We are an equal-opportunity employer that prides itself on being welcoming to all marginalized groups, including people with disabilities. We invite individuals of all abilities to apply for positions at our establishment and get systematically rejected. We know that people like you offer priceless contributions to our company culture. Giving you lip service gives us the reassurance that we’re good people. It is also great PR.
That’s right, as long as people with disabilities like yourself are qualified, we will briefly glance at your applications and then throw them in the shredder. Don’t worry, what we expect from our hires is very basic. Anyone can meet these requirements.
- No gaps in résumés, even if discrimination or other disability-related challenges prevented you from working until now
- A driving license, even if you’re visually impaired or have another disability-related reason you can’t drive
- Ability to lift objects over fifty pounds, even if you have a physical disability that prevents you from doing so
- Excellent communication skills and ability to be a “team player,” even if you have autism or another communication-based disability
Of course, we legally classify all of the above skills as “essential functions” of the position. So, if you cannot fulfill these tenets without accommodations, we will be forced to use this legal loophole to turn you away. It just means that you weren’t the right fit. But have no fear; we are focused on finding the right person with a disability for the job, one who will function as similarly to a non-disabled person as possible.
To cement our commitment toward inclusion, we have included at the bottom of our application an “optional,” very much illegal, disability disclosure form. You can rest assured that we use this form to ensure that people with disabilities get prioritized in our screening process, not to filter them out. Honest!
We also will invite applicants like you to email our human resources team to coordinate any required application or interview accommodations, rather than make the process as accessible as possible in the first place. This has the bonus of enabling you to disclose your disability-related needs to us before the employment process has even started. We can begin making assumptions about your ability to work and how much of a hassle it would be to give you the tools you need to succeed.
We are leaders in doublespeak. We carefully craft explicit messages claiming that you’re welcomed here while implicitly discouraging you from being your true self through our actions. Our conduct will give you comfort. It will remind you that employment discrimination is a feature—not a flaw—of the labor market. Most importantly, it will provide the public with more chances to bemoan why people like you can’t pull yourselves up by your bootstraps, stop burdening the economy, and start contributing to it.
So complete that application form and then watch your dreams go down the drain as you wait for months without even a rejection letter. And remember that when you give up, it’s not personal. It’s us, not you. Sure, you’ll be convinced that it actually is you when you get nothing but rejections, but what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger or something, right? And when all this negativity inevitably takes a toll on your well-being, you likely won’t be able to access therapy because many mental-health professionals aren’t trained to deal with disability issues, or worse yet, you simply can’t afford treatment, because you’re unemployed.
With that said, we aren’t heartless monsters. We will always keep you in our thoughts and prayers. Then we’ll proceed to completely ignore the systemic, institutional, and individual apathy that failed you in the first place. After all, it’s not our problem.