It's entirely up to you whether you disclose your disability or not but your cover letter gives you the best opportunity to do so
You aren't legally required to disclose a disability. However, you shouldn't lie and say you don't have a disability if you do, as this could mean you lose any potential job offer. Employers are not allowed to discriminate against candidates with disabilities so you'll have just as much of a chance as anyone else of securing the position.
If you do decide to talk about your disability you should explain how it affects you stating what you can and can't do in relation to the job. Make sure you're positive and talk about how you've overcome any hurdles. Then explain any adjustments you would need the company to make and end by saying you're available to discuss if they have any questions.
If you choose not to disclose a disability in your cover letter then you can do so at a later stage, for example during an interview.
John Millsom 115 Place Street Hightown Lowshire PT19 4RS email@example.com 07654321321
Joy Rainer Head of services Project for Children Clipper House The Park Ruralshire JQ10 7TU
15th April 2019
Dear Ms Rainer
Re: Social worker - Children and young people's services
I am writing to apply for the social worker post advertised on Project for Children's website. As requested, I am enclosing my CV.
I recently completed an MA in Social Work where I undertook placements with a:
- Local authority child protection team where I co-worked a caseload, under the direction of a social worker.
- Youth Offending Team (YOT) where I assisted a YOT worker in managing cases.
I also have experience of residential work with adults and young people with learning disabilities.
I am particularly interested in the work you do on mental health issues and self-harm in teenagers. My MA dissertation was on self-harm in adolescence resulting from early childhood issues. I would welcome an opportunity to work with this client group at Project for Children.
As well as my theoretical knowledge and practical experience I can bring skills such as:
- Organisation from combining my part-time MA with paid work.
- Report writing that was judged consistently excellent by placement supervisors.
- Empathy and establishing rapport. Young people have commented 'thanks for helping me feel whole again' and 'I felt you understood where I'm coming from'.
- Multi-agency teamwork, both in the YOT and arranging partnership events for residential clients.
Four years ago I had a serious accident which took almost one year of recovery. The damage to my pelvis and lower back has slightly impaired my mobility. I can walk short distances (around an office, for example) but have difficulty with stairs. With the correct adaptations (chair, desk, etc), I can work full time without difficulty and can travel as needed for the job.
I look forward to hearing from you and would be happy to discuss any aspect of my application prior to an interview.
(Sign your name here)
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