moderated Re: Question about JAWS at job interviews

Pat Byrne

When I was interviewing, mostly before ADA I mentioned in my cover letter that I was blind. I always thought that if I showed up for an interview withouut warning it might piss off the employer and endanger my future employment. If the blindness wnaring put them off, then probably I wouldn't have been considered anyway.
From what I've heard and guessed, since ADA an employer can still justify not hiring a person with a disability, for some other obscure reason. Then just suck it up and move on.
Pat ByrneAt 11:24 PM 6/28/2021, you wrote:


I can't tell why you're wondering if you should take a laptop to an interview. What kind of job are you seeking? Is there something about it that suggests the need for a laptop?

Several people have suggested legalistic approaches to interviews. I'd try not to get hung up on what your rights are. Those arguments are for afterwards, if the employer treats you unfairly.

It may or may not be true that a prospective employer is required to accommodate a disabled interviewee. Assuming for the sake of argument that they are, it does raise the question about whether to inform an employer ahead of an interview of your disability. This is really a question of timing, and it has been a tricky one since long before the ADA. For example, do you mention or imply it on your resume? Or do you wait until you're invited for an interview? Or, yet another possibility, do you show up without your disability announced ahead of time in order to ensure the employer can't pretend you weren't qualified? After all, if they are willing to take the time to interview, it means they've concluded you are qualified. From that point it's a question of convincing them you're also the best person for that job. Which approach to take can vary from applicant to applicant and from employer to employer.

It's wrong to say that if the employer doesn’t treat you right, you wouldn't want to work there anyway. The reality is that rejection hurts, and rejection due to disability is galling.

You need to go into an interview with knowledge of what the employer does and, to the extent possible, the nature of the work environment. If you can show genuine confidence, great. If you don't feel confident, try to manage your discomfort. In either case, listen carefully for every signal the people you speak to send. Adapt how you present yourself accordingly.

In theory, meaning according to the law, an employer shouldn’t ask you at the interview stage how you'd function at the job for which you're applying. In practice, the moment is likely to come when you find yourself asking yourself should you explain anyway. My sense is that the answer is usually yes. An employer can always find a non-disability-related excuse not to hire a disabled person, so putting them at ease in this respect most likely can only help you. In addition, in that moment when you ask yourself the question, it's likely it will be because you have a sense you've piqued their interest. Go for it. Think in terms of how to convince your interviewers that you'd do a great job for them.

Good luck. I hope you're excited at the prospect of the interview, even though you're also surely nervous.

-----Original Message-----
From: <> On Behalf Of Michael Walker
Sent: Monday, June 28, 2021 6:29 PM
Subject: Question about JAWS at job interviews


When you went to job interviews, did you bring your own laptop with JAWS, or did the employer provide JAWS as an interview accommodation? I currently only have a desktop, but am willing to obtain a laptop. I am assuming that I cannot expect any interview accommodations, and that I should be prepared. Any thoughts?

Thank you,


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