Development of an Evidence Based Toolkit to Help Decide When and How to Disclose Disability in Job Search

What is this study about?

This study is about developing an evidence-based toolkit to help youth with disabilities to learn how and when to disclose their condition to potential employers. We will explore the experiences of youth with disabilities as they apply for work or their current work experiences, as well as their experiences of workplace disclosure and accommodations. It also explores the experiences of employers and clinicians/service providers. We are inviting 30-40 young people with disabilities to take part in one of several sessions (involving 6-10 participants each) to develop a toolkit and simulation scenario. This involves two separate 2.5-hour sessions where you will build scenarios that focus on disclosure and accommodations. Included in each development session is a 30 minute debrief discussion that will be conducted to reflect on the sessions. You will also be asked to keep an optional journal of your experiences before and after each toolkit and simulation development session. You may also choose to participate in an optional interview after the development sessions are complete. You will be given a separate informed consent form to sign to participate in the interview.

Researchers want to learn about your experience in disability disclosure and asking for accommodations in the workplace. They want to understand the process involved and what recommendations you may have. This information will help us make sure that young people have the support that they need.


How will I be involved in this study?

You can be involved in this research study if you are:

  • 15-24 years old, and have a disability
  • able to read/write in English
  • currently employed, enrolled in training or seeking employment
  • willing to be audio recorded in the development sessions

If you meet these criteria, and would like to share more about your employment and disclosure experiences, you are invited to participate in the development sessions. If you are interested in participating, we will arrange for a researcher to follow-up with you. There will be two separate development sessions that are each 2.5 hours long, and will both take place at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.

The development sessions will focus on:

  • Workplace rights and supports
  • Types of workplace accommodations
  • How/when to request accommodations
  • Benefits and considerations of disclosing
  • Career development

In the development sessions, we will hold a debrief discussion with all participants. The debrief discussions will take around 30 minutes, and some of the questions include:

  • What are your initial reactions to this toolkit/simulation?
  • Is the content relevant to youth?
  • Is there anything that you feel is missing (in the toolkits) that should be here?

We will ask these and other questions to help us understand your experiences and opinions of the toolkits and simulations.

Finally, we will give participants the option to keep a journal of their experiences before and after each development session. The journal questions include:

  • Do you have any specific learning goals today?
  • Is there anything you would do differently after today’s session?


What else should I know?

If you participate in the simulation development and focus group, we will give you a $20 gift card as thanks for participating. If you choose to participate in the optional interview after the simulation development, we will give you another $20 gift card for your participation. We will also cover your travel costs (day parking pass at Holland Bloorview or TTC tokens) when you are travelling to meet with us for the development sessions and/or interviews.


CONTACT Elaine Cagliostro, MA
Phone 416 425 6220 x 6496
Victoria Osten, PhD Cand.

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