New Data Reveal Tracking Disability in the Workforce Becoming Standard Practice among Leading Employers

Jun 16, 2016

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Latest Disability Employment Tracker™ Shows 9 in 10 Companies Now Invite Employees to Self-Identify as Having a Disability – a 100% Increase from 2014

NEW YORK  (June 16, 2016) – A new survey from the National Organization on Disability (NOD) finds that employers have taken major strides forward in learning about disability in their own workforce. The 2016 Disability Employment Tracker™ survey shows more than 90-percent of responding companies now invite employees to self-identify as having a disability, a 100% increase since the initial baseline Tracker in 2014 found less than half (44%) asked employees that same question.

“The fact that we have seen this remarkable spike in employer engagement, actually asking their employees about their disability status, is an important step in creating more inclusive workplaces, which will equate to more job opportunities for people with disabilities,” said NOD President Carol Glazer. “We created the Disability Employment Tracker three years ago because we know both employers and those who create public-policy look to NOD for trusted data that provides key insights on disability employment. More companies than ever are now taking the Tracker and rely on its findings to help them improve their hiring practices.”

Among other key findings from the 2016 Disability Employment Tracker™:

  • There has been a 20-point improvement in the rate of recruiters being trained on disability employment needs (65% vs. 44% in 2014)
  • 85% of 2016 respondents have a diversity champion whose responsibilities include driving the organization’s strategy on disability inclusion (up from 76% in 2014)
  • While improving, disability still lags behind general diversity initiatives in many areas. For example, there are significantly fewer employee resource groups that target employees with disabilities (58%) vs. other diversity groups (78%)

“What we are seeing is that employers are changing the conversation on disability. While disability has long been a taboo topic, companies are increasingly recognizing that thoughtfully addressing it is to mandatory for success and increasing diversity,” said Glazer. “There is no question the rule changes initiated by the Labor Department have kick-started these conversations inside the HR and compliance departments of many companies.”

The Disability Employment Tracker™ is a free tool for employers to confidentially assess their disability and veteran inclusion practices. Survey respondents receive a free and customized Disability Employment Tracker™ Scorecard that provides key benchmarks and leading practices in disability employment. The Tracker represents a diverse cross-section of employers, including representation from finance, manufacturing, healthcare services/pharmaceutical, commercial/professional services, technology and equipment, food/agriculture, and many others. About the respondents:

  • 41% Fortune 500 companies
  • 78% Federal contractors
  • Workforce size:
    • 28% > 50,000
    • 34% between 10,000 & 50,000
    • 13% between 1,000 & 10,000
    • 25% < 1,000

More About the Disability Employment Tracker™

The Disability Employment Tracker™ was developed by the National Organization on Disability, in partnership with the National Business and Disability Council at The Viscardi Center and Sirota Consulting, a leading provider of organizational assessments.

The partnering organizations conducted interviews and focus groups with dozens of employers, including many Fortune 500 companies, to develop a tool that is responsive to their needs, concise, and easy to use. The Tracker was introduced in 2013, with lead support from the Exelon Foundation and guidance from leading research firm J.D. Power, a business of S&P Global.

Tracker data was used to determine winners of the inaugural NOD Leading Disability Employer Seal, a public, annual recognition designed to both recognize and applaud those companies who are leading the way in disability hiring and to encourage others to consider the many benefits of making an inclusive workforce a priority.  NOD Leading Disability Employer Seal winners were revealed on June 9.

For companies interested in participating in the Tracker, simply visit www.NOD.org/Tracker.

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