The Best Places to Work for Professionals with Disabilities

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Many workplaces in the United States still struggle to accommodate workers with disabilities, as far too many people with disabilities are unemployed or underemployed. This is particularly true when it comes to professionals with disabilities; in fact, just one in five professionals with disabilities worked in an occupation that requires use of their degree or credential in 2015 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ American Community Survey . For the best places to work for professionals with disabilities, we’re looking at companies that support an inclusive workforce and offer programs and services that help employees be successful, regardless of their medical conditions or impairments.

Seventy-seven percent of workers with disabilities said their employers have done a better job supporting them since the pandemic began in 2021. Companies are building on that support, according to the 2022 Disability Equality Index report from Disability: IN, an international organization advocating disability inclusion in the workplace.

“People now understand that disability inclusion is not just a compliance issue, it’s actually a business imperative,” says Ted Kennedy Jr., co-chair of the Disability Equality Index.

“People today want to work for companies that do the right thing, share their values, and share their vision of the world, including making sure that people with disabilities have an equal shot at going to work at those companies every single day”.

Disability Equality Index is a benchmarking assessment that evaluates companies based on accessibility of technology, employment practices, and company culture. The report examined 415 companies this year, including 69 from the Fortune 100, which was then ranked to determine the best places to work for disability inclusion.

Image Source – Disabled Person

.Together with several others, these companies topped the list with scores of 100:

. Amazon

. Bank of America

. Capital One

. Deloitte

. Goldman Sachs

. Google

. Starbucks

Disability inclusion in leadership is one of the most prominent trends in the report, with 126 companies having a senior executive internally known as a person with a disability. In 2021, only 99 companies had this kind of representation at the executive level.

The report found that six percent of companies now have someone on their corporate board who openly identifies as disabled, while 74% of companies have investments with disability-owned businesses, both evidences of not only internal changes but an effort to diversify outside relationships as well.

According to Jill Houghton, president and CEO of Disability: IN, the “global talent shortage” has made it essential for companies to “rethink how they hire, develop and cultivate talent.”

Ninety-six percent of companies in the report offer flexible work options, making certain tasks more accessible. Fifty percent invest in new technology to advance digital accessibility.

Having created these equitable workspaces is “making a commitment at the highest level” to support and uplift their disabled workers, Kennedy Jr., who is a pediatric bone cancer survivor and amputee, said.

“People with disabilities are extremely adaptable and creative because they have to adjust to different environments all their lives,” Kennedy Jr. says to CNBC Make It. “There’s also much less turnover with employees with disabilities. “They’re just so grateful to have a job and somebody to give them a chance that they will be extremely loyal.”

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