A Summary of Private Sector Practices
Companies that include disability in their diversity inclusion plans recognize that the ‘gold standard’ of full inclusion may start with a reasonable accommodation plan, but sets as their ultimate goal an inclusive design that supports every employee on a career continuum. Inclusive design starts with the application process to ensure everyone enters through the same “door” in an easy and seamless way. All individuals with or without disabilities independently access and navigate through the applicant page on the company’s website.
At EY, accommodations are not a “favor”, nor are they mainly a legal requirement. We make adjustments in how, where, and when work gets done for individuals with differing abilities for a simple business reason – so that each of our people, regardless of physical, cognitive, or mental health abilities can do his best work.
—Lori B. Golden,
Abilities Strategy Leader, Americas Talent Team, Ernst & Young, LLP
Inclusive physical and electronic access is another key factor contributing to the new employee’s success. Inclusive access draws upon the principles of Universal Design and focuses on creating systems to enable all job applicants, employees, clients, contractors, customers and visitors to feel welcome and comfortable. Inclusive access allows all employees to maximize productivity and enjoy the full benefits of employment. Universal design principles apply to physical space, equipment, information technology applications and company benefits. Recognizing that the “gold standard” is an ideal for which to strive, disability inclusive employers implement reasonable accommodation policies and procedures for the entire employment process from recruitment through advancement and retention.
Effective Private Industry Accommodation Policies & Practices
- A high level cross discipline team develops an enterprise-wide process to handle reasonable accommodation requests through a centralized funding source
- A centralized call center with 1-800 phone number staffed with a subject matter expert in accommodations and ADA policy requirements
- Employees and management engage in an interactive process to evaluate the entire environment and find the right, common-sense thing to do
- Employees and management understand that accommodations are provided not only in the office-based locations, but also at off-site company and client meetings
- All needed supports are provided to enable employees to productively conduct business travel nationally and internationally
- Company-wide accessibility and accommodation initiatives include not only improvements to the physical building facilities but also for electronic information, websites, systems, communications, and technology
- An accessibility strategy includes frequent reviews of all web-based and online applications
- Assistive technologies are leveraged for easier use with computer and communications tools
- Accessibility is a key criteria to select vendors or suppliers
- Business Strategies that Work: Employing People with Disabilities
- The Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
- Disability Employment Policy Resources