Workplace Initiative weekly news roundup: November 25, 2019

Here are some highlights from this week’s news about disability inclusion (DI) in the workforce — and how you can use this information to make your company the best it can be.

1. Companies need to do more for employees with disabilities, court case suggests

What’s reported: A recent court case (Robles v. Domino’s Pizza) points out how companies may be missing opportunities to support customers — and employees — with disabilities. In a Harvard Business Review article, two researchers who conducted a 2017 study about disability inclusion discussed the legal case. Based on their study, they offered the following suggestions for companies to include consumers and employees with disabilities:

  • Recognize the innovative talent of employees with disabilities. 
  • Create inclusive workplaces that empower people with disabilities: 48 percent of employees with disabilities felt their ideas that would drive value for their companies weren’t endorsed.
  • Expand the idea of innovation with people with disabilities in mind. This includes adopting universal design products and services that benefit those with disabilities.

What it means for you: People with disabilities have a lot to offer. Disability inclusion helps employees and the consumers they serve. Learn how your company can partner with Understood’s Inclusive Careers Cohort (ICC) program to implement a disability inclusion program.

2. Bank of America created a thriving team that employs people with disabilities

What’s reported: Patricia Saucier thought her intellectual disability would define her life. That changed when she started working for Bank of America 20 years ago. Along with her twin sister, she’s part of the 48-member Support Services team at her branch in Belfast, Maine. Nearly 40 of the team members have an intellectual disability. The department has the lowest turnover in the company. 

“Even though each of us has intellectual disabilities, the managers never talk down to us,” Saucier told Disability Scoop. “They talk to us. They know we’re adults. We just learn differently.” 

What it means for you: Creating a more inclusive workplace doesn’t just benefit those with intellectual disabilities, or disabilities as a whole. It can also lead to a more accepting and productive workplace for all employees.

3. Activist launches campaign for companies to commit to disability inclusion

What’s reported: Through her campaign — called the Valuable 500 — inclusivity activist Caroline Casey is putting disability inclusion on the minds of business leaders everywhere, Forbes reports. The Valuable 500’s goal is for 500 companies to “unlock the business, social, and economic value of people living with disabilities across the world.” 

The Valuable 500 movement views disability inclusion as an essential tool for organizations to drive innovation and improve business growth. Shell and Unilever are among the corporations (almost 470 and counting!) who’ve committed to the campaign. 

What it means for you: The Valuable 500 campaign highlights the importance of workplaces empowering people with disabilities. By implementing programs and strategies that support them, employers can make a difference to their bottom line. You may also want to consider having your organization join the Valuable 500 movement.

4. Philadelphia newspaper devotes special section to the region’s disability inclusion success stories

What’s reported: A special “This Ability” section in The Philadelphia Inquirer takes a closer look at disability inclusion stories in the workplace. The stories spotlight how more companies (and people) in the Philadelphia region are seeing the talents and gifts that people with disabilities bring. 

The section features Wawa’s Supported Employment Program that was established 40 years ago to employ neurodiverse adults. It also focuses on The Precisionists, Inc., a company that hopes to create 10,000 jobs in technology for people with disabilities by the year 2025.

What it means for you: A 2018 study by Accenture found that companies that championed hiring people with disabilities achieved — on average — 28 percent higher revenue and 30 percent higher economic profit margins than their peers. Understood can help your company build a pipeline of talented candidates with disabilities.

About the author

About the author

The Understood Team is made up of passionate writers and editors. Many of them have kids who learn and think differently.