NOD President Encourages All Companies to Join the Winning Team

NEW YORK (NOVEMBER 23, 2020) – Members of the National Organization on Disability Corporate Leadership Council are routinely outperforming their non-Council peers, according to Talmetrix, a national employee feedback, research and insights’ company.  Results from the NOD’s benchmarking assessment, the 2020 Disability Employment Tracker, show Council members routinely scoring high marks in all six inclusion categories, including climate & culture, talent sourcing, people practices, workplace & technology and veterans employment. In addition, Council members are showing they improved self-ID rates by 21% since 2018 versus compared to non-Council members who showed an increase of just 0.26% in the same period. Overall, members of NOD’s Corporate Leadership Council have 6% higher self-ID rates than their peers who are not members.

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.

“For nearly 40 years, we have worked alongside leading Fortune 1,000 companies, who proudly make up our Corporate Leadership Council, to help build or enhance their disability inclusion practices,” said NOD President Carol Glazer. “Our Council members are some of the best performing companies because they are adopting key practices to yield higher disability rates, including having a plan to ensure recruiters, managers and supervisors are well-trained in the accommodations process and to provide easy access to accommodations at the post-offer/pre-employment stage and throughout the employees’ tenure.”

Glazer added, “As our country continues to grapple with civil unrest and a global pandemic, I can’t say this strongly enough – the time is now for all companies to advance their disability inclusion practices and build a stronger more inclusive workforce.  Take the first step by completing the 2021 Tracker and join NOD’s winning Corporate Leadership Council.”


More about the NOD Corporate Leadership Council

Membership in the Corporate Leadership Council provides an opportunity for national and global business leaders to learn from peers about common challenges and leading practices in disability employment – and to be recognized for their commitment to disability employment. In supporting our mission, our corporate partners distinguish themselves as leaders in diversity and employers of choice for people with disabilities.


More about the NOD Tracker Survey

Start Today! Take the free NOD Disability Employment Tracker here.

The National Organization on Disability’ s(NOD) Disability Employment Tracker is the only assessment tool available that focuses on the workforce, to help companies better evaluate the effectiveness of their disability inclusion policies and practices.

Companies who complete the Tracker by March 23, 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).

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.


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/

Op-Ed by Gov. Tom Ridge: Bridging the digital divide for students with disabilities 

Tom Ridge speaks at the 2018 NOD September Forum

The unexpected shift to the remote workplace and classroom brought on by COVID-19 has left many families across the country with inequitable access to devices and technology infrastructure, a problem known as the digital divide. For students with disabilities, the digital divide is not only an issue of access to broadband and technological devices, but also about ensuring that the technology is inclusive for their needs.

Remote learning is especially challenging for students with disabilities who require specialized instruction and accommodations to access high-quality education, and the digital divide exacerbates this challenge.

If students with disabilities are not given the supports they need to learn with technology, then we will effectively be locking them out of the workforce and perpetuating a cycle of unequal treatment.

Throughout my career, I have worked to ensure that people with disabilities are served by our institutions and have the same opportunities as others to participate in education, the workforce, and our society. As governor of Pennsylvania, I invested millions in educational technology and led work to create model digital schools that would advance districts’ abilities to innovate and provide cutting-edge technologies in our schools. I have continued to advocate for equal treatment of people with disabilities, especially in the workforce, as the chair of the National Organization on Disability. Leaders cannot forget the importance of providing special education services to students, especially in the virtual or hybrid learning environments so many students are facing this tumultuous school year.

The digital divide continues to result in inequitable device and internet access — especially for people with disabilities. According to data from the Pew Research Center, Americans with disabilities are less likely to go online, less likely to have access to high-speed internet, less likely to have devices such as a smartphone, laptop computer, or tablet, and less likely to have a high degree of confidence in their use of technology. These barriers prevent students with disabilities from learning, honing their talents, and gaining the skills they need to enter an increasingly technology-focused economy. Another challenge is that frequently used technologies, like Zoom, are not made to be inclusive for people with disabilities. Studies have found that some disabilities make it difficult for users to orient themselves to online tasks like navigating websites and selecting results. With schools moving to digital learning during the pandemic, policymakers and leaders must understand and address the challenges facing students with disabilities as they navigate this mode of instruction.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that special education services are provided to public school students across the country. Despite this, the pandemic has disrupted student access to the specialized instruction, interventions, and accommodations provided through their Individualized Education Plans. Parents are stressed about the loss of learning and skills, with 53 percent of parents of students with disabilities feeling very concerned versus 40 percent of all parents.

Schools need to consider the unique needs of students with disabilities and prepare to serve them while also supporting parents to be better equipped as remote learning continues. Many companies have stepped up to make their technology more inclusive to workers with disabilities. Our schools must do the same and work towards a more inclusive design in hybrid or remote classrooms.

We must address the digital divide for students with disabilities, and make sure they are receiving the services they require and deserve. Congress has allocated $13.23 billion in CARES Act funding to help school districts manage challenges brought on by the pandemic, and more federal stimulus dollars must come. Schools and policymakers can start by evaluating their current practices for working remotely with students with disabilities. They must also ensure that families have access to the resources and services they need to help their child be successful and pursue their passions.

Barriers must be removed to ensure that students with disabilities have access to high-quality instruction that meets their unique learning needs. There is no time to waste.

Tom Ridge was the 43rd governor of Pennsylvania and first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security; he serves as board chairman of the National Organization on Disability.

This op-ed was originially published in The Hill.