There can be several reasons why an organization may have low disability disclosure rates, including:
Lack of awareness: Employees may not be aware that they have a disability or that they are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or other disability laws. They may also not be aware of the accommodations process or the specific accommodations that are available.
Stigma: Some employees may be hesitant to disclose a disability because of the stigma associated with it. They may fear discrimination or negative perceptions from their colleagues and managers.
Lack of trust: Some employees may not trust their employer to keep their disability information confidential, or may not believe that the employer will provide reasonable accommodations.
Lack of communication: Some employees may not know how to disclose their disability or how to request accommodations. Employers should communicate clearly on the accommodations process and the resources available for employees.
Organizational culture: Some organizations may have a culture that does not promote or support employees with disabilities. This can discourage employees from disclosing their disabilities.
Fear of job loss: Some employees may be afraid that disclosing a disability will lead to termination or other negative job actions.
Lack of understanding of the accommodations process: Some employees may not understand what is considered as an accommodation or how to request for one, and may not see the benefit of disclosing their disability to the employer.
Organizations can take steps to increase disability disclosure rates by educating employees about their rights and the accommodations process, fostering a culture of inclusion and respect, and communicating openly and transparently with employees. Employers should also review their practices, policies and culture to make sure they are welcoming, inclusive, and supportive of employees with disabilities.