Workforce Inclusion and Talent: Changing the Disability Paradigm with Carol Glazer of the National Organization on Disability

Oct 07, 2019 – In 2018, the unemployment rate for those with a disability was more than twice the rate of those without. How can employers build a more inclusive workforce?

Carol Glazer, President of the National Organization on Disability, discusses efforts to ensure people with disabilities live a well-rounded life, including access to meaningful employment.

Hosted by: Sheila Hyland Produced by: National Newsmakers Team

View on Comcast Newsmakers

These are the leading disability employers in 2019

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

October 1, 2019 | Lily Martis, Monster contributor

2019 Leading Disability Employer SealWhile 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.

The unemployment rate for workers with disabilities in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), was 8%—more than double that for those with no disability. While the unemployment rate for workers with disabilities has declined over the years—it was 14.5% in 2009, when the unemployment rate for persons with a disability was first reported by the BLS—there is still much more that needs to be done to help workers with disabilities find jobs.

Fortunately, some best-in-class employers are already leading the way in disability inclusion in the workplace. Every year, the National Organization on Disability (NOD) recognizes these top employers with a seal for not only leading the way in disability 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.

Below are the leading companies with jobs for people with disabilities in 2019. Listed in alphabetical order, these companies run the gamut from banks and insurance providers to manufacturers and health care companies.

Click through the links below to see if one of these companies would be a good fit for you.

Companies hiring workers with disabilities now:

  1. Accenture
  2. Aetna
  3. Anthem
  4. AT&T
  5. Barclays
  6. Department of Veterans Affairs Beckley Medical Center
  7. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
  8. Boeing
  9. Capital One
  10. Colorado Springs Utilities
  11. Comcast
  12. Cox Communications
  13. Disney
  14. Dow
  15. DTE Energy
  16. DXC Technology
  17. Eli Lilly and Company
  18. Ernst & Young (EY)
  19. FirstEnergy
  20. General Motors
  21. The Hershey Company
  22. Hilton
  23. Horizon BlueCross BlueShield of New Jersey
  24. Humana
  25. Idaho National Laboratory
  26. Kaiser Permanente
  27. KeyBank
  28. KPMG
  29. Lockheed Martin
  30. L’Oreal
  31. Marriott International
  32. Mayo Clinic
  33. Merck
  34. MGM Resorts
  35. Moffitt Cancer Center
  36. National Grid
  37. National Security Agency
  38. Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Keyport Division
  39. New Editions Consulting
  40. Northrop Grumman
  41. Old National Bank
  42. Procter & Gamble
  43. Project Hired
  44. Prudential Financial
  45. PwC
  46. Randstad
  47. Rangam Consultants
  48. Reed Smith
  49. SEI
  50. Sempra Energy
  51. Skookum Contract Services
  52. TD Bank
  53. Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
  54. TIAA
  55. T-Mobile
  56. S. Bank
  57. The Viscardi Center
  58. The Wehrman Collaborative (WeCo)
  59. Wells Fargo

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ABC Interview: Actor Danny Woodburn Advocates for People with Disabilities

Woodburn ABC still

September 27, 2019 | ABC 7 WJLA — Actor and disability advocate Danny Woodburn joined “Let’s Talk Live,” a Washington, D.C.-based morning show on the ABC Network, to tell share how the National Organization on Disability is recognizing 59 organizations for their outstanding hiring and employment practices for people with disabilities.

“It was phenomenal!” Danny Woodburn, who hosted NOD’s Leading Disability Employers Dinner said. “The purpose of the dinner was to acknowledge, recognize those companies—59 to be exact—with outstanding records for the hiring and the employment of people with disabilities.”


Learn more:

NOD Announces the 2019 ‘Leading Disability Employers’

Arlington, VA (September 26, 2019) – The National Organization on Disability (NOD) today announced fifty-nine organizations that have been named 2019 NOD Leading Disability Employers™. Now in its fourth year, the NOD Leading Disability Employer seal recognizes companies that demonstrate exemplary employment practices for people with disabilities. This annual recognition is designed to commend those organizations that are leading the way in disability hiring and to encourage additional companies to tap into the many benefits of hiring talent with disabilities, including strong consumer preference for companies that employ individuals with disabilities and greater employee engagement across the workforce.

The winning organizations were announced at NOD’s Corporate Leadership Council Annual Forum, Shifting the Talent Paradigm: Inclusive Culture for a Modern Workforce, hosted by lead sponsors PwC and Spectrum.

“These winning organizations understand that by harnessing the talents of people with disabilities, they reap the benefits of a more diverse and more productive workforce,” said NOD Chairman Governor Tom Ridge.  “The preeminent challenge before us is to ensure that people with disabilities enjoy full opportunity for employment, enterprise and earnings, and that employers know how to put their talents to work. These 59 organizations certainly have demonstrated they are doing just that, and we applaud their leadership and thank them for their commitment to hiring people with disabilities.”

The 2019 NOD Leading Disability Employers are:

Accenture

Aetna

Anthem, Inc.

AT&T

Barclays

Beckley Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

The Boeing Company

Capital One Financial

Colorado Springs Utilities

Comcast NBCUniversal

Cox Communications

The Walt Disney Company

The Dow Chemical

DTE Energy

DXC Technology

Eli Lilly and Company

Ernst & Young, LLP

FirstEnergy

General Motors

The Hershey Company

Hilton Worldwide

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey

Humana Inc.

Idaho National Laboratory

Kaiser Permanente

KeyBank

KPMG LLP

Lockheed Martin Corporation

L’Oréal USA

Marriott International, Inc.

Mayo Clinic

Merck

MGM Resorts International

Moffitt Cancer Center National Grid

National Grid

National Security Agency

Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division, Keyport

New Editions Consulting, Inc.

Northrop Grumman

Old National Bank

Procter & Gamble

Project HIRED

Prudential Financial

PwC

Randstad

Rangam Consultants Inc.

Reed Smith LLP

SEI Investments Company

Sempra Energy

Skookum Contract Services

TD Bank

Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)

TIAA

T-Mobile

U.S. Bancorp

The Viscardi Center

The Wehrman Collaborative (WeCo)

Wells Fargo & Company

The NOD Leading Disability Employer seal is awarded based on data furnished by companies in response to the NOD Disability Employment Tracker™, a free and confidential assessment that benchmarks companies’ disability inclusion programs in the following areas:

  • Climate & Culture
  • People Practices
  • Talent Sourcing
  • Workplace & Technology
  • Strategy & Metrics

While the Tracker is confidential, organizations may opt to be considered for the NOD Leading Disability Employer seal. 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.

To be considered for the 2020 NOD Leading Disability Employer seal, companies must complete the Disability Employment Tracker during the qualifying window.

Sign up to be notified when the 2019 Disability Employment Tracker opens this October. 

Steering the Winds of Change: A Summit on Leadership in Business, Academia, the Military, and Government

59 Companies Leading the Way in Hiring Talent with Disabilities Are Honored

National Organization on Disability Event also Featured Actors and Disability Advocates Danny Woodburn (Seinfeld) and Robert David Hall (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation)

NEW YORK (September 26, 2019) – More than 200 diversity and inclusion leaders from companies around the country gathered at the National Organization on Disability’s (NOD) Annual Forum and Dinner, entitled Shifting the Talent Paradigm: Inclusive Culture for a Modern WorkforceSponsored by Lead Partners PwC and Spectrum, the all-day forum explored the best change management tactics that corporate leaders can deploy to create a more diverse and inclusive culture. Senior managers heard from executives and experts on the most effect tools and tactics to create an inclusive culture, as well as the leadership skills and personal attributes needed to lead a culture change.

Later in the evening, an awards dinner was held featuring actors and disability advocates Danny Woodburn (Seinfeld) and Robert David Hall (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation). Civic and business leaders also joined in the celebration, including Gov. Tom Ridge, first Secretary of Homeland Security and NOD Chairman, and DiversityInc’s Chairman and Founder Luke Visconti, who serves as the NOD Vice Chairman.

“Events such as this one hosted by the National Organization on Disability are critical because the subject of diversity and inclusion is often exclusive of people with disabilities,” said Woodburn, who serves as co-vice chair of the SAG-AFTRA People with Disabilities Committee. “This is particularly personal for me and my colleagues in Hollywood, because although people with disabilities make up more than 20 percent of our population, they are still significantly under-represented on television and film. Compounding the problem is the fact that even when characters with disabilities are featured on the small screen, they are far more too often played by actors without disabilities. This creates a 98% unemployment rate in my business, well above the national average of 67% for people with disabilities.”

“Danny and I have worked together for years to support opportunities for actors with disabilities, like us,” said Hall, a longtime NOD board member. “So we are privileged to attend events like this one that recognizes employers who not only embrace hiring people with disabilities, they see it as fundamental to their success. It’s a message we need to amplify in Hollywood.”

Starting a new tradition, NOD honored two individuals with special awards. The Kaitlin A. Geraghty Memorial Prize was given to Deanna Ferrante, a rising student in the University of Massachusetts-Amherst Class of 2020. Named in honor of the late NOD intern who was much admired and missed, this award is bestowed to an up-and-coming disability advocate who shares Kaitlin’s passion for working towards the full inclusion of people with disabilities.

Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation, was the inaugural honoree of the Alan A. Reich Award, for enshrining disability inclusion into all of the organization’s operations—from its building accessibility to its grant making. Given to an established leader who is advancing disability rights, this award is 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.

Then, 59 organizations were honored as the 2019 NOD Leading Disability Employers™ for their exemplary hiring and employment practices for people with disabilities. Now in its fifth 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.

“These winning organizations understand that by harnessing the talents of people with disabilities, they reap the benefits of a more diverse and more productive workforce,” said NOD Chairman Governor Tom Ridge. “The preeminent challenge before us is to ensure that people with disabilities enjoy full opportunity for employment, enterprise and earnings, and that employers know how to put their talents to work. These 59 organizations certainly have demonstrated they are doing just that, and we applaud their leadership and thank them for their commitment to hiring people with disabilities.”

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 2020 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.

“Seinfeld” actor’s mission to raise awareness about disability rights

Sept. 26, 2019 – Washington, D.C. – Danny Woodburn shared his mission to raise awareness for inclusion and understanding of people with disabilities.  Later in the day Woodburn will host NOD’s Annual Forum + Dinner, where the 2019 NOD Leading Disability Employers™ will be recognized for their exemplary hiring and employment practices for people with disabilities. On Good Day DC, Woodburn shared a few of the local employers that earned the title.

NOD Meets with Six U.S. Senators to Focus Attention on Increasing Employment Opportunities for Americans with Disabilities

NOD Special Assistant Charles Edouard Catherine, Sen. Toomey, and NOD Chairman Gov. Tom Ridge
NOD Special Assistant Charles Edouard Catherine, Sen. Toomey, and NOD Chairman Gov. Tom Ridge

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 31, 2019) – Recently, the National Organization on Disability (NOD) met with a slate of U.S. Senators to focus attention on the critical issue of employment for people with disabilities. Meetings were held with Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Susan Collins (R-ME), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Robert Portman (R-OH), Mitt Romney (R-UT), and Pat Toomey (R-PA).

The dialogues were led by NOD’s Chairman, Gov. Tom Ridge, and Special Assistant, Charles Edouard Catherine, who voiced support for increasing competitive, integrated employment opportunities for the 33 million working-aged Americans with disabilities. A key priority of these meetings was to raise awareness about the efforts to phase out 14(c) certificates, which allow employers to pay workers with disabilities sub-minimum wage.

Several efforts are underway to end subminimum wages, including the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act, introduced by Sens. Bob Casey (D-PA) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Reps. Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA).

“Increasing the employment of people with disabilities is a bipartisan issue and I greatly appreciate Gov. Ridge’s efforts to secure support for my Transformation to Competitive Employment Act,” Senator Casey stated. “Increasing the number of people with disabilities in competitive integrated employment will not only increase their economic self-sufficiency, it will also make our labor force stronger.”

With the unemployment rate at historically low levels and companies eager for talent, the time is right to ensure Americans with disabilities have a full and equal chance to participate in the workforce.

NOD, along with many allied disability organizations, will continue to pursue legislative and administrative efforts that address the vital issue of ensuring meaningful employment for the disability community.

From left: Charles, Sen. Romney and Gov. Ridge
NOD Special Assistant Charles Edouard Catherine, Sen. Romney, and NOD Chairman Gov. Tom Ridge
From left: Charles. Sen. Collins and Gov. Ridge
NOD Special Assistant Charles Edouard Catherine, Sen. Collins, and NOD Chairman Gov. Tom Ridge

NOD Statement on the 29th Anniversary of the ADA

The National Organization on Disability was in its eighth year when the Americans With Disabilities Act became law in July 1990. The ADA gave new impetus to the disability movement and a fresh public awareness of the critical issue of the employment of people with disabilities. NOD has made that issue our singular focus.

When he signed the ADA into law, President George H.W. Bush delivered a purposeful message to corporate America saying, “You have in your hands the key to the success of this Act, for you can unlock a splendid resource of untapped human potential that, when freed, will enrich us all.”


This is the first time the nation celebrates an ADA anniversary without its original champion, President Bush, who we were proud to call NOD’s Honorary Chairman until his passing last November. We pause to remember and honor his remarkable legacy.

President Bush considers the ADA one of his crowning achievements, yet as he shared with our Chairman Tom Ridge in 2015, the ADA requires employers to give people with disabilities a chance. With few exceptions, U.S. employers are still not hiring larger numbers of people with disabilities than they did in 1990. We have yet to unlock that potential President Bush spoke of when signing the ADA 29 years ago.

At NOD, we envision a future where employers will be rewarded by the high productivity, problem-solving abilities and diversity of thinking that people with disabilities bring to the workforce. On the day we commemorate the ADA, we are reminded of the reason we were created: To see to it that no ability is wasted, and that everyone has a full and equal chance to play a part in our national progress.

George H.W. Bush wanted more for people with disabilities

President George H.W. Bush signs the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, 1990.
President George H.W. Bush signs the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, 1990.

OPINION | By Tom Ridge July 23, 2019

When commemorative events are held this week to recognize the anniversary of the ADA — the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act — it will be the first such anniversary without the man arguably most responsible for its existence. The nation lost President George H.W. Bush last November. As vice president under Ronald Reagan, and later as president, he personally championed and eventually signed the ADA into law in July 1990. Later in life, when President Bush used a wheelchair himself, he considered the civil rights legislation among his greatest accomplishments. I know this because he told me, when the two of us spoke in his Houston office for a video created to mark the law’s 25th anniversary in 2015.

Think of it. A man who was among the youngest to fly Navy fighter jets in World War II and who skillfully guided the United States out of the Cold War — among countless other accomplishments during a remarkable career of public service — recognized the significance of the ADA for its lasting impact and reach and considered it one of his crowning achievements. Lex Frieden, who at the time of the ADA’s passage was the director of the National Council on Disability and arguably equally as responsible for the ADA as President Bush said, “George Bush will be viewed by people with disabilities and their families as the Abraham Lincoln of their experience.”

I’m not sure Congress could pass legislation like the ADA today. It required strong bipartisan work — with lawmakers reaching across party lines to find compromise — and was passed by strong majorities in both parties. As a congressman at the time from northwest Pennsylvania, I was proud to be among them.

But as Frieden would explain in interviews over the years, the legislation got its start thanks to a commitment George Bush made as vice president to help if he ever found himself in a position to do so. He certainly delivered.

Yet President Bush shared with me his personal disappointment that the ADA has not fully delivered on all it promised. When he stood on the South Lawn of the White House on July 26, 1990, moments before putting pen to paper, President Bush delivered a purposeful message to corporate America. He told the business community, “You have in your hands the key to the success of this Act, for you can unlock a splendid resource of untapped human potential that, when freed, will enrich us all.”

He reminded the business community that they themselves had called for new sources of workers, and encouraged them to hire people with disabilities to fill those needs, as they would “bring diversity, loyalty, and only one request: the chance to prove themselves.”

Sound familiar? Nearly 30 years later, we find ourselves at near full employment, and employers large and small are scrambling to find sources of talent. But despite record low unemployment, a survey of nearly 200 companies that collectively employ more than 9.5 million people reveals that, with few exceptions, U.S. employers are still not hiring larger numbers of people with disabilities than they did in 1990. We have yet to unlock that potential President Bush spoke of when signing the ADA.

A closer look at those survey results, released in late May by the National Organization on Disability, provides some clues. While 98 percent of companies report that overall diversity — in categories such as gender, race and sexual orientation — is promoted publicly by a senior leader, that number falls precipitously to 76 percent for disability. Nearly 9 in 10 companies maintain employee resource groups focused on diversity, while only 64 percent have similar ERGs for disability. And when it comes to hiring, barely half focus on campus recruiting for students with disabilities and only 42 percent create internships for that same population. The various approaches to hiring people with disabilities all fall to the bottom of the list, despite how frequently we hear that hiring is their biggest goal.

So while we are seeing more employers embracing the notion that they cannot afford to miss out on quality talent — as President Bush implored — these ideas are not translating into hiring numbers for people with disabilities. Many employers either have not made it a priority or simply have not been able to figure it out.

Until they do, the ADA will not fully have been realized. That is why the National Organization on Disability is convening regular meetings with a dozen of the leading disability groups across the country, bringing our powerful resources together to find meaningful solutions. We must continue to work as partners with the business community, as well as hold federal contractors accountable for meeting reasonable hiring goals.

This is not about charity. Businesses that prioritize hiring people with disabilities report the positive impacts to culture and the bottom line. There are 20 million Americans with disabilities who are ready to work — who are ready to bring their ingenuity, tenacity and creativity to the workforce. To honor President Bush’s legacy, let’s make sure when we celebrate the ADA’s 30th anniversary this time next year that we’ve moved closer to realizing his vision.

Ridge, the 43 rd governor of Pennsylvania and first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, is chairman of the National Organization on Disability. 

Read on The Houston Chronicle

Apple announces ‘disability-themed emojis’ to arrive in the fall

July 17, 2019, 12:30 PM EDT |By Ben Kesslen

In a move to bring “more diversity to the keyboard,” Apple released new “disability-themed” emojis Tuesday that will be available in the fall.

Users of iPhones will soon be able to send a guide dog, an ear with a hearing aid, a person in a wheelchair, a prosthetic arm and a prosthetic leg, among other new options.

New emojis of people with disabilities

“Celebrating diversity in all its many forms is integral to Apple’s values and these new options help fill a significant gap in the emoji keyboard,” the company said, unveiling the new designs ahead of World Emoji day on Wednesday.

The emojis have been in the works for a while. Apple proposed the designs last fall to the Unicode Consortium, a nonprofit that sets the standards for emojis.

The announcement has been praised by many on social media as an important moment for inclusion for people with disabilities.

“Representation matters and for those living with MS, some of whom have visible disabilities, this is an important way for them to feel included and seen,” said Cyndi Zagieboylo, president and CEO of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Sharron Rush, the executive director of Knowbility, a nonprofit that works to make technology more inclusive for people with disabilities, praised Apple’s decision, calling the company “a leader among tech companies in considering the needs of people with disabilities.” Rush said she hopes Apple uses to the disability-themed emojis as a “new foundation” on which to build technology that works and represents those living with disabilities.

The National Organization on Disability (NOD), a nonprofit that focuses on employment issues for people with disabilities, agrees, but added their organization is hoping for more than keyboard representation.

“These new emojis will enable one billion people with disabilities around the world to more fully and authentically express themselves,” NOD’s director of external affairs, Priyanka Ghosh, said in a statement to NBC News. “Perhaps corporate America can also seize upon these new icons to embed disability seamlessly into their everyday lexicons, enabling employees to better communicate with each other and build more disability-inclusive cultures.”

Apple also announced that along with the disability-themed emojis, users will soon be able to personalize the hand-holding couple emojis, opening up more than 75 combinations for the couple’s race and gender.

Read on NBC News