National Organization on Disability Chairman, Gov. Tom Ridge, announces the 2017 Leading Disability Employer Seal winners. / NOD

NOD Announces 2017 Leading Disability Employers

The National Organization on Disability (NOD) has announced 45 organizations that have been selected to receive the 2017 NOD Leading Disability Employer Seal.

Now in its second year, the Seal recognizes companies that demonstrate exemplary employment practices for people with disabilities. This annual recognition is designed to applaud those organizations that are leading the way in disability hiring and to encourage additional companies to tap into the many benefits of hiring talent with disabilities, including strong consumer preference for companies that employ individuals with disabilities and greater employee engagement across the workforce.

“The National Organization on Disability is a labor-market leader with a mission to break down the wall that separates the abilities and aspirations of 57 million Americans from the avenues of opportunity, achievement, and fulfillment that come from productive employment,” said NOD Chairman Governor Tom Ridge. “We help America put ability to work. And so do the winners of this year’s NOD Leading Disability Employer Seal. We thank these leading companies for their commitment to building a disability inclusive workforce.”

Approximately 50 percent of the winners are 2017 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies:

Abbott (No. 10),Accenture(No. 14),Aetna (No. 31),Anthem (No. 20),AT&T (No. 3),The Boeing Company (Noteworthy Company),Comcast Corporation (No. 19),Eli Lilly and Company (No. 16),EY (No. 1),The Hershey Company (Noteworthy Company),Hilton (No. 30),Horizon BCBS of New Jersey (Top Regional Company),Kaiser Permanente (No. 2),KeyBank (No. 43),KPMG (No. 11),Marriott International (No. 8),MassMutual (Noteworthy Company), Nielsen (No. 32),Northrop Grumman (No. 29),Prudential Financial (No. 15),PwC (No. 4), andTD Bank (No. 38).

The winning organizations were announced at NOD’s annual disability employment forum, Inclusion by Design,sponsored by PwC and hosted by The Boeing Company and are being celebrated using the campaign hashtag #NODdisabilityemployer.

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 mousesensor, 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’sDisability 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 Trackerwas 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.

Click here for a complete list of 2017 Leading Disability Employer Seal winners.

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