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Did you know one out of six people has some type of disability? That makes one billion people with disabilities worldwide, according to the World Health Organization in 2013. With that in mind, has your company implemented ways to become more disability-friendly? There are many opportunities to make a work environment accessible for people with disabilities.
Over the years as the disability employment conversation has become easier to discuss, certain companies have risen to the top with their forward-thinking strides to become disability-friendly organizations. You can learn various approaches from these outstanding companies.
6 of the best disability-friendly organizations
Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, has championed the cause for integrating people with disabilities for many years. They host various forums throughout the year for employees to learn more about disability employment and reasonable accommodations. They even launched a website with a nonprofit partner to help disabled workers in 54 international countries. It’s called Jobability.org and it connects potential employees with employers.
Protcter and Gamble
Procter and Gamble, a multinational consumer goods company, has facilitated interest groups focusing on people with disabilities for over 10 years. Their People With Disabilities Task Force paves the way for other companies to consider workplace accommodations, recruitment and retention tools. They also have successful partnerships with disability organizations such as Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities.
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Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, one of the world’s largest hotel companies, has amazing benefits for people with disabilities, including on-site counselors, sign language classes and more. As a company, they donate to many philanthropic organizations that help people with disabilities as well.
SC Johnson, a global manufacturing company of household consumer goods, has many benefits to employees with disabilities. Since 1995 they support The Johnson Abilities First Business Council, a group for people dealing with disabilities in the workplace. The feedback received from the council meetings has greatly improved the work lives of their disabled employees!
KPMG, a global network of professional accounting services, has a strong Disability Network in place that welcomes the conversation about workplace conditions, retention and more. They also provide organization-wide trainings on disability employment during the month of October, which is National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
Sodexo, a food services and facilities management corporation, has a program called SOAR, Sodexo Organization of disAbilities Resources. Each Sodexo global division has it’s own set of classes or initiatives that have been very successful increasing the conversation about disability employment and retention.
There are many more companies not listed that have become disability-friendly in recent years! This is only a starting point as you begin to champion for people with disabilities in your own workplace. Do these ideas seem challenging or overwhelming to you?
It’s easy to start with a small step, such as an employee survey, quarterly meetings discussing disability employment topics or reaching out to current employees to see if anyone would be interested in spearheading a disability-friendly project. Any step, even if it’s small, towards an accessible workplace for people with disabilities is a step in the right direction!