Results from the annual Disability Equality Index reveal 126 companies truly prioritizing the inclusion of people with disabilities and honored as the “Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion”. Participants – Fortune 1000 corporations and Am Law 100 – are leaders across twenty-five unique business sectors with a significant global presence of over 7.8 million employees. The full company list can be accessed here: https://disabilityequalityindex.org/top_companies.
The DEI is a joint initiative between American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN), jointly designed by disability advocates and business leaders as the nation’s most trusted comprehensive benchmarking tool for disability inclusion. The Index measures key performance indicators across organizational culture, leadership, accessibility, employment, community engagement, support services and supplier diversity.
In its fourth year, the DEI has experienced nearly a 32% increase in year-over-year participation, signaling disability inclusion is on the rise across industries. 70% of businesses participating in the 2017 DEI chose to also participate in 2018, utilizing the tool as multi-year benchmarking roadmap.
“AAPD is thrilled to see increased participation in this year’s DEI. The commitment to disability inclusion is becoming a priority for more and more corporations,” said Helena Berger, President and CEO of AAPD. “While we have made great strides since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the number of disabled individuals getting hired has not significantly increased. The DEI was created to help advance employment opportunities and outcomes for people with disabilities,” said AAPD Board Chair Ted Kennedy.
The aggregate results and efforts of participating DEI businesses highlight key industry trends and areas for improvement.
Indicators of commitment to disability inclusion:
- 94% of DEI companies reported having a Senior Executive (within the first two levels reporting to CEO) who is internally recognized as being a person with a disability and/or as an ally for people with disabilities.
- 72% of DEI companies had expenditures with certified disability-owned businesses and/or certified service-disabled veteran-owned businesses.
Opportunities to strengthen disability inclusion:
- Only 55% of DEI businesses have a company-wide external and internal commitment to digital accessibility.
- 44% of 2018 DEI companies make all job interview candidates aware of the option to request an accommodation(s) for the interview.
- Just 34% of DEI businesses have a public smart-phone app that is audited for accessibility.
“We applaud those companies that choose to take the DEI year after year and truly commit to advancing disability inclusion,” said Jill Houghton, President and CEO of USBLN. “Although we are far from true inclusion of people with disabilities across the enterprise, the DEI signals corporate America is recognizing inclusion as a competitive edge and beneficial for all.”
Companies can register for the 2019 DEI at https://www.disabilityequalityindex.org/register.
About the Disability Equality Index (DEI)
The Disability Equality Index (DEI) serves as the nation’s most trusted annual benchmarking tool allowing America’s leading corporations to self-report their disability policies and practices. This evolving tool scores each corporation on a scale from 0 to 100, with top scorers (80 and above) recognized as “Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion”. The DEI is a joint initiative between the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN) and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). The benchmark was developed by the two national leaders in consultation with the appointed DEI Advisory Committee, a diverse and voluntary group of experts in business, policy, and disability advocacy.
About the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is a convener, connector, and catalyst for change, increasing the political and economic power of people with disabilities. As a national cross-disability rights organization, AAPD advocates for full civil rights for the 56+ million Americans with disabilities.
About the US Business Leadership Network® (USBLN®)
USBLN (US Business Leadership Network) unites business around disability inclusion in the workplace, supply chain and marketplace. USBLN has more than 160 corporate partners spanning the technology, healthcare, financial, transportation, entertainment, and retail industries. USBLN serves as a collective voice of nearly 50 Business Leadership Network Affiliates across the United States, representing over 5,000 businesses. USBLN has various nationally recognized tools and programs, such as the Disability Equality Index and the leading disability-owned business enterprise (DOBE) certification program, to bridge inclusive companies with people and organizations within the disability community.