A new survey shows that 77 percent of disabled employees say their employer has improved its support for them since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The survey is called the 2022 Disability Equality Index and was carried out by Disability: IN, a worldwide organization that promotes disability inclusion in the workplace.

It says businesses are now expanding on that support with notable improvements in leadership and boardroom diversity.

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

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He said: “People today want to go to work for companies that they think are doing the right thing, that 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 that company every single day.”

The Disability Equality Index is a benchmarking evaluation where executives submit their organizations to be graded on things like culture, hiring practices and technological accessibility.

The survey examined 415 businesses, including 69 from the Fortune 100, which were rated to determine the top workplaces for accommodating people with disabilities.

Inclusion in leadership is one of the report’s most significant themes, with 126 organizations employing a senior executive who is internally referred to as a person with a handicap.

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This is compared to 99 in 2021.

According to the survey, 6 percent of firms now have a corporate board member who publicly identifies as handicapped, and 74 percent of enterprises have investments in businesses run by people with disabilities,

This demonstrates an internal shift but also an attempt to diversify links outside.

According to Jill Houghton, the president and CEO of Disability: IN, the call for disability inclusion at work, coupled with the “global talent shortage” has made it vital for companies “to rethink how they hire, develop and cultivate talent.”

96 percent of companies in the report offer flexible work options, making completing certain tasks more accessible and accommodating.

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Fifty percent are also investing in new technology to help advance digital accessibility.

Kennedy Jr, who is a pediatric bone cancer survivor and amputee, says that companies that have made the effort to create these equitable workspaces are “making a commitment at the highest level” to support and uplift their disabled talent.

“Individuals with disabilities are extremely adaptive and creative because they’ve had to be creative and adaptive to different environments, their whole lives,” Kennedy Jr. tells 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’re going to be extremely loyal.”

The best companies:

  • Amazon
  • Bank of America
  • Capital One
  • Deloitte
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Google
  • Starbucks

Source: CNBC

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