The Time Is Now For Companies To Advance Their Workforce Disability Inclusion Practices

Enhanced Disability Employment Tracker Helps Large and Small Companies Make a More Inclusive Workforce a Reality

NEW YORK (October 27, 2020) – In celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the National Organization on Disability (NOD) is proud to launch its redesigned Disability Employment Tracker assessment, the only assessment tool available that focuses on the workforce, to help companies better evaluate the effectiveness of their disability inclusion policies and practices.  In its eighth year – and with companies who together employ more than 10 million Americans already taking the annual survey – the NOD Tracker assists companies to make disability inclusion part of their overall business strategy and to find the right talent while removing inclusion barriers.

Aiming at making the Tracker an even more effective resource for companies in 2021, NOD partnered with Talmetrix, a national employee feedback, research and insights’ company. By utilizing recent market research, the two organizations created a dynamic benchmarking disability assessment tool that provides companies with the cutting-edge, outcome-based data metrics they need to build a more inclusive workforce which is proven to enhance innovation and increase engagement with employees and customers.

“Individuals with disabilities make up 20 percent of the U.S. population, the largest diversity group, and including them in hiring decisions increases a company’s talent pool exponentially,” said NOD President Carol Glazer.  “The 2021 Tracker is the only tool in the field that can provide a company with the data they need to better understand how to improve their self-ID rates and workforce inclusion practices, as well as have a deeper correlation of key practices with outcomes related to hiring, tenure, promotions and engagement. I want to challenge all companies to take the 2021 Tracker and join our winning Corporate Leadership Council team to advance their disability inclusion practices.”

Previous Tracker data shows that NOD’s Corporate Leadership Council (CLC) member companies performed better and were more effective at implementing best practices, programs, and policies. Specifically, CLC companies have 3% higher self ID rates and are 21% better than non-members at adopting the most effective disability inclusion practices.

Companies who complete the Tracker by March 5, 2021 receive a free Scorecard report, benchmarking their performance against all other participants in key workforce inclusion areas: (Strategy, Metrics, Climate & Culture, Talent Sourcing, People Practices, Workplace Tools & Accessibility, and Veterans (optional). The 2021 Scorecard reports will be available for participating companies in the spring of 2021.  In addition to receiving this powerful benchmarking tool, top performing companies are eligible to compete for NOD’s annual Leading Disability Employer Seal.  A list of the 2020 Leading Disability Employers can be found here.

Companies can access the free NOD Disability Employment Tracker here.

About National Organization on Disability (NOD) and Talmetrix Partnership

The partnership between NOD and Talmetrix, Inc. blends advocacy with the current demands of the business community. NOD has decades of years of experience partnering with companies, large and small, to develop and grow hiring initiatives which provides a unique perspective on developing workforces based on employers’ needs.  Talmetrix has more than a decade of experience in capturing employee feedback and data on culture, inclusion, engagement and organizational effectiveness and brings extensive expertise to the survey design, analysis, and insights. Talmetrix administers the online survey platform and ensures confidentiality and data security.

About National Organization on Disability

The National Organization on Disability (NOD) is a private, non-profit organization that seeks to increase employment opportunities for the 80-percent of working age Americans with disabilities who are not employed. To achieve this goal, NOD offers a suite of employment solutions, tailored to meet leading companies’ workforce needs. NOD has helped some of the world’s most recognized brands to be more competitive in today’s global economy by building or enriching their disability inclusion programs. For more information about NOD and how its professional services, Corporate Leadership Council and Disability Employment Tracker™ can help your business, visit

This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, one of the most comprehensive and sweeping pieces of civil rights legislation in our nation’s history.  For more information about the ADA 30 and how NOD is celebrating this milestone event, please visit www.nod/

About Talmetrix

Talmetrix, an employee feedback, research and insights’ company powers multiple human capital benchmarks. Talmetrix humanizes employee and organizational data to elevate performance and productivity. Through its technology, solutions and services, Talmetrix enables organizations to listen for and respond to the factors influencing employee experience, culture and organizational performance.

Talmetrix administers the online survey platform and ensures confidentiality and data security. For more information about Talmetrix, please visit

Fourteen Of The Nation’s Largest Disability Organizations Join Together To Encourage Disability Community To Vote On November 3rd

NEW YORK (October 26, 2020) – Fourteen of the nation’s largest disability organizations have joined together to urge all Americans who care about issues related to disability to vote on November 3rd. These organizations today released the following collective statement:

“COVID-19 is a unique burden for people with disabilities. Lives have been lost. Isolation exacerbated. Unemployment skyrocketing. The policy issues on the ballot this November impacts every aspect of life for the disability community. We must vote in record numbers to have our voices heard and needs met in the ongoing public health emergency.

“People with disabilities form an increasingly large, powerful, and potentially decisive percentage of the electorate in key battleground states and across the country.  A projected 38 million eligible voters have a disability and millions more live with someone who has a disability. Taken together, more than 25% of the American electorate may be motivated by issues affecting the disability community.

“These issues include funding for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) to support health care needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. HCBS helps individuals with disabilities receive services at home as appropriate. HCBS is also important to help individuals with disabilities work, by hiring direct support staff, including job coaches, so that those who can work at this time have the supports they need to do so safely and effectively. And when individuals with disabilities work, we hope to see that they are paid fair wages with a phasing-out of section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, which allows individuals with disabilities to be paid subminimum wages. These, among other issues, are essential to the future success of individuals with disabilities.

“Fourteen of the nation’s largest disability organizations are unified in message and purpose. We encourage all of our members to vote!”

Official signers:

American Association of People with Disabilities

Association of People Supported Employment

Association of University Centers on Disabilities

Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Autism Society of America

The Bazelon Center

Center for Public Representation

Collaboration to Promote Self-Determination

National Council on Independent Living

National Down Syndrome Congress

National Down Syndrome Society

National Federation of the Blind

National Organization on Disability


Should you have questions about voting, please view the resources from the American Association of People with Disabilities, Association of University Centers on Disabilities, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, the Bazelon Center, National Down Syndrome Congress, National Down Syndrome Society, and RespectAbility.  




VIDEO: PSEG’s CEO Celebrates the ADA at 30

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, members of the NOD Corporate Leadership Council and sponsors of our Look Closer awareness campaign are sharing messages from their chief executive officers discussing why disability inclusion matters. To mark this historic milestone, hear from Ralph Izzo, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG).

Mr. Izzo shares how PSEG is proud to support the goals of the ADA. That’s why PSEG is working to promote an accessible and inclusive workplace and creating opportunities for employees with disabilities to thrive.

NOD is grateful to PSEG for being a sponsor of the 2020 Annual Forum Webcast: “ADA at 30: What’s Next”.

Caring for Her Son with Disabilities Led to a New Career

The president of the National Organization on Disability helped her child overcome a lifetime of challenges.

By Carol Glazer | Sep 25, 2020

The conference floor was buzzing last May in Minneapolis, where I was speaking as president of the National Organization on Disability, a private nonprofit that focuses on increasing employment opportunities for Americans with disabilities.

I wasn’t alone at the conference: My 27-year-old son, Jacob, who himself has disabilities, had traveled with me from our home in New York City. “It’s ability, not disability, that counts,” Jacob proudly told the attendees, despite complaining of feeling sick to his stomach earlier.

By the time we landed back in New York the next day, Jacob was in a lot of pain. So as we had more than 40 times before, we rushed to the emergency room at New York University Medical Center, the same hospital where Jacob had been born with hydrocephalus—a rare, potentially fatal fluid blockage surrounding the brain—and had his first surgery to install a shunt to drain the fluid. Was the shunt malfunctioning again?

Yes, but this time it wasn’t the part implanted in his brain. Instead, it was the end of the shunt that emptied fluid out through the peritoneal cavity in his abdomen. The hospital pumped Jacob’s stomach twice, but his bowel was still obstructed. He would need another risky surgery—Surgery Number 31, to be exact. Every time, my own stomach churned knowing there was a chance Jacob wouldn’t survive or would come out of the operation with additional challenges.

Uncertainty had dogged us every step of the way with Jacob. It wasn’t the hydrocephalus itself that had caused his physical and cognitive disabilities. A hospital-acquired bacterial infection had inflicted considerable brain damage, leaving my then-husband and me with nothing but questions and confusion: Would our son ever be able to walk? How much would he be able to see? What would his level of cognitive functioning be?

The answers came, though slowly: Jacob walks with a slight limp; he is severely visually impaired; he reads at a third-grade level.

Through early intervention treatments and multiple therapies, and with New York’s unparalleled special education system, he has thrived—a happy, clever, busy and loving young man.

As he approached puberty, Jacob wanted to be bar mitzvahed to celebrate becoming a man with his faith community. When I inquired, our rabbi said our temple didn’t have the capability to do that for Jacob. I was devastated. “Every Shabbat, we pray for the Jews in Russia, in Argentina, but here you have a member of your own congregation who needs you,” I said. “Where is the inclusivity?”

The next day, the rabbi called and said she hadn’t slept the night before, thinking about Jacob, and that she would help put together a program for him to learn the Hebrew he needed to read his passage from the Torah. Jacob spent more than two years learning the Hebrew phonetically and was bar mitzvahed on time at age 13. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when he finished reading the sacred text, and the program we developed is still used citywide.

At NYU Medical Center, the staff know us so well, they always let me put on scrubs to go with Jacob into the operating room and stay until they put him under. As he lay on the OR table that day last May, I told him he’d be able to get back to work soon, back to his three-day-a-week job, helping out at the 14th Street Y, even though I didn’t know if that were true.

“What do you like best about your job?” I asked to distract him.

“I like delivering the mail to everyone,” he said. “And I like taking the 6 train to get there!” Jacob is fully travel-trained; at this point, he has the entire New York City subway system memorized.

The nurse slipped the oxygen mask over his face. “And I want to play basketball and go to my songwriting class, and eat pizza with my friends,” Jacob murmured.

His voice trailed off, and I was left to imagine what life might be like if he didn’t wake up. No more making French toast and waffles together on Sunday mornings and quibbling about who does the dishes. No more chatty walks through Central Park after dinner. No more going to see funny movies—Steve Martin is Jacob’s favorite actor—or to Broadway musicals.

Yet even in these extreme situations, I still love being the CEO of Jacob, Inc., as I started calling myself many years ago. My job is to find out his preferences and his needs as he perceives them and to help him, whether it’s presenting him with choices or drawing him out. But that’s not my only job.

When Jacob was little, I worked in affordable housing development. In 2005, when he was 13, I was offered a consultancy for the National Organization on Disability, or NOD, based on my public policy experience. I had to think long and hard about whether to accept the position—did I really want to live disability 24/7?

Work had always been a welcome distraction for me, a much-needed way to keep balance in my life. But then I rewatched Geraldo Rivera’s 1972 exposé on the inhumane conditions at Willowbrook State School, the institution for the intellectually disabled in Staten Island. And I saw, in the wake of that scandal, how the mothers of those children successfully organized to bring about the Education for All Handicapped Children Act.

All those mothers before me had made it possible for Jacob to have a wonderful education, so why on earth wasn’t I giving my talents to a movement that had made such an impact on my family? In 2009, I took over as president of NOD, and I haven’t looked back.

As the hours of Jacob’s surgery ticked by, I lay down on the little pull-out couch in his hospital room, where I’d spent so many sleepless nights. I thought back to the time when he was eight and suffered a shunt malfunction while I was on a business trip to Boston. It was 2000, and I didn’t yet have a cell phone.

After a quick calculation, I realized that between the flight and cab rides to and from the airports, I would be completely in the dark about my son’s condition for well over two hours. Should I jump on the next flight to New York, I thought, or should I stay here close to a phone?

I decided I needed to be there with Jacob, so I rushed for the next flight. On the plane, I sat with my hands gripping the seat rest, looking out into the vastness of the clear blue sky, above even the clouds. This is entirely out of my hands, I thought. I am so insignificant, and as much as I try to take care of everything for my son, I have to trust in the power that’s outside of me, a power greater than myself and even greater than my love for my son.

And so here, almost 20 years later, back at NYU Medical Center, I again opened myself to complete acceptance of the situation before me, although it taxes the entire fiber of my being every time. After several hours, Jacob was out of surgery. The doctor said they’d been able to clear the obstruction, caused by scarring from multiple shunt surgeries.

A couple days later, I listened as Jacob held bedside court with the doctors and residents, regaling them with the song he’d written: “I’m made up of kindness,” he sang. “I have a good heart. Sometimes I’m funny. I’m pretty smart.” I never cease to be amazed by that light, that smile, that spirit that are so manifest in Jacob, this young man of mine who has had his work cut out for him from Day One.

“That’s my mom,” he told the doctors, pointing to me. “She’s a very famous person, and she’s nice.”

It’s an ongoing challenge being both the CEO of Jacob, Inc., and the president of NOD, but they’re forever entwined in my heart, and I wouldn’t trade my life for anything in the world.

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