The Cornell Just-in-Time Toolkit for Managers

Tips, checklists, and resources to help managers lead a disability inclusive workforce.

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About hiring: Seeing the many faces of talent

Question your automatic assumptions about applicants with disabilities 

  • Individuals who use wheelchairs can and do travel.
  • Individuals who are blind can and do use computers.
  • Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can and do communicate effectively in the workplace.
  • Individuals with disabilities can and do perform as well as any other employee.

Individuals with disabilities cope in ways you may not expect  

  • Don’t lower your expectations of applicants with disabilities.
  • Applicants with disabilities may cope in ways you can’t even imagine.
  • Let the applicant tell you what they can do and how they plan to be effective in the job.

No disability inquiries during the hiring process   

  • Hiring managers cannot ask any questions during hiring that require applicants to disclose a disability.

Do not ask questions like these during hiring:

  • Do you have any disability that would prevent you from doing this job?
  • Have you been hospitalized in the last five years?
  • Have you ever collected workers compensation?
  • Are you currently taking any prescription medication?

About disability disclosure & information

  • Some applicants may choose to tell the hiring manager about a disability during hiring. If this happens, do not discuss the applicant’s medical condition in detail and do not make notes about the applicant’s disability in hiring personnel files.

All applicants have a right to fully participate in the hiring process 

  • Never exclude someone from any aspect of the hiring process because of their disability.
  • All aspects of the hiring process must be made accessible to all applicants.

Showing how they would perform an essential function  

  • Any applicant, whether or not they have a disability, can be asked how they would perform the essential functions of the job.
  • It is best practice to ask this of all applicants in a job category, whether or not they have a disability.
  • Applicants must be allowed to use a disability accommodation in demonstrating this function.

Applicants who will need a disability accommodation are still qualified

  • Needing a disability accommodation does not mean the applicant is unqualified.

Veterans and veterans with disabilities:  A valued source of talent for our workforce

  • Whether or not a veteran has a disability, we recognize the skills and competencies veterans bring to our workforce. 
  • Let all veterans know about the services and supports available at Cornell. To find out more, visit Cornell's Military Community Resources.