I am a software developer. Unfortunately, many years ago I started to develop carpal tunnel syndrome in my right hand. I have successfully combated this by wearing a wrist brace any time that I am typing, by using ergonomic keyboards and by using a thumb-ball style pointer device instead of a mouse. By taking these steps, my carpal tunnel has not progressed or gotten any worse for many years. Interestingly enough, despite this, I can type faster and navigate around a computer much better than most people can - even other software developers.
However, I am now job hunting. For any future job that I get, I would want to be allowed to use the prior mentioned items while working - even If I had to purchase them myself. At the very least, I need to wear my wrist brace. I know I need to mention these things to a future employer. However, how can I do this during an interview, or otherwise, without it messing up my chances of getting hired?
( 6 months ago )
Honestly - I wouldn't bring it up on the first couple of meetings. At least in the US, employers are prohibited from discriminating from disabilities, and I have no clue whether carpal tunnel fits into that category. But it can be really difficult to handle this one up front, and the first steps in interviewing should really be about the bigger job questions of whether you have the right skills, work habits and personality for the team that needs you.
After a job offer is underway, it may be a good time to mention it to HR in line with other work/family questions like benefits, absence policiies, work hours, etc. - the modifications to a standard work environment that you mention are not expensive, and not likely to be a huge issue, so I think you are safe enough bringing up them up AFTER you've been offered a position.
Bring them up too soon in the process, and you will present an image of someone more concerned with small details that the work at hand. I doubt that's your intent - and it's fair to want your needs covered - but mentioning it too early is putting the cart before the horse.