The Disability Equality Index examined progress in disability inclusion at work.

Even as employers appear to make progress on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) employment numbers, the World Economic Forum reports that just 4% of global businesses prioritize disability inclusivity, despite 90% expressing a commitment to diversity, according to The Valuable 500.

Disability:IN, an organization that works to bring “disability inclusion and equality” to the forefront of diversity initiatives, released their eighth annual Disability Equality Index (DEI) Report on July 19. The 2022 report reviewed the disability inclusion progress of 415 companies—including ADP, Comcast NBCUniversal, and Boston Scientific, who have perfect scores—representing more than 14.9 million employees in the US and 8.8 million globally.

Companies that elect to participate in the DEI report are graded on an 100-point scale that assesses their workplace accessibility, inclusive employment practices, and disability inclusion at all levels, including in leadership. Despite the progress made toward disability inclusion, the results suggest businesses may still be struggling to encourage employees to openly identify as disabled, which is key to belonging.

Keys to inclusion. Some 79% of employers include disability in their diversity statements, according to the DEI Report. Of participating companies:

79% have employee retention and advancement programs that focus on or include employees with disabilities.
62% require that their digital products be accessible to job candidates and employees.
61% make all job interview candidates aware of the option to request accommodations when interviewing.

Of the employers that participated in the DEI study, 96% offer flexible work arrangements, which Jill Houghton, president and CEO of Disability:IN, told HR Brew is, “something that we, as people with disabilities, have been asking for for decades.” (While the majority of DEI participants have adopted flexible work arrangements, some other employers are trying, somewhat unsuccessfully, to move back to a rigid in-office schedule.)