The Handicap Question for Online Job Applications

The Job Application Process

The very end of every online job application that I have filled out in the last 20 months includes a whole page of…are you handicapped? Check yes or no? There is a box that includes reasons you may be considered handicapped:

  • Cancer
  • Deaf
  • Blind
  • Austism
  • Epilepsy
  • Diabetes
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Schizophrenia
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Major depression
  • MS = Multiple sclerosis
  • Missing limbs
  • PTSD = Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Wheelchair bound
  • Intellectual disability (previously called mental retardation)

So if one of these conditions describes us, we are supposed to be honest and check yes.  Do yourself a huge favor and lie! This is the only lie I NOW make because I can’t even get an in-person interview with ANY possible future employer. No one has been interested. I live near one of the largest cities in Florida where there are 2 main hospital groups,  they own most of the hospitals within 2 hours of travel. There have been so many BIOMED positions posted and I have applied for every one. In 20 months I have received one phone interview.

I consulted my sister who said stop checking the handicapped box. So I stopped checking it as of 10 months ago. Problem is after you LOG IN to websites and apply for any jobs, you can not un-check the handicapped box. You can change your race or veteran status but not the handicap option. It isn’t asked again.

So I called the Human Resources Department of both hospitals. Each phone call was strangely the same. I talked to a representative and told them I needed to un-check the handicapped box and they very quickly said that doesn’t have any bearing on my application and that they do not discriminate. I explained that I have 20 years of experience and haven’t even gotten an interview so if they would please let me un-check that box I would appreciate it. They explained that they can’t make that change. I wanted to ask, “can’t or won’t?” but didn’t want to ruin what minuscule chance I might have at employment in the future.

I don’t see my chances getting much better. I have no voice or anyone to listen to me. I have no say in the matter if they will interview me or hire me. No one to complain to except a possible lawyer that can’t prove I’ve been discriminated against. My one lawyer would be up against several dozen of the most expensive assholes making sure nothing gets changed. The only thing I can do is voice my frustration on here. To say it’s not fair!

RECONSIDER BEFORE CHECKING YES IF YOU ARE HANDICAPPED.

I have worked in the medical device repair industry for 20 years. I am missing my left lower leg (car wreck at 6 years old). This doesn’t impede my job, not entirely. Sometimes it may make me tired more quickly than other days but this is not often or frequent. I have worked on the floor repairing OR tables because there was problems with the hydraulics. I have worked using ladders to repair OR lights. The references I can provide of former coworkers is enough evidence that I’m good at what I do. Given the chance at an interview I could encourage the hiring manager to reach out to the people I’ve worked with and ask them what kind of employee I was. I’ve never been a bad employee. I never would have thought that I would have a problem with getting employment. All because of a car wreck when I was 6 years old? No, all because I checked yes for handicapped.

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