Resource 5: Case Example for Self-Advocacy and Disclosure

What does the research say?

Multiple studies in the scoping review showed that training students with disabilities in the process, risks, and benefits of disclosure can improve employment outcomes.

What's an example of this research-informed practice?

Helping students with disabilities to effectively disclose their disabilities to employers can lead to better employment outcomes. One study included in the review interviewed students with disabilities who completed a youth employment training program in Ontario, Canada. A major focus of this training program addressed the topic of disclosure through formal workshops. Students in the workshops engaged in practice interviews in which they rehearsed disclosing their disabilities, asking for specific accommodations, and explaining how they would perform specific tasks. Program staff also helped students to anticipate areas of difficulty in their assigned work placements. Many of the students who completed the program also reported an increased ability to manage self-care issues at work. For instance, one of the students reported experiencing fatigue at work. This student was able to effectively request a modified work schedule with rest periods. The program also used job coaches to help program participants develop solutions to self-care issues at work. Ultimately, the majority of students in the study were able to effectively disclose their disabilities to their employers, ask for accommodations, and manage self-care issues at work.

How can this be adapted to VR settings?

Although this training program was unique to Ontario, Canada, most of its components can be applied by VR counselors to assist students with disabilities.

  1. Help students with disabilities understand when and how to disclose their disabilities to potential employers.
    1. This might be achieved through mock interviews similar to those in the training program in Ontario, Canada.
    2. Encourage students to participate in opportunities that allow them to practice disclosure (i.e., work-based experiences).
  2. Instruct students with disabilities on how to manage self-care issues at work.
    1. The more aware students are of the types of accommodations available to them in the workplace, the more they can use these accommodations to manage self-care issues at work.
    2. Approaches for managing self-care at work should be included when discussing disclosure strategies with students.

Resources Related to Interagency Collaboration

Lindsay, S., McDougall, C., & Sanford, R. (2013). Disclosure, accommodations and self-care at work among adolescents with disabilities. Disability and Rehabilitation, 35(26), 2227–2236. Retrieved from


Next: Continue to Resource 6.