National Organization on Disability Welcomes New Companies to CEO Council

###AT&T, Dodge & Cox, Merck and Exelon Join Corporate Leadership Body  Committed to Building a Disability Inclusive Workforce###

NEW YORK (January 28, 2016) – The National Organization on Disability (NOD) is pleased to welcome four new companies to its CEO Council – a group of companies who distinguish themselves as leaders in diversity and employers of choice for people with disabilities.

New at the Corporate Circle level, are AT&T, Dodge & Cox, and Merck. In the President’s Circle, NOD welcomes longtime partner Exelon Corporation, which has in recent years generously sponsored NOD’s corporate networking events bringing together diversity professionals from across the country. With these latest CEO Council additions, NOD is now proud to count 31 companies as members, including four lead partners: McGraw Hill Financial; Prudential Financial; Sirota Consulting; and UPS Foundation.

“Membership in the CEO Council sends a powerful message to those who interact with these leading brands that these companies take disability inclusion seriously,” said Gov. Tom Ridge, Chairman of NOD. “These companies understand the value people with disabilities bring to the workplace each day. And with their membership they commit to building a workforce that reflects the diversity of their consumers. On behalf of everyone at NOD, we thank our new members for their commitment and unwavering support in expanding employment opportunities for people with disabilities.”

CEO Council member companies receive a number of benefits, including:

  • Opportunities to learn from corporate peers and National Organization on Disability experts about challenges and leading practices in disability employment
  • Exclusive networking events with C-level business and government executives
  • Access to market awareness and insight into trends and leading practices, including NOD’s online learning forums and publications
  • One-on-one coaching sessions with NOD disability employment experts
  • Discounted pricing for selected National Organization on Disability Professional Services

For more information on NOD’s CEO Council, visit https://www.nod.org/services/council.html or email info@nod.org.

National Organization on Disability Seeks to Recognize Leading Disability Employers with a New Seal of Approval

Sunday’s Golden Globes show in Los Angeles ushered in the start of Hollywood’s annual awards season. That community enjoys celebrating the public recognition for accomplishments in the performing and visual arts. At the National Organization on Disability (NOD), which advises corporate America on ways they can improve disability inclusion in their workforce, they too want to celebrate achievement. So they are borrowing a page from Hollywood and have decided to create their own award of sorts.

“We are thrilled to announce the new Disability Employer Seal of Approval,” said NOD President Carol Glazer from her office in lower Manhattan. “We think this is more than an award. It’s a very public acknowledgment that certain companies have made disability hiring a priority and are doing it right. NOD wants to celebrate their success and let people who interact with their brand know about it. It’s a mark of distinction we hope all companies will aspire to achieve.”

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How Close Are You to Reaching Your Goal for Employing People with Disabilities?

Up until very recently, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has elected to not aggressively enforce new disability regulations under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act – giving contractors a chance to prepare for the changes in the regulations.

However, at a recent meeting business roundtable, the director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), Patricia Shiu, made it clear that the grace period is ending. According to Shiu, “The waiting period is over. They (federal contractors) are now expected to make an effort.”

So, how close are you to reaching your goal for employing people with disabilities?

According to Carol Glazer, president of the National Organization on Disability (NOD), which works on increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities, complying with new regulations for Section 503 should be viewed as more of a “journey” than a destination.

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National Organization on Disability Introduces Disability Employer Seal of Approval in 2016

Awarded annually, the Seal will recognize companies that demonstrate exemplary hiring and employment practices

Take the free Disability Employment Tracker to Qualify for Consideration

NEW YORK (January 13, 2016) – National Organization on Disability (NOD) President Carol Glazer today announced a new effort to formally recognize companies that demonstrate exemplary hiring and employment practices for people with disabilities. Called the Disability Employer Seal of Approval, this public, annual recognition is designed not only to applaud those companies who are leading the way in disability hiring, but also to encourage others to consider the many benefits of making an inclusive workforce a priority.

“With labor shortages looming, a growing number of leading companies are recognizing that people with disabilities represent an often untapped, and in many cases highly educated, potential talent pool,” said Glazer. “As companies look for ways to distinguish themselves as employers of choice for people with disabilities, this new Seal of Approval is a logical next step to shine a very bright light on those all across the country who are doing it best. Those chosen will receive promotional materials they can use on their website and social media and on signage so that people who interact with their brand – including prospective employees – know they have made this a priority and are deserving of the NOD seal. It is a mark of distinction we hope all employers will aspire to achieve.”

When he signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law in 1990, U.S. President and NOD Honorary Chairman George H.W. Bush said employers hold the key to unlocking the great potential of the ADA. Yet more than 25 years later, 8 in 10 working age Americans with disabilities are not employed. “Thankfully, there are a number of outstanding companies that are working hard to deliver on President Bush’s vision of full employment,” said Glazer. “They have learned that people with disabilities make outstanding contributions to the workplace and can help companies that are struggling to replace Baby Boomers who are retiring in record numbers.”

What is the Disability Employer Seal of Approval?

The Disability Employer Seal of Approval recognizes companies with exemplary hiring and employment practices. The Seal will be awarded annually to companies that are meeting performance thresholds in the areas of identifying and sourcing talent; on- boarding; performance management; corporate climate and culture; and tracking and measurement. Selection will be data driven and companies will need to re-qualify each year for the Seal.

How does a company qualify for consideration?

In order to be considered for the Seal, companies must register for and complete NOD’s Disability Employment Tracker(TM), a free tool for employers to confidentially assess their disability and veteran inclusion practices. New in 2016, participants will receive the free Disability Employment Tracker ScoreCard(TM) that gives companies key benchmarks and leading practices in disability employment. The 2016 Tracker survey will be live beginning today, January 13 through March 2, 2016. Seal winners will be announced in the Spring.

“The Disability Employment Tracker is a great way for companies to look at how they stack up in including this important talent segment in their workforce – and to identify opportunities to improve their practices,” said Andy Traub, NOD’s managing director of Professional Services. “While the Tracker is free, there is a new executive briefing option available so that our subject-matter experts can provide customized recommendations on ways to improve inclusion practices.”

To sign up for the Disability Employment Tracker and qualify for Seal consideration, simply visit www.nod.org/tracker. To date, nearly 90 companies already have taken the Tracker from industry sectors ranging from banking and telecom to insurance and retail.

About NOD

The National Organization on Disability (NOD) is a private, non-profit organization that seeks to increase employment opportunities for the 79 percent of working age Americans with disabilities who are not employed. To achieve this goal, NOD offers a suite of employment solutions, tailored to meet leading companies’ workforce needs. NOD has helped some of the world’s most recognized brands be more competitive in today’s global economy by building or enriching their disability inclusion programs. For more information about NOD and how its professional services, CEO Council of Corporate Leaders and Disability Employment Tracker(TM) can help your business, visit www.nod.org.

5 Shifts That Transformed Federal Service

Beyond its own workforce, federal government has significant influence over the contracting community, and has long used that influence to extend opportunities to segments of the population that face more challenges. The Small Business Administration offers various business development programs, instructing agencies to set aside portions of contract dollars to small disadvantaged businesses, including those owned by women, veterans and minorities. In 1973, the Rehabilitation Act prohibited discrimination on the basis of disability in programs run by federal agencies, programs that receive federal financial assistance, in federal employment, and in the employment practices of federal contractors. The AbilityOne was also created as the largest source of employment for people who are blind or have significant disabilities in the United States. More than 550 nonprofit organizations employ these individuals and provide products and services to the federal government via a prioritized contracting program. Furthermore, in 2013, the Labor Department set a hiring goal for federal contractors that 7 percent of each job group in their workforces should be made up of qualified people with disabilities.

As Carol Glazer, president of the National Organization on Disability noted: “Preventing discrimination and affirmative hiring are not one and the same.”

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