October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (‘NDEAM’), and it’s only been a little over 70 years since our country officially began recognizing and celebrating the contributions of people with disabilities in the workplace. While much has been done over those years, we know that there are many opportunities for growth in the workplace (and beyond) to create more and better inclusive spaces. In honor of NDEAM, we decided to feature five companies that may not be perfect but have been recognized for embodying disability inclusion in the workplace.
Aetna: This health insurance company has been listed as one of the “Best Workplaces for People With Disabilities.” Not only does Aetna offer onsite fitness centers, pharmacies, physical therapists and massage services, they also offer alternative career tracks and telecommuting. They’re known for their ‘work break flexibility’ policy which is a common accommodation implemented to support employees with disabilities to perform their jobs well. In order for this to be successful, an HR Call Center, standard request form, Workplace Accommodation Unit and a scheduling process are all tools used to meet the employee’s needs.
Brown-Forman: Based in Louisville Kentucky, Brown-Forman specializes in building and manufacturing well-known beverage alcohol brands throughout the world. This company has received numerous awards for their success in ‘mainstreaming disability in the workforce, workplace and marketplace.’ Not only do they have a commitment statement to individuals with disabilities on their website, they also strive to have the best possible accommodations by using the Disability Equality Index (DEI) survey, which they recently scored a 100% on, to “identify strengths and areas of opportunities throughout the organization” and implement change.
Facebook: This social media and networking company was listed as #1 under “Best Companies for People with Disabilities” by TalentDesk and “2018 Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion” by the American Association for People with Disabilities. Facebook has an employee resource group (‘ERG’), Differently Abled, which not only brings awareness to issues and opportunities facing the differently abled community, but also creates a community that celebrates Facebook employees, friends and family identifying as differently abled.
Delta: Delta Airlines prides themselves on their commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace, especially as it relates to disability inclusion. Named a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion” for three consecutive years by the Diversity Equality Index (DEI), the airline has an Advisory Board (‘ABD’) on Disability, which consists of ‘13 influencers and decision makers from various groups within the disability community who are also Delta frequent flyers.” In addition, Delta has an organization called ABLE, that runs their disability business resource group (‘BRG’) and hosts events and meetings throughout the year to help promote inclusion. Employees are given the opportunity to network and participate in activities and discussions related to various types of disability in order to become more aware of issues such as accessibility, barrier elimination, leadership and education.
Procter & Gamble: A consumer goods company that is home to many iconic brands, P&G strives to hire and retain people with disabilities. Among the many affinity groups that P&G supports, there is the People with Disabilities (‘PWD’) group which strives to promote disability diversity in the workplace and also support employees who have disabled dependents. In addition, P&G has a Supplier Diversity program which specifically awards contracts to ‘women and minority owned businesses- including military vets, people with disabilities and LGBT owners.’
Want to implement something in your workplace but need more time, capacity, money and/or leadership buy-in to do exactly what some of our highlighted companies are doing? No worries! In our next blog post in this series, we will be sharing a list of tangible things you can start doing now. In the meantime, check out some of the resources that are available on the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy page, and see how you can honor and celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month in your workplace.