Job/Internship Applications - Do you say you have a disability?

@glitzabetes Hers’s my thought process on this as it pertains to my employment in my industry. T1 is a personal health condition that I choose not to share with my employer because it has no impact on my job and/or performance. I do not ask for ANY special job accommodations because I’m a Diabetic, therefore there’s no reason for me notify my employer. I work for a very large Telecom company and it took me a while to share that I’m T1 with a few very close colleagues. I’ve always been fiercely independent!

That being said, some folks in certain jobs and/or industries may feel the need to self report…that’s a personal choice each D can make.

I wish you all the best landing the internship you want (you worked hard for it)!



I agree with @jim26. My diabetes is not currently a disability. If I develop a life-altering complication where I need special accommodations, then I would change my disability status at my job.

If my employer made it difficult for me to manage my diabetes, or if I worked in a different environment where accommodations might be necessary, then I would consider changing my status. I’m having a hard time picturing what those would look like (deep sea diving or space travel… :grin: )

I think it’d be more likely that a potential employer would use it against me than that it would give me an edge. If you feel it would give you an edge, then I don’t think it’s wrong for you to list it though.


This question, @glitzabetes, has been rolling around in my head quite a bit. Obviously it is, bc I’m replying to this thread more than forum etiquette probably allows.

I found this link helpful:

From the article:
“A person may have diabetes completely under control through medicine and lifestyle changes, and still have a qualifying disability. That means that for the purpose of defining disability, the laws look at how the person would be if they stopped treating diabetes in any way. Usually, that would be very bad. As a result, diabetes is almost always a disability.”

Maybe my prior profession sways my thinking about openness. People don’t do all of the training, and take on all of the expense, to become a pilot and then NOT be a pilot. So, in my grounded position now due to Type 1 Diabetes, it is a question that routinely comes up for me. I am a resource for a lot of people in my setting because I have technical experience that they do not have, but need to understand. So the question inevitably comes up, “Why don’t you fly anymore?” These days I answer, “I medical’d out.” And then it all makes sense to them and we go on about our business.

But did I offer that up in my interview for this job? No.


I take back my comment. My Dexcom transmitter just died, (after 5days!) and I’m feeling disabled. Does that count? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


7 posts were split to a new topic: Flying (as a pilot) with diabetes: possible?

At my Fed. Gov. job, I changed from not having a disability to Code 84 Diabetes after I had been at my job a long time and was in the job I wanted… I struggle with that decision. But there are times because of diabetes I can find myself not following rules, or doing things that a supervisor would see as interfering with work. Such as sitting at the desk with a low hoping no one calls for 10 minutes, or pulling off the road in a gov. vehicle for a candy bar when you are only suppose to stop for fuel or a meal. That code 84, may help explain some of my actions, even though I would probably have the same rights without declaring it.

Here is a link to Q and A on diabetes as a disability.



I’ve never checked the box and rarely (if ever) mentioned it during interviews. That being said, if I were applying to work at Tandem or a JDRF-endorsed internship, my approach might change. :slight_smile:

There have only been two instances over many years when D has had a significant impact on my work life. The first was when I worked overnights in a hotel and had a bad low… I called my supervisor, who was very understanding. He not only covered for me but his wife took me to the ER to make sure I was safe.

The other instance was when I was hired as an overnight support manager for a company whose name starts with “Wal” and ends with a word that rhymes with fart. It turned out I spent about 80% of my time unloading freight trucks, which was not part of the job description. For the most part I did fine and self-managed with juice. After I figured out what the job really was, I informed my supervisors and all I asked was that they prompt me with “are you OK?” if I was ever acting strangely.

One day I had a bad low in one of the back stock rooms and was laying on the floor. After some time I got myself moving and got some juice, then went about my business. That morning I was called into the office and informed that my supervisors watched me on camera laying on the floor for over an hour. They gave me a speech about how they need to be able to count on me, how I should think long and hard about this job and how they have other diabetics with no issues.

As it turns out, my fellow D’s weren’t unloading freight trucks for ten hours a night. They were all cashiers.

Needless to say, I quit shortly after to take a contractor job elsewhere with crappy benefits. In my letter of resignation I alluded to how “reasonable” an accommodation it was to request my supervisors prompt me when something seems off. That phrasing really upset the store manager. :smiley:

Sorry for rambling! P.S., this incident and their behavior prompted me to NEVER shop at the chain in question again.


@Jordon, what a lovely story, funny a posteriori, but also a bit sad :-). Welcome to FUD! I look forward to reading more of your posts.

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Wow, can’t believe they just watched you lying on the floor via camera without trying to help you! Shameful! So glad you recovered on your own!


Personally I said no on my applications for jobs. However in my interview for my current job I asked my interviewer if the office setting was generally accepting and accommodating, which of course the interviewer said yes. I followed up with the context that I’m a T1D and have had instances in school and professional settings where professors and coworkers have not been understanding (like being kicked out of an exam for eating glucose tabs, or my teacher in high school ripping my pump out of my hands (and pulling out the infusion set) for thinking it was a phone, or a coworker yell at me for using my phone(pump) while on the job). I explained that it was important to feel supported and understood by those I worked alongside but that my disease would not interfere with my job performance. I think it ended up being a + in the interview since I got the job. It’s all personal and up to you but I think being able to talk about it in an interview setting rather than a response on paper would be to your benefit


O also I just thought of this - there’s no essay portions of your apps? If you feel like t1d is an example of any of the responses you’d give to essays or interview questions then I think it can be an incredibly impactful way to communicate your strengths (perseverance, resourcefulness, problem solving, etc)


I have put that I have diabetes on certain things and later regretted it. I once checked a box when I moved to a new state and suddenly they had a bunch of paperwork they wanted me to fill out. I learned my lesson. I recently was hired for a new job and I did not put down that I have diabetes because I don’t think it’s their business. I don’t know what they actually do with the data and I don’t want all my “meta data” out there to be manipulated by anyone. Sounds paranoid I guess. When I went scuba diving I worked it out with my endo and Did not tell the scuba instructors because they wouldn’t take me due to liability. I figure if they don’t know, then it’s my responsibility and they can not worry about me being litigious. I took several other measures for safety. BTW, I am a very confident diabetic…I just don’t want technicalities or lawyers’ recommendations to limit me more than is necessary.


Just a thought, but if you tell an employer that you are diabetic, and you do have a problem with hypo, they may be able to get you the help you need faster.

Over the years, I have had a few problems with hypo at work and when I’ve told my employer and some of my coworkers, it has helped.


I think there’s definitely value in letting an employer know once you’re hired. But I’d avoid it in the interview.


Some employers have requirements to hire a quota of people with a “Disability”. I don’t think of diabetes as a disability, so I don’t call it one in the interview. The question I get asked is, “Do you have any condition that may interfere with your ability to do your job?” and “What do you need to accommodate that?”

I do indicate on my resume and job applications that I am a certified OSHA compliance trainer though, so they are very aware that I do know what my rights are.


That would be my concern as well. I don’t think that EH has ever mentioned it in a hiring/application situation. And I’m positive premiums at his company are higher because of him (I think there are six Americans on the US health plan that his Canadian company had to purchase. I’m sure they noticed him.) But, he’s very open about it in the workplace. It’s totally normalized, he’s not embarrassed about testing or injecting. There is one client who has a severe needle phobia, and he doesn’t inject in front of this person. I assume that is mostly because he wants to make the sale. :wink: Otherwise people are very supportive and I don’t think any of them or EH considers it a disability.

But, if you think that you can leverage your knowledge and expertise gained through being a diabetic for many years, then I think you should! I’m sure that it depends on the situation!


If health insurance is the reason that an employer fires you, either A. the employer is a dumbass or B. you aren’t bringing enough value to the employer.

A. is probably the most likely reason to fire someone due to their medical insurance costs.

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As someone with diabetes, and the father of someone with a profound disability, I find the idea that uncomplicated diabetes on its own could be considered a disability genuinely absurd…

26 posts were split to a new topic: Visual Impairment and Diabetes

I’ve never disclosed, nor considered diabetes a disability, but apparently in my country it officially is. It is right at the bottom of a “recognised list of disabilities”, which include truly horrendous things like epidermolysis bullosa, leukaemia and cystic fibrosis.
I have never needed help with hypos (since age 5 or 6), so there is no need for my workmates to know, other than just in conversation. My boss had zero idea for a good 6 months. I actually thought he knew prior to me working in that role, but apparently not.
I do not hide my diabetes, nor do I make a feature of it. I like people to get to know me first, as a human, not just as “the diabetic one”.