National Organization on Disability Seeks to Recognize Leading Disability Employers with a new Seal of Approval
Sunday’s Golden Globes show in Los Angeles ushered in the start of Hollywood’s annual awards season. That community enjoys celebrating the public recognition for accomplishments in the performing and visual arts. At the National Organization on Disability (NOD), which advises corporate America on ways they can improve disability inclusion in their workforce, they too want to celebrate achievement. So they are borrowing a page from Hollywood and have decided to create their own award of sorts.
“We are thrilled to announce the new Disability Employer Seal of Approval,” said NOD President Carol Glazer from her office in lower Manhattan. “We think this is more than an award. It’s a very public acknowledgment that certain companies have made disability hiring a priority and are doing it right. NOD wants to celebrate their success and let people who interact with their brand know about it. It’s a mark of distinction we hope all companies will aspire to achieve.”
Glazer notes that with labor shortages looming, a growing number of leading companies are recognizing that people with disabilities represent an often untapped, and in many cases highly educated, potential talent pool. As companies look for ways to distinguish themselves as employers of choice for people with disabilities, Glazer says this new seal of approval is a logical next step to shine a very bright light on those all across the country who are doing it best.
“Those chosen will receive promotional materials they can use on their website, social media and on signage so that people who interact with their brand including prospective employees know they have made this a priority and are deserving of the National Organization on Disability seal,” said Glazer.
Andy Traub, who manages NOD’s professional services, says companies must register for and complete NOD’s Disability Employment Tracker, a free tool for employers to confidentially assess their disability inclusion practices. New in 2016, participants will receive the free Disability Employment Tracker ScoreCard that gives companies benchmarks in four key areas and selected leading practices in disability employment. The 2016 Tracker survey is live through March 2, 2016. Seal winners will be announced in the spring. Completion of the Tracker continues to be a requirement for the DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for People with Disabilities list.
“The Disability Employment Tracker is a great way for companies to look at how they stack up in including this important talent segment in their workforce and to identify opportunities to improve their practices,” said Traub.
Traub says the Seal will be awarded annuallyto companies that are meeting performance thresholds in the areas of identifying and sourcing talent; on- boarding; performance management; corporate climate and culture; and tracking and measurement. Selection will be data driven and companies will need to re-qualify each year for the Seal.
The National Organization on Disability expects many FORTUNE 1000 companies to seek this new recognition.
Glazer adds that as one of the first cross-disability organizations in the United States, NOD has proudly taken its responsibility as an advocate for disability inclusion very seriously for more than 30 years. “This new Seal of Approval is a logical next step for us,” she said. “Not only will we be assisting more companies than ever before in 2016 in developing and improving their disability hiring practices, we now also want to shine a very bright light on those all across the country who already are doing it best.”
To sign up for the Disability Employment Tracker and qualify for Seal consideration, companies can visit www.nod.org/tracker. To date, nearly 90 companies already have taken the Tracker from industry sectors ranging from banking and telecom to insurance and retail.