The Importance of Disability Disclosure Among Leadership
People with disabilities and chronic illnesses continue to be underrepresented in the corporate world. We know this because the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is more than double that of non disabled individuals.
Yet, it has been proven that disability inclusion in the workplace helps businesses both economically and culturally.
According to Accenture’s report Enabling Change, Getting to Equal 2020: Disability Inclusion, “companies led by executives who are focused on disability engagement are growing sales (2.9x) and profits (4.1x) faster than their peers.”
Just two years earlier in the Disability Inclusion Advantage Report by Disability:IN and Accenture, it was noted that disability inclusion champions achieved 28% higher revenue, 2x net income, 90% higher retention, and a 72% increase in employee productivity.
These numbers are too great to ignore.
Companies are aware of, or should be aware of, the benefits of hiring from this population. Yet, a recent study by the National Organization on Disability indicates that only 13% of companies in the U.S. have reached the Department of Labor’s target of having 7% disability representation in their workforce. Why?
If over 60% of the U.S. population suffers from a chronic illness or disability, there is a clear gap in the number of people who actually disclose.
In the Enabling Change Report mentioned above, it was found that leaders with disabilities aren’t always transparent about their illness or disability. This survey found that “the majority of employees (76%) and leaders (80%) with a disability are not fully transparent about it.”
If we don’t see leadership standing up as role models and mentors, people will not feel comfortable disclosing.
There is a wonderful organization called The Valuable 500 which is a “global CEO community revolutionising disability inclusion through business leadership and opportunity”. If you are a leader with a disability, or one that cares about representation in your organization, this is a great company for you to check out.
Now, time to get a bit personal here. I am someone who lives with Chronic Lyme Disease, ADHD, Hypothyroidism, and POTS. I am also someone who is the CEO of a growing company. It is my personal duty as someone living with a chronic illness/disability to stand up and be an advocate and role model so that others can see that they are CAPABLE of finding and retaining meaningful work opportunities.
Your voice matters. Your story matters.
If this article has resonated with you, I encourage you to reach out to us. We are constantly looking to grow our employer partnerships and bring on more inclusive organizations to support the tens of thousands of job seekers in the Chronically Capable network who are looking to get hired. Only 1.3% of our job seekers have found other job platforms helpful in their job search. These applicants are looking for inclusive employers like you to believe in them, hire them, retain them, promote them. Our community wants to see companies who are capable of being change makers.
NDEAM celebrates both the past and present contributions of workers with disabilities in America. Importantly, NDEAM serves as a mechanism through which supportive and inclusive employment practices and policies for all workers, especially those who have a disability(s) can be showcased, advocated for, and encouraged.
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While many of us know the benefits of closed captions, many Zoom users still have not enabled closed captions. While this used to only be offer to 'paid' Zoom accounts, the company announced earlier this year that closed captions would be available to all Zoom users, regardless of plan type.