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Disability Equality Index reveals 2020 “Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion”

July 21, 2020
Source: Globe News Wire

The Disability Equality Index (DEI), the nation’s most comprehensive annual benchmarking tool, facilitated by leading non-profits Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) have revealed this year’s 205 top-scoring companies. The DEI is a prominent benchmarking tool for the Fortune 1000 and America’s top 200 revenue grossing law firms (Am Law 200) to gauge their level of disability workplace inclusion against competitors. In its sixth official year, the DEI continues to see an increase in year-over-year participation, with the number of top-scoring companies more than quadrupling to 205 in 2020 as compared to 43 in 2015.

“The Disability Equality Index top scoring companies represent those businesses that have invested in accessibility and inclusion across their enterprise. As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the ADA, it is wonderful to see the progress made by these companies, and we hope to see continued progress and support for the DEI over the next 30 years,” said Maria Town, President and CEO of AAPD.

Jill Houghton, President & CEO, Disability:IN said “The best way to attract, retain and grow talent with disabilities is to create an accessible, inclusive workplace. This year’s top scoring Disability Equality Index companies are demonstrating their commitment to many of the numerous leading disability inclusion practices featured in the DEI, recognizing that there’s still room for improvement. We are proud to have developed strong partnerships with corporate allies who are committed to advancing disability inclusion and equality across their businesses in the United States and around the world.”

Making the world inclusive for all isn’t only the right thing to do, it’s also good for business. The Accenture report “Getting to Equal: The Disability Inclusion Advantage,” produced in partnership with Disability:IN and the AAPD, found that companies that offered inclusive working environments for employees with disabilities achieved an average of: 28% higher revenue, 30% higher economic profit margins, and 2x net income of industry peers.

The potential for wide-scale impact grows, as in 2020, 247 companies participated in the DEI, accounting for a total U.S. workforce of 11 million people. This year, we saw significant growth in employee self-identifications rates. In 2020, 5.5% of current employees self-identify as having a disability compared to 3.7% in 2019.

In addition, the efforts of disability inclusion in business is now a much larger conversation. With multi-national corporations operating outside of the United States, the DEI methodology was updated to reflect the changing landscape. The Non-U.S. Operations category continues to be not weighted but is an opportunity to collect non-discrimination policy language, ERG activity, and overall best practices from U.S. based companies with additional operations outside of the United States. Some findings include:

  • 75% of those multinational companies reported operations outside of the U.S. have disability inclusive standards of non-discrimination in the workplace that apply to all employees compared to 69% in 2019.
  • 42% of multinational companies also report their non-U.S. operations have established disability-focused Employee Resource Group (ERG) or Affinity Group chapters, compared to 41% in 2019.
  • Top industries with operations outside of the U.S. include automotive (Canada, Mexico, and Latin America), advertising and marketing (Asia-Pacific), and energy and utilities (Europe, the Middle East and Africa).

Disability inclusion in business is a growing topic for investors in driving sustainable performance. A global investor coalition, representing more than $2.8 trillion in combined assets, have called on companies they invest in to become more disability inclusive, through a “Joint Investor Statement on Disability Inclusion.”¨The coalition is led by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read, and includes large institutional investors such as California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) and non-U.S. investors such as Australian-based Ethical Partners Fund Management.

The 2020 DEI report highlights industry trends and the progress of advancing disability inclusion in business. A few include:

  • Top participating industries include: technology, financial services, and healthcare.
  • 85% of businesses with a company-wide written statement of commitment on diversity and inclusion specifically call out “disability.”
  • 70% of businesses have an accessibility expert to resolve accessibility/compatibility issues necessary for people with disabilities to use technology systems.

For the full 2020 DEI Report, list of top-scoring companies, and to register for the 2021 DEI, please visit

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