Leading Accessible and Inclusive Workplaces

Several Connecticut businesses were awarded high rankings in the 2017 Disability Equality Index (DEI). The index is a corporate indicator tool which grades companies on inclusion and equality for people with disabilities.

The grading system was first compiled by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and the U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN) in 2015. Indications are the 110 participating companies that are committed to inclusive policies. The top contenders in the 2017 line-up were Aetna, Boehringer, The Hartford, and United Technologies, as well as others who have a significant presence in the New England state.

Connecticut State Senator, Ted Kennedy, Jr., a lifelong advocate for people with disabilities and AAPD Board Chair, said he was thrilled at the response to his challenge to the corporate world to better integrate those with disabilities into the workplace. “The disability community offers tremendous knowledge, experience and dedication that can be an incredible asset for all employers,” said Kennedy. “It is my hope that these companies, as well as all of those recognized in the 2017 DEI can serve as an example for companies around Connecticut.”

This year a record 68 businesses scored the top DEI rating of 100, and the trend shows increased awareness in the corporate world of the need for inclusive workplaces for those living with disabilities. The DEI report shows a huge majority of participants have recruitment policies which are focused towards taking on people with disabilities.Employers are also reacting to those employees with disabilities within their organizations by having disability focused employee resource groups or organizations in place. This is an 18 per cent increase since 2015. Additionally, 86 per cent of DEI corporations report a senior executive embedded as a champion for these groups. The trend indicates business attitudes are edging towards being more inclusive.

For more information about CT’s best places to work for disability inclusion, click here.