Hiring employees with disabilities is proven to improve corporate earnings and brand reputation. However, only 28% of businesses have plans for recruiting these individuals, and people with disabilities still face greater workplace biases than other social groups. Unfortunately, the reality is that some business leaders are giving inclusion little more than lip service.
Here are 10 businesses whose leaders have implemented inspirational disability inclusion policies that offer real change.
Accenture uses its status as a Fortune 500 company to promote accessibility beyond its organization. Leaders at Accenture take a proactive approach to accessibility. They strive to meet the latest and strictest global web accessibility standards. Instead of looking for ways to improve existing technology, they collaborate with Microsoft to incorporate accessibility when creating new tools.
Currently, Accenture is further increasing access by live captioning all of its streamed events and adding closed captions to video content. Additionally, the company is working to caption its backlog of older assets. Businesses can follow suit by proactively providing a captioning service to audiences to ensure their events, meetings and videos are fully accessible to individuals with disabilities, among others.
Microsoft’s hiring process focuses on disability inclusion and offers individualized disability-specific training. Its neurodiversity hiring initiative ensures that the company proactively recruits individuals with disabilities for roles in which they can excel. The specialized recruiting and interviewing process has helped Microsoft find qualified candidates with disabilities to work in various important positions. At this time, the company has service engineers, software engineers, lab engineers, data scientists, data analysts and other professionals on its team who found their place through this initiative.
L’Oreal consistently ranks high on the Disability Equality Index because of its efforts to create a positive work experience for people with disabilities. For example, their “Breaking the Silence” campaign aims to destigmatize disabilities. The campaign improved L’Oreal’s inclusivity in their hiring practices and encouraged twice as many workers to disclose their disabilities. Importantly, when employees feel safe to disclose their disabilities, they often have greater aspirations in their profession and gain access to tools that help them succeed.
4. Procter & Gamble
Procter & Gamble initiated #SigningEcosystem to diversify their workforce and recruit employees who are Deaf and hard of hearing. Through a partnership with Gallaudet University, which is a school for the Deaf, and another with the Rochester Institute for Technology, P&G actively recruits employees and interns who are Deaf. The company’s policy states that diverse hiring helps improve their company, and they are proactively seeking a workforce that reflects that belief.
Inclusively’s purpose is to promote opportunities for employees with disabilities. More than 15,000 job candidates are using Inclusivity to find job placements at employers including Comcast, Microsoft and Salesforce. Job seekers on the platform include people with autism, PTSD and mobility-related disabilities. Inclusivity knows that there are qualified candidates with disabilities who are seeking jobs and companies who want to hire them. Their goal is to be the bridge between those companies and candidates.
Cisco has a history of taking the lead when it comes to accessibility. For this reason, it created the Connected Disability Awareness Network, which works on several initiatives, including “Project Lifechanger.” Engineers with disabilities worked on Project Lifechanger to create technology that allows employees with disabilities more opportunities to work from home if that arrangement served as an accommodation. Because the technology that Project Lifechanger’s engineers developed proved so helpful, other organizations chose to adopt those tools to accommodate their employees.
Dell recruits neurodivergent individuals and leverages their skills rather than viewing their differences as limitations. Its leaders realized that the traditional interview process often excluded individuals with autism and reworked their approach to remove barriers. The Dell Autism Hiring Program allows candidates a chance to showcase their abilities. Furthermore, the company offers career readiness training to build on these employees’ skills.
Intel turns to innovative technology to remove workplace barriers that impact people with disabilities. One example is its initiative, RISE 2030. As a part of this program, the tech company pledged that by 2030, people with disabilities would account for 10 percent of its workforce. Importantly, Intel is leveraging technology, mentorship programs and inclusive hiring efforts as parts of its RISE 2030 strategy.
9. CVS Health
CVS Health is setting out to combat a system that places low expectations on employees with disabilities instead of fostering their career development. As a part of their efforts, they actively recruit people with disabilities, break down the barriers they face when interviewing and ensure they receive ample opportunities for skills training. For example, employees with disabilities who join their team to work retail may enter training for the pharmacy department or to otherwise develop as professionals.
10. Boston Scientific
Medical device manufacturer Boston Scientific believes that they can only do their best work when they have employees from diverse backgrounds. In addition to their efforts to support employees with disabilities through physical and digital accommodations, the company forged connections with the disability services offices at universities, where they recruit new employees.
These 10 companies deserve recognition for creating more inclusive workplaces and opportunities for employees with disabilities. Nevertheless, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities remains double that of those without disabilities. Undoubtedly, there is much room for improvement when it comes to corporate inclusion policies.
Corporations are turning to Verbit as one fix to make their workplaces more accessible to employees with disabilities. Our live and recorded video captions, transcription and audio description solutions support the needs of diverse employees and inclusive workplaces.
Contact us to learn more about the benefits of incorporating our technology to improve remote work and office experiences for all of your employees. As an added bonus, these solutions will help you effectively reach more diverse audiences, consumers, and clients.