For persons with disabilities to be happy and independent, employment is frequently essential. However, because of their requirements, disabled individuals frequently encounter challenges in locating and keeping a job in conventional work settings.
While some of these challenges can be overcome with flexible work schedules and remote employment, other challenges can still occur and must be handled in the workplace.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines variables that limit function and cause disability through their presence or absence as employment and participation barriers for people with exceptional needs. The following obstacles are among these elements, which can be categorised as physical, social, communicative, attitudinal, policy, programmatic, and transportation-related:
- A difficult-to-access physical setting
- Absence of auxiliary technology
- Disability stereotypes or negative attitudes
- Services, systems, and laws that are absent or make it difficult for everyone with a health condition to participate in all aspects of life
Many employers are removing barriers to employment for professionals with disabilities as they realise the need to promote greater diversity in the workplace and advance opportunities for everyone.
The businesses recognised for fostering more accessible and inclusive work environments are listed below. Beyond providing flexible employment options, these organisations have created a variety of policies, practises, and programmes to enable everyone to fulfil their aspirations and thrive.
9 Businesses With Initiatives for Disabled Professionals
All of the businesses on this list earned a spot on the Disability Equality Index’s list of the Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion thanks to their diligence and initiatives in creating an accessible workplace.
Access to employee resource groups is one way that 3M supports employees with disabilities in addition to offering flexible work schedules and physical modifications. One such organisation is the disAbility Awareness Network, which views disabilities as strengths, advocates for an inclusive workplace, and works to raise knowledge and awareness of disability issues within the 3M culture.
Accenture, recognised with numerous awards for its advocacy work on disability inclusion, offers disabled employees the most recent tools, technology, and training to make the workplace barrier-free. Programs for leadership and career development, Accessibility Centers, the application of artificial intelligence, and more are some of these initiatives.
Accenture is committed to assisting other businesses in supporting potential and current team members with disabilities and fostering more inclusive cultures outside of its own workplace.
3. Boston Scientific
Boston Scientific seeks to hire individuals from a wide range of backgrounds, including those with apparent and nonapparent disabilities, with the intention of transforming the lives of communities around the world.
The business offers accommodations for current and potential team members and has a resource group for employees with disabilities in order to foster a culture where everyone feels appreciated, valued, and respected.
The U.S. Business Leadership Network and its Going for the Gold project are two other organisations that Boston Scientific is proud to be a part of.
A better understanding of how to increase disability inclusion in the workplace has resulted from this project.
Google strives to make sure that its hiring process is fair and accessible and that its workplace “works for everyone” because it believes that people with disabilities “make great Googlers.” The employer provides disabled workers and candidates with the equipment they need to perform their jobs, take part in activities and opportunities, and go through an interview process without any obstacles.
Additionally, Google offers the employee-founded Disability Alliance, which manages initiatives like hackathons for accessible products and aids Google in improving disability inclusion by raising awareness throughout the entire company. Google strives to make sure that its hiring process is fair and accessible and that its workplace works for everyone because it believes that disabled people are great Googlers.
5. Mathematica, Inc.
According to its own admission, Mathematica consistently leads research on disability policy. The company is driven to improve the lives of disabled people through effective programs and policies both inside and outside the organization through its Center for Studying Disability Policy.
Additionally, Mathematica stands out for its diversity council, which aids in directing internal and external company initiatives; strong leadership; supportive culture; and employee resource group focused on disabilities. With these disability-related initiatives, Mathematica works to ensure that its employees with disabilities, who make up 12% of the global workforce, get the assistance and support they require to succeed at work and act as role models for their peers.
Salesforce is passionate about promoting equality for all and aspires to be the top employer for people with disabilities because it believes that businesses can be effective platforms for social change. The business joined The Valuable 500 in 2019, a global initiative that asks 500 of the most powerful corporations to include disability on their leadership agenda and end discriminatory attitudes toward people with disabilities in the workplace.
Additionally, Salesforce is pleased to be the leader of Abilityforce, an employee resource group whose goal is to empower all staff members and advance internal discussions about accessibility and accommodation plans. Salesforce has pledged to offer an accessible workplace for all, including a blind employee and someone with cerebral palsy among its thousands of employees.
7. State Street
State Street claims that while employers are becoming more aware of the value of a diverse workforce, they still frequently prioritise factors such as gender, race, and ethnicity over disabilities. The business started the Global Disability Taskforce, a program intended to raise more disability awareness throughout its organization, to shine a “diversity spotlight” on people with disabilities.
Partnerships with groups that advocate for people with disabilities, like Autism Speaks, allow us to meet with the disability community to learn more about its needs and to talk about how we can better support this group of stakeholders. In order to better understand abilities, State Street also works to maximise talents, create more inclusive infrastructure and technology, and establish a stronger base of comprehensive policies.
8. United Airlines
United Airlines was recognised for initiatives like running a business resource group for staff members with disabilities and forming allies to raise awareness and offer support for hiring, developing, and retaining talent. United Airlines is dedicated to fostering a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace and world. Simultaneously, we strive to raise awareness and comprehension of problems like implicit bias that have the potential to undermine this culture.
Additionally, United Airlines put together an advisory board made up of professionals with disabilities who host educational sessions and give vendors, partners at airports, and staff training on accessibility. The business launched a comprehensive suite of accessibility features on its seatback entertainment system in 2019 as part of its efforts to provide an inclusive travel experience.
Walgreens is devoted to integrating disabled people throughout its workplaces, reflecting the firm commitment of its founder to promoting equality of opportunity. Through its Transitional Work Group Program and its Retail Employees with Disabilities Initiative, the company has created facilities and training programmes to create opportunities for people with disabilities.
More than 1,500 people with disabilities have completed customer service and retail skills training through these programmes in shops all over the country. Healthcare Career Transitions, a third programme recently added by Walgreens, offers employment support to help healthcare professionals with disabilities find work and maintain employment in the healthcare sector.
Likely to succeed at Work and Beyond
Employers can support team members’ full participation on the job and in society by putting disability inclusion at the centre of workplace and cultural design. Increase productivity, profitability, and corporate culture; strengthen employee engagement and loyalty; improve worker health and well-being; attract new talent; and make workplaces that are appealing to both customers and employees through inclusion.
The FlexJobs database has something for you if you’re a disabled worker looking for a flexible job that meets your needs at work. Discover all the ways a membership can advance your career by taking the tour.