NOD SALUTES LONGTIME LEADERS TOM RIDGE AND CAROL GLAZER WHO SHARE PLANS OF LEADERSHIP TRANSITION

Together, Ridge and Glazer led NOD in becoming the foremost partner to corporate America in ensuring more employment opportunities for people with disabilities

NEW YORK (June 1, 2022) – Governor Tom Ridge and Carol Glazer, who together served as the longtime chairman and president, respectively, of the National Organization on Disability (NOD) will leave their positions with NOD after 16 years of service. The announcement was made by Luke Visconti, founder and chairman of DiversityInc and vice chairman of the NOD Board of Directors. Visconti will succeed Governor Ridge as chairman effective immediately and will preside over the July meeting of the NOD Board.

Governor Ridge, who was elected chairman in 2006, will continue to serve on the NOD Board of Directors in the role of chairman emeritus. Glazer, who first joined NOD as a consultant in 2006 and was named president in 2009, will be retiring from full-time work. She has committed to remain president until her successor is in place. NOD has hired the California-based firm The 360 Group to lead a national search for NOD’s next president.

“A 16-year partnership such as the one between Tom and Carol is incredibly rare, and all of us in the disability community are the beneficiaries of their shared vision, their passion and their singular focus on expanding workplace opportunities for people with disabilities,” said Visconti. “I will be forever grateful to Governor Ridge for inviting me into NOD and sharing his wisdom about leadership and service. We both are stroke survivors, giving us a clearer picture of the challenges people with disabilities face each day. His strength and determination throughout his rehab have been an inspiration, and I am delighted he will remain on the board so that we all can continue to benefit from his depth of knowledge on so many issues.

“Carol Glazer has been exactly the leader NOD needed since she first arrived on the scene 16 years ago. After the death of NOD founder Alan Reich, many wondered if NOD would survive. Carol ensured not only that NOD would survive, but it would flourish – soon becoming a trusted partner to dozens of FORTUNE 500 companies who need assistance in growing their disability workforce. Carol has assembled a talented and creative staff that is effectively leading NOD into our 40th year of service. I want to thank Carol for insisting she stays in her current position as president until we have hired a successor to ensure we don’t miss a beat.”

Together, Governor Ridge and Carol Glazer, in partnership with a renowned Board of Directors and talented staff, led NOD in becoming the foremost partner to corporate America to ensure more employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Now celebrating its 40th year, NOD helps some of the world’s more recognized brands be more competitive in today’s global economy by building or enriching their disability inclusion programs.

“Ensuring that people with disabilities have access to equal employment opportunities isn’t only about civil rights,” said Governor Ridge. “America’s success in the world depends on how well we inspire and put to use the talents and energies of every person in this country. I spoke those words shortly after NOD founder Alan Reich first asked me to serve as chair. That sentiment has driven Carol and me forward every day since. I am incredibly proud of the work NOD has accomplished to advance employment opportunities for Americans with disabilities and look forward to continuing that work with my talented colleagues on the NOD board. We will miss Carol very much but know that her legacy – her unwavering commitment to make certain we are using the talents of all individuals – will continue to propel us forward.”

Carol Glazer said never once in her many years of working with Governor Ridge did she take their partnership for granted. “I’m coming to the twilight of an extraordinary career journey in which I’ve had the honor and privilege of working with one true hero after another in public life and in business,” said Glazer. “There is no one that compares to Tom Ridge. He is a national treasure, someone who has devoted his entire life to public service and always with the utmost of integrity, love of people, and a deep sense of what moves and drives those with whom he comes in contact. Most of all, Governor Ridge has a deep commitment to leaving this world in a much better place than when he entered it.

“So, I will miss Governor Ridge dearly, but I’ll also miss the men and women of NOD; the remarkable professionals who work with such passion and dedication behind the scenes every day in order that people with disabilities have access to employment and a better future. They are largely responsible for our successes and will ensure a smooth transition to our next leader.”

About National Organization on Disability (NOD)

The National Organization on Disability (NOD) is a private, non-profit organization that seeks to increase employment opportunities for the 80-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, Leadership Council and Employment Tracker™ can help your business, visit www.NOD.org.

 

 

 

 

NOD Appoints Goldman Sachs Chief Administrative Officer Ericka Leslie To Board Of Directors

Longtime Disability Rights Advocate Ericka Leslie Will Assist NOD in Advancing Disability Inclusion in the Workforce

Headshot of Ericka LeslieNEW YORK (April 27, 2022) – The National Organization on Disability (NOD) today announced Ericka Leslie, Chief Administrative Officer at Goldman Sachs, as the newest member to join its Board of Directors. Ms. Leslie, a champion, and advocate for disability rights, will join 15 other civic and corporate leaders from across the country working to advance disability inclusion across the workforce.

“The National Organization on Disability welcomes Ericka and we look forward to being the beneficiary of her years of wisdom and experience,” said NOD Chairman, Gov. Tom Ridge. “This year marks the National Organization on Disability’s 40th anniversary. The disability rights landscape has changed dramatically since our founding in 1982 and we are proud of the great strides we have made in advancing our mission of putting individuals with disabilities to work. Building on that success will take talented individuals such as Ericka joining our ranks. Her experience and commitment to championing people with disabilities will help us continue to advance our mission of disability inclusion in the workplace.”

“I am excited and honored to join this talented group of leaders in advancing and advocating for disability rights and building a more inclusive workplace,” said Ericka Leslie, Chief Administrative Officer at Goldman Sachs. “Throughout my career, I have remained committed to expanding opportunities for people of all backgrounds because it results in better outcomes and better decisions. This is an issue that I am personally passionate about and look forward to working with the National Organization on Disability to increase employment opportunities for Americans living with disabilities.”

Ericka Leslie serves as a disability champion for the firm’s disability inclusion network. In this role and in her current position as Goldman Sachs’ Chief Administrative Officer, Ericka is known as a leader committed to fostering an inclusive environment for diverse constituencies, including those connected to disability.

Ms. Leslie, a longtime employee of Goldman Sachs for more than 25 years, is a firmwide champion for Launch with GS, the company’s commitment to invest in companies and investment managers with diverse leadership.  She also serves as Co-Chair of the Partnership Committee, Firmwide New Activity Committee and Firmwide Operational Risk and Resilience Committee at Goldman Sachs.  Ms. Leslie serves as vice chair of the Board of Directors for CLS Group Holdings AG and previously served as chair and vice chair of the Stephen Gaynor School in New York City. She earned a BA in Accounting and Finance from the University of Albany in 1992.

About National Organization on Disability (NOD)

The National Organization on Disability (NOD) is a private, non-profit organization that seeks to increase employment opportunities for the 80-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, Leadership Council and Employment Tracker™ can help your business, visit www.NOD.org.

 

 

61 million American adults have a disability. Experts say an intentional approach to accommodations can help companies ensure these workers feel valued.

Rachel DuRose, Madison Hoff, and Catherine Henderson | Feb 20, 2022, 7:30 AM

A woman uses sign language to communicate over video call.

Josh Basile knows that people with disabilities make up a substantial pool of untapped talent. He has a law degree and serves as the community-relations manager for AccessiBe, a company trying to make websites more usable for people with different disabilities through artificial intelligence and an accessibility interface. He’s a C4-5 quadriplegic, so he knows firsthand what it takes to make a successful career with a disability.

“Employment is so important to make sure that persons with disabilities have a voice not only in the home but in the workplace and within their communities,” Basile told Insider. “Having a job is really important in today’s world to be able to have a purpose, to be able to have buying power, to be able to dictate what your life looks like.”

Bringing more Americans with disabilities into the workforce means companies must ensure that their workplaces, whether remote or in-person, are accessible and accommodating.

In the US, about 61 million adults — or about one in four — have a disability, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Basile said there’s plenty of room to improve their employment situation. Even before the pandemic, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities in the US was higher than the unemployment rate for people without disabilities.

The labor-force participation rate — the share of the population either working or actively looking for a job — for people with disabilities has also been lower than the rate for people without disabilities. That rate was 22.8% for Americans with disabilities in January, 44.4 percentage points lower than the 67.2% rate for Americans without disabilities.

“​​People with disabilities have to navigate a world that is still largely built for and reinforced by nondisabled individuals and norms,” Moeena Das, the chief operating officer of the National Organization on Disability, told Insider.

Das added that increasing the labor-force participation rate for people with disabilities starts with “really reinforcing and acknowledging that people with disabilities are as valuable of a talent pool as nondisabled.”

Small changes to the workplace can make a big difference

The first step in accommodating workers with disabilities is consulting with those workers, said Corey Anthony, the senior vice president and chief diversity development officer of AT&T. The company employs 7,000 workers with disabilities and uses a system, called iCount, to allow employees to self-identify their disability, Anthony said.

“We have an employee group that now has well over 3,500 members that focuses on issues that are unique to our employees with disabilities,” Anthony said. “We partner with them very closely — they are our eyes and ears about what is happening inside of our business with respect to this community.”

The accommodations that workers need may vary. Companies should listen and respect people’s knowledge of their own bodies and health.

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion describes reasonable accommodations, or “adjustments or modifications that enable people with disabilities to perform the essential functions of a job efficiently and productively,” as “important retention and advancement tools.”

Tad Asbury, the executive director of Bridges From School to Work, a nonprofit connecting young adults with disabilities to meaningful work, provided an example of a simple but effective accommodation that JPMorgan made at one of its security facilities in Chicago after hearing from its employees.

The company required employees to use a locker to store personal belongings before entering the facility, but some new hires from the nonprofit struggled with the combination lockers. So JPMorgan switched the lockers to ones that used keys that were easier to handle.

“Recognize that accommodations can be inexpensive,” Asbury said. “It can be as simple as getting the lockers with a key instead of ones with combinations.”

Employers need to consider accommodations for workers with disabilities after the pandemic

While some people may be eager to return to offices, many workers with disabilities may prefer remote jobs and other flexible work situations that became more popular during the pandemic.

“When it comes to the experience of people with disabilities during the pandemic, it’s been a bit of a bittersweet experience,” Das said, because people with disabilities had been advocating flexible work models long before companies enacted such policies during the pandemic.

Companies have learned that they can continue operations with flexibility. Even when the pandemic ends, these work models can benefit people with disabilities, Das said.

She noted that not every worker is in a job that can be done remotely. For instance, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 18% of workers with disabilities in 2020 were in service occupations, which include many in-person positions.

In addition to offering accommodations during recruiting, employers need to consider how inclusive their workplaces are for their existing staffers with disabilities. They can take an assessment like the National Organization on Disability’s Employment Tracker, a free and confidential assessment tool of six disability- and veterans’-inclusion focus areas like talent sourcing, to evaluate how they’re doing.

“So I’m deaf, for instance,” Das said. “Whether it’s myself, whether it might be somebody who has an auditory-processing disability, somebody who might have a cognitive disability, mask-wearing can be tremendously challenging. So what are some other adjustments that an employer may also need to make to your physical workspace as we’re really thinking about how we all move forward as a collective and make sure that our places are inclusive?”

Published in Business Insider

How Remote Work Has Made Working Accessible for Millions of People

remote work disability

BELINDA HOWELL/GETTY IMAGES

Until 2020, working from home was usually viewed as distraction-prone and unproductive, but as the pandemic forced people to stay home, everything changed. The Pew Research Center found 62% of American workers with a bachelor’s degree or more education say their work can be done from home. Similarly, the United States Census Bureau found more than a third of U.S. households reported working from home more frequently than before the pandemic. In fact, working from home can now be argued to be a better working style to make the most of your employees, especially those who are disabled. As someone who falls into this category, working from home has been a positive step for me, enabling greater accessibility that I wouldn’t have otherwise.

I completed a short stint at a local paper while enrolled as a university student in 2019. To get to the office I had to catch two buses, and the commute took an hour each way. As someone whose condition makes her extremely tired after physical exertion, I’d come to work sleepy and unfocused, and I’m sure I failed to do my best work under these circumstances.

I graduated in 2021, and since offices shut down to contain the spread of COVID-19, I found remote freelance work — the commuting difficulties I once faced immediately vanished. I was worried about my working setup when I was diagnosed with antiphospholipid syndrome, but since offices closed, I had no choice but to work from home. I had never even considered it an option before the pandemic. I now had an accessible alternative, and it was freeing — I feel more at ease in my own space and confident and more productive.

Disabled people make up 15% of the global population, meaning greater accessibility can improve millions of lives of the 1.3 billion people who identify as disabled. Remote working is an accessible option for these people, and the greater population.

Sarah Rose, a journalist from Belfast has Endometriosis, Adenomyosis and Crohn’s Disease and says that she could never work from home full time in the e-commerce sector. “I requested it in previous jobs but found working from home even with a declared disability was very hard to access,” she told The Org.

The pandemic changed things for the better for Rose, however. “It was like suddenly overnight working from home was accessible,” she said. “Prior to the pandemic, I was always exhausted and overwhelmed; I was always worried about work. How would I manage the exhausting commute and perform in pain? I always felt like I was running on empty.”

Rose recalls feeling “exhausted” when she arrived at work, but she feels capable of working from home now that she can manage her fatigue and pain alongside her career. She adds that working from an office would be unmanageable, especially since working from home has opened doors for her career. “It has given me more opportunities as I’m able to work,” she said. “Without being able to work from home or with a flexible model, I would not be able to commit to full-time employment.”

This presents just one instance that demonstrates working from home can produce better workers and should be kept for the future.

Keryn Seal from Devon works in sales for a SaaS startup. He says working from home has given him back more energy. Seal is completely blind and has been since the age of 20. Now 39, he feels the pandemic has made the workplace more approachable to disabled people purely by accident. “Everything became more remote and online focussed because a predominantly non-disabled workforce required it to be that way to remain productive,” he told The Org.

He adds that these changes gave “disabled people the things they’ve been asking for over the past decade.” The difficulties that in-person working presented to Keryn were vast, including the lack of flexibility given to him to account for his disability.

The former athlete adds that working from home was commonplace in his athletic endeavors. Still, when his career changed, he felt “constant scrutiny” on where his time was spent and “borderline micromanagement.” This feeling of being observed closely stemmed from the nature of Seal’s workplace. “I had to justify my daily activities and was questioned why I said certain things to clients in an email.” These seemingly small things became draining for Seal, and led him to ultimately feel micromanaged.

Disability advocate Nana Marfo works with those who have special educational needs and is the director of Unique Abilities. He gives an alternative view to COVID-19’s effect on disabled people: “The pandemic has highlighted the issue employers have regarding recruiting disabled people,” he told The Org. “It is at an all-time low due to companies thinking of liability insurance and how effective disabled people can be as an employee.” According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2020, 17.9 percent of people with a disability were employed, down from 19.3 percent in 2019 in the U.S. For people without a disability, 61.8 percent were employed in 2020, down from 66.3 percent in the prior year, showing Marfo’s trend.

Felicia Nurmsen, Managing Director of Employer Services at the National Organization on Disability (NOD) told The Org: “People with disabilities have been asking for accommodations but have been denied working from home opportunities.” She adds that she thinks this change was “one of the best things that may have occurred as a part of the pandemic — a silver lining if you will.”

NOD has worked on a Disability Employment Tracker for the past nine years, a free tool that tracks now close to 500 companies specifically to see how they’re progressing with their disability inclusion practice. The tracker internally focuses just on the workplace, and employment. Nurmsen said that it has shown progress in disability employment practices, including talent outcomes which measure the progression of disabled people in their careers.

“If we really don’t know where our people with disabilities are in the workplace and how we’re supporting them, then we really can’t say that we have a disability-inclusive culture,” Nurmsen said, highlighting the importance of the tracker.

She adds that workplaces are moving in the right direction regarding inclusivity. The employment tracker contrastingly shows a significant increase in new hires of people with disabilities as well as the number of people that are unemployed with disabilities is decreasing.

According to the 2021 NOD Employment Tracker report, employers demonstrated self-identification rates three times higher than those that only examined self-ID.

It is clear the workforce was always adaptable, though it took a pandemic to afford the opportunity to people with disabilities. This is sadly indicative of how society values the contributions of people like me.

NOD Appluads Biden’s Executive Order Barring Subminimum Wages for Individuals with Disabilities on Federal Contracts

The National Organization on Disability (NOD) applauds the final rule announcement by the U.S. Department of Labor to ensure that workers with disabilities performing work on or in connection with covered federal contracts cannot be paid subminimum wages. As our chairman, Gov. Tom Ridge, testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, it is discriminatory that any individual, or group of individuals, be paid less than minimum wage, a practice which is still allowed by Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. We are thrilled by this executive action, which ensures that individuals with disabilities can participate equally in the workforce.

Today’s announcement is one of many efforts that the Biden Administration has taken to support competitive, integrated employment for people with disabilities. We at NOD are hopeful that the final Build Back Better Act will include funding to support states in phasing-out subminimum wages for individuals with disabilities.

We were also encouraged by Senators Casey and Daines recent introduction of the Transformation to Competitive, Integrated Employment Act to fully phase-out the use of 14(c) under federal law, which would bolster the administration’s executive order.

NOD is proud to have supported these policies and advocated for their passage, in coordination with more than a dozen of the leading disability rights organizations in the country. We are grateful for the Biden Administration’s commitment to support individuals with disabilities and look forward to continuing this important work together.

Devoted Community Activist and Actor Robert David Hall Receives Lifetime Achievement Award From NOD at Annual Forum

Robert David Hall headshot

NEW YORK (OCTOBER 1, 2021) – Robert David Hall, who starred as ‘Dr. Al Robbins’ on CBS TV’s “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and one of the most prominent actors with a disability working today, is the recipient of the National Organization on Disability’s (NOD) 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award. Hall, who lost both of his legs in 1978 when an 18-wheel truck struck his car, is receiving the award in recognition of his exceptional contributions as a leader and advocate for people with disabilities. Hall also is the longest serving member on NOD’s board of directors. He was presented with the award at NOD’s online Annual Forum, “Disability Inclusion in the Next Normal” on September 30, 2021.

“It is our honor to present David with this Lifetime Achievement Award,” said NOD President Carol Glazer. “David does so much behind the scenes to advocate for disability rights, not only professionally, but in his private life as well. He has paved the way for actors with disabilities and has been an incredible role model for so many. His work is leaving a legacy. I am proud to call him my colleague and friend.”

Hall’s other achievements include serving as a past member of the national board of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and was also the national chairman of the Performers with Disabilities Caucus for SAG, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the London-based trade union Equity. Along with his time on NOD’s board, he has served on the Mark Taper Forum’s Other Voices Project, which promotes empowerment of writers and performers with disabilities in the American theater. In 2010, he had the privilege of introducing President Barack Obama at the 20th Anniversary celebration for the Americans with Disabilities Act on the White House lawn.

I’m honored and grateful to receive the NOD Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Hall.

“I dedicate this award to my late Mother and Father; Dad was tough, Mom was encouraging, and all my siblings knew they were loved. Along with many others, I have dedicated many years to advocating for people with disabilities, and I stand proudly by NOD’s mission to recognize everyone’s abilities and talents, especially in the workforce. I encourage all companies (especially those in the media and entertainment fields) to see people with disabilities as they are —productive, resilient, and hard working. People with disabilities can do anything if they are given the opportunity. I like to think that I’m a small part of that big picture. Thanks especially to my wife, Judy, who loves me fiercely and overlooks most of my imperfections.”

 


About the NOD Annual Forum

Diversity and inclusion leaders from global companies attended the National Organization on Disability’s Annual Forum on September 30. Academy Award winner Marlee Matlin kicked off the two-hour virtual showcase entitled, “Leadership Council Forum: Disability Inclusion in the Next Normal” with an inspiring keynote address.  Emceed by actress Santina Muha, the Forum addressed the challenges that business leaders continue to face in a shifting economy and post-COVID era as they prepare to bring employees back to the office or continue providing a remote work environment. It also unpacked the opportunities the global pandemic has afforded employees with disabilities as it relates to digital accessibility, mental health programs and better workplace flexibility. For more information about Robert David Hall and other 2021 award winners, visit https://bit.ly/39qd5Nc.

                                                                                                                 

About National Organization on Disability (NOD)

The National Organization on Disability (NOD) is a private, non-profit organization that seeks to increase employment opportunities for the 80 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 become 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, Leadership Council and Employment Tracker™ can help your business, visit www.NOD.org.

Find Leading Disability Employers

These employers are dedicated to disability inclusion and recognize the benefits of hiring workers with disabilities.

Find Leading Disability EmployersThese employers are dedicated to inclusivity.

While October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, unemployment for adults with disabilities is an epidemic in the workforce that’s seen all year, every year. In fact, according to Monster’s Future of Work survey, only 7 percent of employers include disability recruitment as part of their DEI strategy.

Yet the shift to remote work in response to the pandemic has allowed many people with disabilities (PWD) to find work and opened up new opportunities. However, many PWD are still reluctant to disclose a disability to an employer.

Fortunately, some best-in-class employers are already creating inclusive workplaces and removing barriers for PWD to find jobs. Every year, the National Organization on Disability (NOD) recognizes these top companies for not only leading the way in inclusion, but also for tapping into the many benefits that come with hiring talent with disabilities, which include high rates of productivity, strong dedication, and greater engagement at work.

Listed below in alphabetical order, are over 50 top companies across bankingconsultingfinancial serviceshealthcare, and  IT. See which of the following would be a good fit for you.

Top disability employers of 2021

  • AbbVie
  • Accenture
  • American Heart Association
  • Anthem
  • AT&T
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
  • Blue Shield of California
  • Capital One
  • Centene
  • Cerner Corporation
  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Comcast NBCUniversal
  • Dow
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • EY
  • Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
  • GDIT
  • Hilton Worldwide
  • Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
  • HSBC
  • Humana
  • Huntington Bank
  • Idaho National Laboratory
  • Independence Care System
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • KeyBank
  • KPMG U.S.
  • L’Oréal USA
  • Leidos
  • Level Access
  • Lockheed Martin
  • M&T Bank
  • Marriott International
  • Martinsburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center
  • Mayo Clinic
  • National Grid USA
  • National Security Agency
  • Nautilus Hyosung America
  • New Editions Consulting
  • New York Life
  • Northrop Grumman
  • PRIDE Industries
  • Prudential Financial
  • PSEG
  • Puerto Rico Industries for the Blind
  • PwC
  • Randstad US
  • Reed Smith
  • RespectAbility
  • SEI
  • Skookum Contract Services
  • Sodexo
  • Sony Corporation of America
  • T-Mobile, USA
  • TD
  • The Boeing Company
  • The Hershey Company
  • The Viscardi Center
  • TIAA
  • U.S. Bank
  • United Airlines
  • Unum Group
  • W.W. Grainger, Inc.
  • WeCo Accessibility Services
  • Wells Fargo & Company

NOD Announces the 2021 Leading Disability Employers at Annual Forum Bringing Together Global CEOs, Celebrities and Policy Influencers to Reimagine the Future of the Workplace

NEW YORK, NY – (September 30, 2021) – At the National Organization on Disability (NOD)’s Annual Forum, entitled “Disability Inclusion in the Next Normal”, sixty-seven companies were honored as 2021 NOD Leading Disability Employers.  Now in its seventh year, the NOD Leading Disability Employer Seal recognizes companies for measuring and achieving strong talent outcomes for people with disabilities. With this recognition, NOD endeavors to shine a light on those employers that are committed to building an inclusive workforce by adopting exemplary employment practices for people with disabilities.

“Congratulations to all the 2021 Leading Disability Employers for creating an inclusive and diverse workplace that allows people with disabilities to be successful,” said NOD President Carol Glazer. “NOD’s mission is to ensure that no ability is wasted, that all Americans, including those of us with disabilities, have an opportunity for enterprise, achievement, and earnings and that corporate America knows how to put our talents to work. These winning organizations have stepped up and are doing just that. We want to applaud their leadership and thank them for their commitment to hiring and retaining people with disabilities.”

The 2021 NOD Leading Disability Employers are:

  • AbbVie
  • Accenture
  • American Heart Association
  • Anthem
  • AT&T
  • Bell Textron
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
  • Blue Shield of California
  • The Boeing Company
  • Capital One
  • Centene
  • Cerner Corporation
  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Comcast NBCUniversal
  • Dow
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Endeavors Unlimited
  • EY
  • Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
  • GDIT
  • The Hershey Company
  • Hilton Worldwide
  • Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
  • HSBC
  • Humana
  • Huntington Bank
  • Idaho National Laboratory
  • Independence Care System
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • KeyBank
  • KPMG U.S.
  • Leidos
  • Level Access
  • Lockheed Martin
  • L’Oréal USA
  • M&T Bank
  • Marriott International
  • Martinsburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center
  • Mayo Clinic
  • National Grid USA
  • National Security Agency
  • Nautilus Hyosung America
  • New Editions Consulting
  • New York Life
  • Northrop Grumman
  • PRIDE Industries
  • Prudential Financial
  • PSEG
  • Puerto Rico Industries for the Blind
  • PwC
  • Randstad US
  • Reed Smith
  • RespectAbility
  • SEI
  • Skookum Contract Services
  • Sodexo
  • Sony Corporation of America
  • TD Bank
  • TIAA
  • T-Mobile, USA
  • U.S. Bank
  • United Airlines
  • Unum Group
  • The Viscardi Center
  • W.W. Grainger, Inc.
  • WeCo Accessibility Services
  • Wells Fargo & Company

The announcement was made before an audience of over seven hundred diversity and inclusion leaders from global companies at NOD’s two-hour virtual Forum. Academy Award winner Marlee Matlin kicked off the event with an inspiring keynote address, while comedian and actress Santina Muha served up glitz and glamour as the emcee. An executive panel discussion, featuring DiversityInc CEO Carolynn Johnson, Hilton CEO Christopher J. Nassetta, and Eli Lilly & Company CEO David A. Ricks, addressed emerging workforce challenges in the COVID era and was moderated by Rhonda Nesmith Crichlow, Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, Charter Communications and NOD board member. The impactful discussion examined new opportunities the global pandemic has afforded employees with disabilities, including remote working, increased digital accessibility, better access to mental health programs and more flexibility.


About the NOD Leading Disability Employer Seal + Employment Tracker

The NOD Leading Disability Employer Seal is a selective award given to companies demonstrating positive outcomes in recruiting, hiring, retaining and advancing people with disabilities in their workforces. To see current and past winners of the NOD Leading Disability Employer seal, visit www.NOD.org/seal.

Winners are determined based on data provided by companies on the NOD Employment Tracker™, the only assessment tool available that focuses on the workforce, to help companies evaluate their disability inclusion policies and practices. Organizations wanting to compete for the NOD Leading Disability Employer Seal voluntarily opt in to be considered. Those companies’ responses are scored, taking into account both disability employment practices and performance. Scoring prioritizes practices that are associated with increased disability employment outcomes over time, and companies receive additional points based on the percentage of people with disabilities in their workforce. At NOD’s Annual Forum, the cohort of winners are revealed by name; no specific scoring or ranking is disclosed.

To be considered for the 2022 NOD Leading Disability Employer Seal, companies must complete the annual Employment Tracker survey during the qualifying window. Sign up to be notified when the 2022 Employment Tracker opens this November.

 

About National Organization on Disability (NOD)

The National Organization on Disability (NOD) is a private, non-profit organization that seeks to increase employment opportunities for the millions 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, Leadership Council and Employment Tracker can help your business, visit www.NOD.org.

NOD Annual Forum Brings Together Global CEOs, Academy Award Winner Marlee Matlin And Policy Influencers To Reimagine The Future Of The Workplace For All

CEOS SAY FLEXIBILITY, EMPATHY, AND IMAGINATION KEY DRIVERS FOR THE FUTURE

NEW YORK, NY (September 30, 2021) – Today, hundreds of diversity and inclusion leaders from global companies attended the National Organization on Disability’s (NOD) Annual Forum. Academy Award winner Marlee Matlin kicked off the two-hour virtual showcase entitled, “Leadership Council Forum: Disability Inclusion in the Next Normal” with an inspiring keynote address.  Emceed by actress Santina Muha, the Forum addressed the challenges that business leaders continue to face in a shifting economy and post-COVID era as they prepare to bring employees back to the office or continue providing a remote work environment. It also unpacked the opportunities the global pandemic has afforded employees with disabilities as it relates to digital accessibility, mental health programs and better workplace flexibility. Presenting sponsors of the Forum are Prudential Financial and T-Mobile USA.

“The workplace will be fundamentally reshaped as a result of COVID-19, which means organizations must reimagine and reform their current structure in order to survive and succeed in the post-COVID era,” said NOD President Carol Glazer. “This won’t be easy, but I believe that the sharp focus on inequities this time, will provide greater opportunities for CEOs to be heard and be part of lasting positive change. It’s important everyone is at the table, that everyone is included moving forward. In the case of people with disabilities, we need to make sure we provide accessibility and accommodations so that everyone can be successful. I am proud to have our Corporate Leadership Council partners, Board members and other business leaders with us today. They are truly setting the standard on how to build diverse and inclusive workplaces for all.”

The segment, moderated by Rhonda Nesmith Crichlow, senior vice president and chief diversity office for Charter Communications and NOD board member, featured an impactful panel discussion with DiversityInc CEO Carolynn Johnson, Hilton CEO Christopher J. Nassetta, and Eli Lilly CEO David A. Ricks. The discussion hit on important topics such as leadership lessons learned during the pandemic, employee recruitment and retention, and the need for all employers to stay flexible and display empathy.  The CEOs also shared the need to continue to reimagine what the next normal is for the workplace for individuals with seen and unseen disabilities.

“During the last 18 months, we have witnessed business leaders steer their companies through a global pandemic while building more diverse and inclusive workplaces,” said Carolynn Johnson, CEO of DiversityInc.  “However, there is still more work to be done. Only 25 percent of the five million people with disabilities that hold a college degree have a job. If we have learned anything from this pandemic it is that companies can pivot, provide the digital accessibility tools for remote work, be more flexible and have empathy as we continue to navigate these unchartered waters.”

In addition, NOD President Carol Glazer presented three distinguished awards to the following honorees:

  • For the second year in a row, Kessler Foundation, a pillar in the disability community for its philanthropic support, received the Alan A. Reich Award for its exceptional contributions in disability inclusion.  From research and philanthropy to finding new ways for people to overcome great mobility challenges, the Foundations’ impact on society is inestimable. This award, named in honor of NOD’s founder who helped spark a movement to ensure people with disabilities were represented equally in all aspects of life, is given to an established leader who is advancing disability rights.  Accepting on behalf of the Foundation was Elaine E. Katz, Senior Vice President of Grants & Communications.
  • UPS, one of the most respected brands in the world, received the Charles F. Dey Award for their commitment to a workforce of inclusion, and in fact, was one of the first companies to take that goal seriously.  Their good work and support of long-term grant funding has made a significant difference for organizations. Nicole Clifton, Social Impact and The UPS Foundation President accepted the award on behalf of UPS.
  • Robert David Hall, acclaimed actor, role model and disability advocate, received the NOD Lifetime Achievement Award for his tenacity and powerful advocacy for people with disabilities.  He is the longest serving NOD board member and continues to make significant contributions for actors with disabilities and for the disability community, as a whole.  Robert David Hall was present to accept his Lifetime Achievement Award.

Sixy-seven organizations were honored as the 2021 NOD Leading Disability Employers for their exemplary hiring and employment practices for people with disabilities. Now in its seventh year, the NOD Leading Disability Employer Seal is awarded to the top performers on NOD’s Disability Employment Tracker, a free and confidential assessment that benchmarks companies’ disability inclusion programs.

Glazer added, “Congratulations to all of today’s award winners for creating an inclusive workplace that allows people with disabilities to be successful. NOD’s mission is to ensure that no ability is wasted, and that all Americans, especially those of us with disabilities, have an opportunity for enterprise, achievement and earnings; and that corporate America knows how to put our talents to work.”

Other Forum sponsors included: Platinum sponsor Charter Communications; Gold Sponsor Toyota Motors North America; Silver sponsor: The Coca-Cola Company; Bronze sponsors: Cox, General Motors, Kaiser Permanente, Kessler Foundation, Northrop Grumman, PSEG, Randstad and Wells Fargo.

 


About the Leading Disability Employer Seal + Disability Employment Tracker

To see current and past winners of the NOD Leading Disability Employer seal, visit www.NOD.org/seal.

To be considered for the 2022 NOD Leading Disability Employer seal, companies must complete the free and confidential Disability Employment Tracker assessment during the qualifying window. For more information and to sign up, visit www.NOD.org/tracker.

About National Organization on Disability (NOD)

The National Organization on Disability (NOD) is a private, non-profit organization that seeks to increase employment opportunities for the 80-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, Corporate Leadership Council and Disability Employment Tracker™ can help your business, visit www.NOD.org.

NOD SELECTED TO PARTNER WITH RUTGERS, SYRACUSE AND HARVARD UNIVERSITIES ON MAJOR DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT RESEARCH INITIATIVE

National study to examine how reshaping policies could help increase employment for people with disabilities and make it easier for them to advance their careers

NEW YORK (Sept. 30, 2021) – National Organization on Disability (NOD) President Carol Glazer today announced that, following a competitive process, NOD has been selected to partner with researchers from Rutgers, Syracuse and Harvard Universities to produce new scientifically rigorous and scalable data and evidence to meaningfully increase the employment of people with disabilities. A branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has established a Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) at Rutgers to study how reshaping employer policies could make it easier for people with disabilities to advance their careers.

Supported by $4.3 million over five years, the RRTC will bring together the Rutgers Program for Disability Research in the School of Management and Labor Relations, Rutgers Business School, Syracuse University, Harvard University and NOD. Disability:IN and Bender Consulting also will participate in the research project. Today’s announcement comes as the disability community prepares to celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month beginning October 1.

“For nearly 40 years, the National Organization on Disability has worked to advance employment opportunities for people with disabilities, through our work directly with leading employers and also through research,” said Glazer. “This new partnership working with these top universities will allow us to take that research to an entirely new level by providing a robust basis for understanding the causality underlying the relationship between disability practices and employment outcomes for people with disabilities.”

Over the next five years, the RRTC will design and implement a series of studies, using quasi-experimental and randomized control trials. This will provide valid, reliable and scalable metrics as to employment practices for people with disabilities across the employment life cycle, with particular consideration of post-COVID pandemic “new normal” business practices facing American businesses, their job applicants and new hires.

“The National Organization on Disability could not be more proud to join these distinguished partners to undertake this research that arrives at just the right time,” added Glazer. “Through the RRTC we will be able to better understand the pandemic’s impact on hiring decisions and provide employers access to new and practical knowledge that will lead to innovative paths to employment for people with disabilities with measurable outcomes.”

“The employment rate of people with disabilities has remained far too low, both before and during the pandemic,” said Distinguished Professor Douglas Kruse, co-director of the Rutgers Program for Disability Research in the School of Management and Labor Relations. “The collaboration with NOD is an exciting and unprecedented approach to develop solid evidence-based data on employer practices that can improve disability employment outcomes and help companies make use of underutilized human resources.”


About National Organization on Disability (NOD)

The National Organization on Disability (NOD) is a private, non-profit organization that seeks to increase employment opportunities for the 80-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, Leadership Council and Employment Tracker™ can help your business, visit www.NOD.org.

Media Contact:

Steve Aaron | SRA Communications | steve@sracommunications.com | 717-554-8614