SINGAPORE – Gearing up for an interview not only involves researching on the prospective employer. For Norrizwan Rasip, 30, it includes planning how he will inform a prospective employer that he is a wheelchair user.

Wheelchair user working on his computer at his workstation.
Norrizwan Rasip, who is a wheelchair user, works at his workstation at the Society for the Physically Disabled, which has a wheelchair friendly environment. (Oct 28, 2013) Photo | Royson Poh

Norrizwan discloses his disability in the cover letter of his job applications. He also highlights his disability when prospective employers contact him for an interview. This avoids surprising an employer at the interview by simply showing up in a wheelchair.

“If they (employers) invite you for an interview, it is quite unfair for them if they don’t know what you require,” Norrizwan said.

However, in disclosing his disability, Norrizwan faces the risk of being rejected by an employer who may be unaware of how persons with disabilities can be supported in the workplace through job accommodations.

In our earlier report, disabled workers have a more difficult time finding employment because of the lack of awareness on job accommodations among employers in Singapore.

The Job Accommodation Network in the United States provides a free online resource, SOAR – Searchable Online Accommodations Resource that can help employers identify the specific types of accommodations needed by workers with disabilities.  In Singapore, the Society for the Physically Disabled also provides employers with advice on job accommodations and strategies to include persons with disabilities in their workforce.

Elizabeth Chua, job placement officer with the Employment Support Programme at the Society for the Physically Disabled serves as a recruitment and career counselling consultant for job seekers with disabilities, Photo | Updates SPD
Elizabeth Chua, job placement officer with the Employment Support Programme at the Society for the Physically Disabled serves as a recruitment and career counselling consultant for job seekers with disabilities. (Oct 25, 2013) Photo | Updates SPD

With greater awareness, Norrizwan along with other job seekers with disabilities can more confidently disclose their disability and work in collaboration with employers to implement they accommodations they need in the workplace.

For more information on the SPD Employment Support Programme. call 6579 0720.