assessments, job access assistance and equipment purchases, and for reviewing tasks and providing advice on what reasonable adjustments are.

Privacy

Staff at the Museum are required to comply with the Privacy Act 1988 and the Information Privacy Principles. Therefore, Museum staff have obligations placed on them regarding the collection, storage, use and sharing of personal information and any disability disclosure will be handled in accordance with these principles.