- What should I do differently (if anything) going forward?
- Who can I contact to rectify this issue, without coming off as someone who is just upset they were declined?
In a recent application I received the following question:
Please describe any special job related skills and qualifications acquired from employment, other education or volunteer experiences, etc. Do not include experiences which would indicate race, religion, sex, national origin, genetic information, disability or age or any other status protected by law or regulation.
(Earlier the application mentioned that "disability" included autism.)
Please ask about as I have strengths that I can not include in this application (per instructions)
I was declined an interview.
While there are countless reasons that I may have been declined, it bothers me that, unlike competing neurotypical applicants, I was denied the opportunity to demonstrate a real strength of mine due to how that is tied to my "disability." Individuals with disabilities usually overcome their limitations by having strengths in other areas. Both the dedication to overcome (and not be defeated) by ones weaknesses, as well as the additional strengths and how they can apply to the position, are valuable demonstrations of one's fitness for a specific position.
I understand this is a symptom of a larger issue. The company feels the only way they can protect themselves from a discrimination lawsuit and be an "equal opportunity employer," is simply to prevent their hiring employees from even having the option to discriminate (rather then the much more difficult task of training their employees correctly). I understand that my situation is both an unintended consequence as well as probably the "lesser of two evils."
Is there a better way for me to handle this in the future? Can I state my answer differently? Who should I contact at the company to pass the FYI that I was likely not given a "fair" chance at demonstrating my skills as opposed to someone without a disability? Can I present this information professionally without seeming like I am pouting that I was declined?