Tips for Leadership

  • Some people fail to see the contribution that employees with disabilities can make at all levels of an organization. This message reminds managers and supervisors that disability inclusiveness is key to your organization's success.
  • Real stories of people within your workplace are always powerful. Celebrate the success of your current employees and leaders who have disabilities. Remember, these stories should not focus on what the person does despite a disability. Rather, they should focus on what the employee does well and that disability is part of who they are.
  • Disability-themed employee resource groups can be an excellent source to craft and deliver disability inclusiveness messages. If you have such a group, recruit them to help you craft this message or to deliver the messages themselves either through quotes or video clips.
  • The disability statistics we present for this topic can change depending on the data set used. Different data sets may use different definitions of disability or collect disability data over a broader life-span. The data used here are based on non-institutionalized adults between the ages of 18 – 65. This data set is most likely to represent the population of working Americans.

Topic 1. Messages

Did you know? Disability and Diversity
About 55 million Americans and about one billion people across the globe have a disability. Individuals with disabilities are one of the largest diversity groups in our workplace. Disability covers a wide range of health conditions. Some of these are obvious to others, others may not be obvious. Today, individuals with disabilities are fully capable of contributing to (COMPANY NAME)'s workforce at all levels of our workforce. What does this mean to our business? About 20% of our potential talent, our current workforce and our customers have a disability. And this number is likely to grow, both in the U.S. and across the globe. This means that individuals with disabilities are a key source of talent and a key market segment for (COMPANY NAME). Disability inclusiveness matters for our success.


Disability inclusiveness matters at (COMPANY NAME)
At (COMPANY NAME), disability inclusiveness is about leveraging talent. It's about valuing the contributions of all our employees. It's about reaching our markets. It's about what's good for our business. Here's why:

  1. We need to leverage the full range of talent. In today's business climate, getting talent has become key to our business success. We need to access the full range of talent available to us, including individuals with disabilities.
  2. We need to send a message to our current employees. Research shows that people want to stay in workplaces where values matter. Disability inclusiveness sends a message about what we value as a business. This is a message heard by not only our communities and customers. It's also heard by our employees.
  3. We need to optimize performance. We need to support all employees in their efforts to do their best work. Often, this support comes in the form of workplace accommodations. Accommodations are changes that enable people to do their jobs better. Research shows accommodations are a cost-effective way to retain talent and improve performance.
  4. We need to reach markets. To stay connected with our markets, we need to make sure our workforce reflects our customers. Twenty percent of (COMPANY NAME)'s customers have a disability; 30% of our customers have an immediate family member with a disability. To reach the full range of our markets, we need to include a disability voice in the design of our products/services and in how we go to market.


Want to learn more?

If you want to learn more about this topic, contact the Northeast ADA Center.

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