According to a Pew Research Study, Americans with disabilities earn less than 70 percent of the median earnings for those without a disability. The median earnings of a person with a disability in 2015 was $21,572, compared to $31,872 for a person without a disability.
The study also reported lower rates of technology adoption. Nearly a quarter of those who identified as having a disability reported they never go online and are less likely to own a traditional computer, smartphone or tablet.
However, limited income can play a factor when it comes to buying informative or specialized technology. According to Pew, a head-mounted mouse, a wireless mouse sensor, costs 10 times more than a typical mouse, including a large keyboard that can cost 5 times as much as a standard keyboard. Meanwhile, A braille computer keyboard costs over $3,000, whereas a standard PC keyboard can be as little as $14.99.
However, what is more important is the ability of employers to recognize potential and untapped talent by creating progressive practices that allow individuals with disabilities to thrive in corporate settings.
The NOD Leading Disability Employer Seal is awarded based on data furnished by companies in response to NOD's Disability Employment Tracker, a free, confidential, online assessment and benchmarking of companies' disability inclusion programs in the following areas:
- Climate & Culture
- People Practices
- Talent Sourcing
- Workplace & Technology
- Strategy & Metrics
While the Tracker is confidential, organizations may opt to be considered for the NOD Leading Disability Employer Seal. Responses are scored, taking into account both disability employment practices and performance. Scoring prioritizes practices that are associated with increased disability employment outcomes over time, and companies receive additional points based on the percentage of people with disabilities in their workforce.
The Disability Employment Tracker was developed by NOD in partnership with the National Business and Disability Council (NBDC) at The Viscardi Center and Mercer | Sirota. Offered annually, the Tracker was introduced in 2013 with lead support from the Exelon Foundation and guidance from leading research firm J.D. Power.
To be considered for the 2018 NOD Leading Disability Employer Seal, companies must complete the Disability Employment Tracker during the qualifying window. Pre-register now for the 2018 Disability Employment Tracker, opening Oct. 1, 2017, or sign up to be notified when the 2018 qualifying window opens.