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Disability Benchmarks


Benchmarks and trends in corporate employment practices aggregated from companies participating in the 2017 Disability Employment Tracker™, NOD’s confidential, annual survey.

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The Disability Employment Tracker™ examines five essential inclusion areas:

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

To discover how businesses are progressing in their disability inclusion journey:

The NOD Disability Employment Maturity Curve: 1. Exploration; 2. Compliance; 3. Competence; 4. Competitive Advantage 


In 2017, the Tracker measured practices and outcomes of 175+ companies—that together employ over 10.1 million workers.

1,000 or less employees: 5%; 1,000 - 10,00 employees: 23%; 10,000 - 50,000 employees: 44%; 50,000+ employees: 28%


The most important disability inclusion driver is getting and keeping talent.

Progress is slow: On average, workforce representation of people with disabilities is below the Dept. of Labor target of 7%; only 7% of companies have reached that target.

3.2% Average percentage of employees identifying as having a disability

Certain industries are leading the way in adopting disability inclusion best practices. The 2017 performance average of all companies is 62 percent.

Pharma/biotech: 69%; Transport/Comm/Utilities: 68%; Energy: 64%; Services: 64%; Financial Services: 63%; Hospitals & Healthcare: 62%; Insurance: 60%; Manufacturing: 56%; Consumer Products/Retail: 46%


Companies with a higher than average representation of people with disabilities (> 4%) share these practices:

Strategy & Metrics: Senior leaders discuss/publicly promote overall diversity; Plan for improving disability inclusion practices; Diversity champion accountable to drive disability strategy. Culture & Climate: Employee/business resource groups or affinity groups; Disability-specific employee/business resource group with annual budget. Talent Sourcing: Recruiters know how to find accommodation process. People Practices: Post-offer and pre-employment, new hires asked if accommodation needed. Workplace & Technology: Universal design principles applied in new facility buildouts.


Disability still lags behind overall diversity in some areas, like employee resources groups and public promotion by senior leaders.

Employee Resource Groups: Diversity, 93%; Disability, 59%. Senior Leaders Public Promotion: Diversity, 94%; Disability, 77%.
Hard measures, including managers’ and employees’ performance reviews, are not being used to drive accountability for developing disability inclusion skills.

Performance reviews include disability: Managers', 25%; Employees' 18%.

Communication campaigns to raise disability self-identification rates not widely used and not generating expected outcomes, suggesting improvements are needed.

Implemented a disability self-ID campaign: 55%; If yes, self-ID rates increase: 42%.
Strong use of community partnerships to source talent with disabilities, but companies are not seeing hiring results.

Has community partners to source candidates with disabilities: 80%; Has hired candidates sourced from these community partners: 53%


Veteran inclusion practices are trending high, but target employment outcomes remain low.

22% of companies reporting workforce representation of veterans of 7% or more (Dept. of Labor benchmark 6.9%)
Track status in HRIS: 86%; Track ratio of veterans hired to all hires: 81%



Haven’t taken the Tracker yet? Sign up today. Access extensive benchmarking and leading practices customized to your business goals with the Disability Inclusion Accelerator.

The Disability Employment Tracker™ was developed in partnership with The National Business and Disability Council at The Viscardi Center and Mercer-Sirota.