NOD Rallies for Companies to Commit to More Diverse and Inclusive Workforces in 2022

Annual Employment Tracker Reveals an Increase in Hiring People with Disabilities, While Self-ID Rates Decrease

 

NEW YORK (December 8, 2021) – The National Organization on Disability (NOD) is encouraging all companies to look closer at the 80-percent of working age Americans with disabilities who are not employed and to make disability inclusion part of their overall business strategy in 2022. While recent reports and results from NOD’s annual Employment Tracker are trending positive with an increase in people with disabilities entering the workforce over the last 12 months, self-identification (self-ID) rates have decreased from 4.09 in 2020 to 3.68 in 2021.

The NOD Employment Tracker is the only free assessment tool available that focuses on the workforce, to help companies better gain a deeper understanding of how their key business practices correlate to improved talent outcomes related to hiring, retention and tenure. Companies can access the free NOD Disability Employment Tracker here.

“I am cautiously optimistic and encouraged by the latest reports that show the labor force participation rate for working-aged people with disabilities has increased by 11.3 percent over the past year,” said NOD President Carol Glazer. “This is tremendous progress for the disability community and for that we need to celebrate.  However, we can’t stop here. There is more work to be done to ensure that all people with disabilities feel comfortable identifying with a disability, no matter their type of disability or the environment within which they work.”

 

In its ninth year – and with companies who together employ more than 10 million Americans already taking the annual survey – the NOD Employment Tracker assists companies to make disability inclusion part of their overall business strategy and to find the right talent while removing inclusion barriers for good.  According to the 2021 Employment Tracker report, employers that track not only self-ID rates, but other talent outcome metrics, such as promotions of employees with disabilities, demonstrated self-identification rates three times higher than those that only examined self-ID.

The Tracker data also showed NOD’s Leadership Council members performed better and were more effective at implementing best practices, programs, and policies. Specifically, these members have 38% higher self ID rates and are better than non-members at adopting the most effective disability inclusion practices.

Glazer added, “I would encourage all employers to take advantage of our Employment Tracker to access how they benchmark against more than 200 participating companies and receive pertinent information to create a diverse and inclusive workforce.”

 

For 2022, NOD will continue to partner with Talmetrix, a national employee feedback, research and insights company. By using recent market research, the two organizations created a dynamic disability benchmarking tool that provides companies with the cutting-edge, outcome-based data metrics they need to build a more inclusive workforce, which is proven to enhance innovation and increase engagement with employees and customers.

 

Companies who complete the Tracker by March 11, 2022 will receive a free Scorecard report, benchmarking their performance against all other participants in key workforce inclusion areas: (Strategy, Talent Outcome Metrics, Climate & Culture, Talent Sourcing, People Practices, Workplace Tools & Accessibility, and Veterans (optional). The 2022 Scorecard reports will be available for participating companies in early summer 2022. In addition to receiving this powerful benchmarking tool, top performing companies are eligible to compete for NOD’s annual Leading Disability Employer Seal.  A list of the 2021 Leading Disability Employers can be found here.

 

ABOUT NATIONAL ORGANIZATION ON DISABILITY 

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.

Are We Beginning to Narrow the Gap on Disability Inclusion in the Workplace?

By Carol Glazor, President of NOD

 

After decades of seeing no real change, something finally may be shifting, and more people with disabilities are finding jobs.

NOD’s 2021 Employment Tracker shows that the percentage of new hires with disabilities among major employers is increasing. While the numbers are still too low, it is more progress than we have seen in a generation.

I believe the reason is a convergence of a few things. The constant drumbeat about the need for disability inclusiveness in the workforce from organizations such as ours. People with disabilities also have been caught in the more recent rising tide of awareness about discrimination and inequity, along with other marginalized groups.

Even though people with disabilities are disproportionately represented in low-wage, high-contact jobs that can’t be done remotely, others of us who for years asked for remote work as an accommodation, won that right during the pandemic.

And there’s always the economy. While job openings reached historically high levels in the spring, businesses are scrambling to find workers. Increasingly, they’re turning to previously-untapped labor sources.

We still have a long way to go, especially as nearly 1 million people with disabilities lost their jobs during the beginning months of COVID. But the numbers are ticking upward. The labor force participation rate for working-age people with disabilities increased from 32.7 percent in September 2020 to 36.4 percent in September 2021, up 11.3 percent or 3.7 percentage points. For people without disabilities, the labor force participation rate also increased, but at a much lower rate — only 0.8 percentage points, from 75.7 percent in 2020 to 76.5 percent in September 2021.

In other good signs, NOD’s Leadership Council made up of companies seeking to better their disability workforce numbers, added eleven new members in 2021, the largest increase we’ve seen since the Council was created. The number of companies filling out our Employment Tracker survey that gauges performance in disability workforce inclusion increased by 20%, to a new high of 228 companies.

And we could see even bigger gains. The Biden administration is focused on increasing funding for “Home and Community-Based Services,” which will allow more people with disabilities to get and hold jobs, and is asking Congress to provide grants to states to phase out subminimum wages for people with disabilities.

This is all positive, and as we close out National Disability Employment Awareness Month, I am happy to have more to say this year than the usual list of apprehensions and negative statistics about job numbers. This is no time to celebrate, however. More companies need to include everyone when they have job openings, and Congress needs to act on behalf of people with disabilities.