Over the past couple of decades, there has been a shift in discourse away from disability awareness to one of disability pride. This change in focus highlights that disability culture is a natural part of human diversity and that disabilities are not a problem to be fixed, but rather a vibrant community to be celebrated and supported.
It’s estimated that at least 25% of American adults have a disability, but only a fraction identify as such. Disabilities can range from mental, physical, and visible to the invisible and we need to do our part to end the stigma.
From flexible work arrangements to employee resource groups to inclusion internship programs, these companies share how they’ve stepped up to foster a more equitable workplace for their disabled employees.
“uShip continuously works towards fostering disability inclusion and one of the ways is by offering flexible work arrangements. Employees can choose to work remotely, from the office, or a combination of both. We also understand that disabilities vary, and we want to make sure we are supporting and equipping our employees with the right tools to succeed. We work with employees on a case-by-case basis to ensure they know what resources are available, and to understand what accommodations might be needed, such as office equipment, flexible schedules, and/or other software tools.”
Learn more about uShip here.
“At ServiceNow, the vast array of disabilities amongst our employees helps us appreciate what makes them, unique - not different. To ensure equality for our disabled employees, we test various work accommodations, reimagine candidate experiences, and educate people about the various visible and invisible disabilities. Additionally, our employee belonging group, People with Disabilities at ServiceNow, helps drive self-ID participation rates, improves the accessibility of ServiceNow products, and spotlights employees’ stories of triumph and perseverance related to their disabilities and the disabilities of their loved ones. These stories educate allies, drive courageous conversations, and foster belonging.”
Learn more about ServiceNow here.
“In order to drive a more inclusive and diverse culture and support disability inclusion, Nokia took a concrete step and developed an eBook for our People Managers called “No Limits to Opportunity.” It is shared externally to encourage everyone to learn more about this area and consciously act together in a more open and inclusive manner to the benefit of all people.
The name of the eBook is purposefully chosen as “No Limits to Opportunity” since we know that it is not the abilities or disabilities which define a person but rather the mindsets of others that can limit or expand our viewpoints & our decisions.”
Learn more about Nokia here.
“Moody’s Business Resource Groups (BRGs) contribute to a more effective and inclusive work environment by fostering the recruitment, development, and retention of diverse and talented individuals. We currently have 11 formal BRGs and 44 regional chapters across the Americas, EMEA, and APAC. One among them is Moody’s EnAble BRG which advocates for an inclusive, accessible, and stigma-free workplace in which employees with disabilities are valued for their talents and have the opportunity to advance and thrive professionally.”
To learn more, visit Moody’s DE&I site here: https://dei.moodys.io/
Learn more about Moody’s Corporation here.
“At UnitedHealth Group, we have a variety of employment entry points for candidates with disabilities so they can develop their careers in a setting that highly values diversity, equity, and inclusion.
We partner with the National Employment Team to reach people with disabilities across the country, providing rewarding employment opportunities and accommodations to candidates, so they can reach their full potential.
Additionally, our Disability Inclusion Internship Program offers career development opportunities with flexible full-time and part-time hours. Over the last two years, 70% of participants converted to employees.”
Learn more about UnitedHealth Group here.
“Creating a better work environment for all by embracing neurodiversity. Deloitte’s Neurodiversity@Deloitte is a strategic initiative that aims to attract and hire candidates from an untapped talent pool into a variety of positions that leverage their strengths. The initiative furthers our overall inclusive recruitment strategy to attract, engage, and hire high-performing talent into Deloitte. Task reassignment, job carving (adjusting a job description so it contains some of the standard responsibilities), and job sharing are some of the ways to customize a position that allows neurodivergent professionals to play to their strengths. Learn more at Neurodiversity@Deloitte | Deloitte US Careers.”
Learn more about Deloitte here.
"At Elastic, we want everyone to feel included. Our Accessible ERG works to ensure that our events, facilities, and tools are accessible to all employees and customers. Their goal is to actively and intentionally create a disability-inclusive workplace by building awareness and understanding towards those with disabilities and addressing the barriers they face. To do so, they encourage employees to speak up in a safe space and then create actionable solutions and forums to address challenges.
Elastic also has accessibility resources ranging from tips to creating accessible web content to ways to ensure your language is inclusive and intentional."
Learn more about Elastic here.
“CDW is committed to fostering an inclusive culture and accessible environment for all coworkers. We’re proud to be named a Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion by Disability:IN and the AAPD. Our Alliance for Business Leading Equality (ABLE) BRG aims to advocate and educate for an accessible environment that facilitates self-advocacy, focusing on coworkers who are disabled and their allies, so they can achieve their full potential. During National Disability Employment Awareness Month, ABLE will be hosting a coworker event to share stories of coworkers with disabilities as well as coworkers caring for a loved one with a disability.”
Learn more about CDW here.
“At 2U, our Ability Resource Network (ARN), open to all employees, empowers individuals with varying capabilities by facilitating supportive, inclusive, and accessible spaces. We provide year-round opportunities for employees to build community, promote available mental health resources, cultivate safe spaces to seek advice from colleagues, and organize listening sessions with ARN members to evaluate and improve business practices. For National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we promote a robust calendar of events, including an AbilitiesFest showcasing ARN member talents and triumph stories, panel discussions on student accommodations for online education, and highlighting life-changing adaptive technology.”
Learn more about 2U here.
“We’re committed to creating accommodating, flexible working environments so Dutonians can focus on the most impactful contributions to our growth. Be it Fully Remote or Hybrid, Dutonians choose what works best - and our WorkExp team ensures in-office requests are met whenever possible.
We audit offerings via two ways: Employee Engagement Surveys and feedback from our Employee Resource Group, PageAble.
“PageAble aims to educate peers and evaluate internal processes to accommodate the ways our community thrives. We highlight the strengths of Dutonians with visible/invisible disabilities - temporary or chronic medical conditions, and includes neurodivergent individuals.” - Rebecca Pilcher-Cleland & Kelcie Pittaluga, PageAble Co-leads”
Learn more about PagerDuty here.
"ADAPT is an employee resource group that focuses on opportunities for people with visible or invisible disabilities. We bring awareness to organizations that make it easier for people to work and have that opportunity that generations before didn’t. Every ERG has an executive sponsor, so you get support all the way to the top of the organization. The company is willing to do grants, and we’re able to pick organizations that we can fund. The fact that GoTo takes time out of our production to value those opportunities shows what a world-class organization we are.” – Adam Batchelder, Senior Manager, Solutions Consulting
Learn more about GoTo here.
“Freddie Mac proudly recognizes National Disability Employment Awareness Month and looks forward to celebrating the different backgrounds and life experiences of people with various abilities. Freddie Mac has a business resource group dedicated to abilities that will host several activities throughout the month, including hosting diversity consultant Dr. Betty Lovelace for a virtual event, "Hidden in Plain View: Beyond The Mask." In addition, employees will participate in a forum on the importance of housing for individuals with special needs. Margaux Joffe, award-winning producer and founder of Kaleidoscope Society, a resource for Women with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, will lead a discussion on "ADHD in the Workplace." These events will continue reinforcing Freddie Mac's mission to make home possible – and inclusive – for all.”
Learn more about Freddie Mac here.
“1Password is proud to launch our third ERG, The Disability Alliance, and thrilled to see the initiatives they are taking on to promote the needs of their members. We're taking this month to educate and celebrate the contributions of workers with disabilities by providing a platform for their valued voices here at 1Password.
"1Password has created a culture where I can bring my whole self to work and grow in my career. DEAM is a time to celebrate our achievements and raise awareness of all disabilities." - 1Password Team Member”
Learn more about 1Password here.
“Splunk’s employee resource group, Disabled=True creates an inclusive and accessible environment for current and future Splunkers who are disabled, suffer from chronic illness or pain, or identify as having physical or mental concerns that accessibility or disability activism can help with.
This ERG provides safe and accessible spaces for Splunkers to support each other while working with allies to educate on issues impacting those with disabilities.
Splunk’s Disabled=True ERG actively partners with talent acquisition for outreach to disabled communities with the ongoing commitment to attract and retain top talent. #SplunkLife”
Learn more about Splunk here.
“During the month of October, our Disability focused ERGs and partners are hosting a variety of amazing ways for people to connect and learn about disabilities at work, including events like live service dog demonstrations, discussions on etiquette & empathy, deaf culture, mental wellness, anxiety, having conversations with children, and sessions with health coaches. Nestlé is also proud to be a partner of DisabilityIN and has received a 100% on their Disability Equity Index for 2021. In addition to our partnership, which enhances the inclusion of our diverse colleagues, DisabilityIN enables our company to spend money with Disabled Owned Business Enterprises.
Learn more about Nestlé here.
“At UKG, the employee resource group ADAPT (Accessibility and Disability Allies Partner Together) raises awareness around different abilities. For National Disability Employment Awareness Month, ADAPT will help increase awareness and build skills with guest speakers, interactive workshops, book clubs, and trainings. Within UKG, ADAPT ensures our facilities, HR technology, and marketing resources are inclusive to people with disabilities. In 2022, UKG was proud to receive a 100% score on the Disability Equality Index! UKG also proudly sponsors adaptive athlete and seven-time Paralympic medalist Dan Cnossen.
Learn more about UKG here.
“Thumbtack supports employees bringing their whole selves to work. We currently have 8 Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), including Access, which represents all individuals who identify or are allied to those with visible or invisible health issues.
Our Access ERG helps employees break the stigma associated with mental health, focuses on how our company can best assist anyone with health issues, and creates a community where employees are allowed to share and get support for whatever they need.
Some of our activities include bringing visibility to breast cancer awareness, autism acceptance, suicide prevention awareness, and more. Most recently, we celebrated "World Day of the Deaf" by hosting a free American Sign Language class for employees.
We're incredibly grateful to work for a company that is committed to creating an environment of community and belonging.”
Learn more about Thumbtack here.
“At Arrow Electronics, advancing disability inclusion means strengthening the inclusivity and diversity of our workforce while simultaneously contributing to a future-forward world for people with disabilities. In 2022, Arrow launched a multifaceted training program “Guiding Disability Inclusion at Arrow” to build awareness and commitment to disability inclusion, providing a helpful framework for guiding workplace practices and behaviors. The training and resources include embracing inclusive recruitment practices, IT assistive technology, and offering adaptive facilities as steps to grow a diverse workplace. These tools empower managers to be champions of Talent Innovation, creating equitable diverse, and inclusive workplaces where every person belongs. Join Arrow today and reimagine what is possible.”
Learn more about Arrow Electronics here.
“Pitney Bowes is committed to creating job opportunities for people with disabilities and empowering them to use their fullest abilities to make a difference in their lives and in our company. Our Presort Services site in Jacksonville, FL is one example. At any given time, nearly 10 percent of the employees at the facility are individuals with a disability. Many of these “rock stars” are hired from local organizations that help place individuals with disabilities with employers like Pitney Bowes. With at least one superstar on every shift, the Jacksonville Presort team continues to welcome others to its family. This culture of diversity and inclusion is a tribute to Pitney Bowes’ core value of “doing the right thing, the right way, every day.”
Learn more about Pitney Bowes here.
"We ground our Roacher support around our four values: Committing to Excellence, Establishing Balance, Communicating Openly & Honestly, and Respecting Each Other.
The Roacher experience begins with our open interview process, designed to reduce bias. Our culture of inclusion continues in our hybrid-centered onboarding experience, allowing Roachers to wrap their work around their lives instead of the other way around. Roachers can also participate in several CREWS (ERG) groups–including a group focused on Neurodiversity.
Additionally, we offer flexible time off and working hours for all Roachers. We’re also proud of our commitment to our Universal Parental Leave program and offer a variety of platforms to prioritize employee wellbeing (Spring Health, Cocoon, and Cleo, among others)."
Learn more about Cockroach Labs here.
“Expedia Group is committed to providing employees with disabilities the necessary tools and resources to perform their jobs and enable success.
Expedia Group provides employees who have assistive technology needs with the necessary software and hardware solutions. We work to mitigate and eliminate accessibility issues in productivity and collaboration tools. We're also working with vendors to improve the usability of third-party applications, such as our careers website.
We also have an Employee Resource Group called AIM which is dedicated to employees with disabilities and their allies. Expedians can join a community of like-minded people and get support whenever needed.”
Learn more about Expedia Group here.
“At Dassault Systemes, we have an ongoing four-year plan that focuses on the following values:
- Foster our commitment to the occupational integration of persons with disabilities
- Strengthen the primary employment aspects for persons with disabilities: initial training, employability, accessibility, career advancement, sustainability
- Value and involve those within the company who help implement the policies
- Change people’s perception about disabilities, including invisible disabilities
- Highlight the value of uniqueness within the company to leverage innovation
3DS is committed to building and maintaining a diverse workplace that welcomes the skills and talents of people with disabilities.”
Learn more about 3DS here.
“SoftwareONE strives to foster an equal and inclusive culture. Our newly designed headquarters is 100% wheelchair accessible and was thoughtfully designed with inclusivity in mind. As a leading global provider of end-to-end software solutions, every “SWOmie” has access to computing features that ensure accessibility. Some examples are real-time captioning capability which makes meetings more accessible for the hearing impaired, and noise suppression which allows us to be inclusive of persons who are neurodiverse. In 2023, we will roll out an intensive disability-focused learning opportunity to all employees so that we may raise awareness around disability equity.”
Learn more about SoftwareONE here.
“Inclusion is a core value at Workiva. In everything we do, we strive to support a diverse community where everyone belongs, which means ensuring our disabled employees have the tools and resources they need to do their best work. The Disabilities Business Employee Resource Group (BERG) is a community where employees with disabilities can connect and support one another. The group also builds awareness and strengthens allyship across the company through education opportunities. Especially important to the disability community is the unconscious bias training that’s required across the company - it encourages employees to recognize and overcome biases they may have.”
Learn more about Workiva here.
“This year, Northrop Grumman Corporation was named a Best Place to Work for disability inclusion by Disability:IN and American Association of People with Disabilities for the eighth consecutive year. We are committed to improving accessibility for all employees, building on foundational programs for hiring, employee development, and education around resources. We offer a network of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to build partnerships and provide further inclusion efforts, resources, and education across the workforce. This includes the VOICE ERG which fosters an inclusive environment for persons with disabilities and employees that are caregivers to family members in need. Learn more here!”
Learn more about Northrop Grumman here.
“At PwC, we are committed to supporting our community of individuals with disabilities and those who serve as caregivers, whose contributions help define our success. To build on our culture of belonging, we provide disability inclusion awareness training and accessibility of physical spaces and digital tools across the firm. We also focus on inclusive talent acquisition initiatives, including our Neurodiversity Talent Innovation Program, and connect our people with disabilities and caregivers with allies, learners, members, and supporters through our Abilities and Allies Inclusion Network.”
Learn more about PwC here.
“Throughout October, check out our "Life at Google" social media channels as we’ll be centering Googler stories (like this one) and spotlighting the never-finished work we do internally and externally — not just in October, but every day of every month — to make Google a more inclusive workplace. Learn more about our commitment to hiring and supporting people with disabilities: https://goo.gle/36GznKi”
Learn more about Google here.
“Kiva’s community has already formed a number of Lending Teams that give loans primarily to people with disabilities and their families. Yusra Akif, a fellow in the field, shares their experience — Ever wondered what a more inclusive society would look like?
The Neema Crafts Centre is a social enterprise founded in 2003 with the mission to train and provide employment opportunities to people with disabilities. The Neema Centre demonstrates that by believing in people, we have the power to transform lives and to provide people with the dignity to fulfill their individual potential. This, in turn, creates a supportive and loving environment for the entire community. Over 100 people with disabilities are employed by the center as artisans, carpenters, tailors, paper-makers and chefs. I was excited to get a guided tour of the center’s workshop, which is an experience offered to all its visitors. I gladly took this opportunity to interact with the staff, all of whom were always smiling and happy to show me the product they were so skillfully creating.
Learn more about Kiva here.