NOD Celebrates 40 Years of Disability Inclusion Progress


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NOD Celebrates 40 Years of Disability Inclusion Progress in the Workplace and Honors Long-time NOD Chairman Governor Tom Ridge and President Carol Glazer


NEW YORK, NY (October 3, 2022) – The National Organization on Disability, along with its title sponsors The Hershey Company and Prudential, disability rights advocates, civic leaders and corporate global partners and sponsors convened at 101 Constitution Ave. in DC for NOD’s annual Forum: NOD at 40: Honoring the Past; Innovating the Future on September 29, 2022. More than 300 attendees celebrated 40 years of NOD and the accomplishments of the disability rights movement and specifically the advancement of disability employment rights in this country; explored the future being built by ADA Generation innovators; and honored the man who has served as NOD’s Chairman for the last 16 years, the nation’s first Secretary of Homeland Security, Governor Tom Ridge, as well as Carol Glazer who has served as NOD’s president for the last 13 years.

A sense of hope permeated throughout the day as attendees witnessed messages from Hershey CEO Michele Buck, Christopher J. Nassetta, CEO and President of Hilton Worldwide, Dr. Forber-Pratt, Director of the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) in the Administration for Community Living, disability activist, and a two-time Paralympian and Marc H. Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League, as well as energizing and innovative roundtable discussions led by industry leaders including Disability Rights Leader Judy Heumann, Day-Al Mohamed, Disability Policy Director, White House Domestic Policy Council and Xian Horn, Founder of Give Beauty Wings and Changeblazer, ForbesWomen Contributor.

“Hope is a simple idea, but is truly the steppingstone to resilience,” said NOD President Carol Glazer.  “When NOD began, we were filled to the brim with hope that we could make the world a better place for people with disabilities. For the last 40 years we have focused on being a catalyst for driving a positive perception and shattering misconceptions about people with disabilities in the workplace, marketplace, and communities across the United States. Today was an amazing day as colleagues and friends reflected on the past, but it was also a time to dive into the challenges that the disability community still faces in the years to come. Together I believe we can continue this journey of progress with perseverance, innovation, and hope.”

The celebration continued into the evening on the Roof Terrace with a beautiful tribute to Governor Tom Ridge for his 16 years of service as NOD Chairman, given by Michael Smerconish, the Forum’s emcee, and SiriusXM/CNN Host.  In addition, fifty-two organizations were honored as the 2022 NOD Leading Disability Employers.  Now in its eighth year, the NOD Leading Disability Employer Seal recognizes companies for measuring and achieving strong talent outcomes for people with disabilities. With this recognition, NOD shines a light on those employers that are committed to building an inclusive and diverse workforce by adopting exemplary employment practices for people with disabilities.

“I am partially paralyzed and a member of the disability community. Here it is simply: We have a right to go to work,” said incoming NOD Chairman Luke Visconti. “People with disabilities have the lowest labor participation rate of any group because most companies won’t hire us. I am proud of NOD for capturing data on corporate best practices and helping progressive companies, like the ones who sponsored this event and others who attended, to manage their human capital at peak performance. I am thankful to take the chair from Governor Tom Ridge who led this organization and board to its current wonderful shape.”

About National Organization on Disability (NOD)

The National Organization on Disability (NOD) is a private, non-profit organization that seeks to increase employment opportunities for the 60-percent of working age Americans with disabilities who are not employed. To achieve this goal, NOD offers a suite of employment solutions, tailored to anticipate and meet leading companies’ workforce needs. NOD has helped some of the world’s most recognized brands be more competitive in today’s global economy by building or enriching their disability inclusion programs. For more information about NOD and how its portfolio of professional services, Leadership Council and Employment Tracker™ can help your business, visit

NOD Convening Discusses Activating Employee Resource Groups to Build Disability Inclusive Workplaces

L’Oréal USA Hosted the Networking Roundtable for the NOD Corporate Leadership Council, a Membership Group Promoting Best Practices in Disability Employment

NEW YORK (APRIL 5, 2019) – Last evening, the National Organization on Disability (NOD) convened its Corporate Leadership Council, a membership body comprised of 50+ companies committed to promoting disability inclusive workplaces, for a Networking Roundtable hosted by L’Oréal USA. The forward-thinking event, Driving Innovation through Employee Resource Groups, provided an in-depth look at businesses excelling at building disability inclusive cultures through their Employee Resource/Affinity Groups (ERGs/AGs). Today, 90 percent of the country’s Fortune 500 companies have ERGs. Many of these groups were founded as a response to discrimination, but in recent years, these groups have been increasingly recognized for their valuable contributions they bring to their employers, especially with regards to diversifying talent streams.

L’Oréal USA including President & CEO, Frédéric Rozé
L’Oréal USA including President & CEO, Frédéric Rozé

The evening featured speakers from L’Oréal USA including President & CEO, Frédéric Rozé, as well as Senior Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion, Angela Guy. In addition, there was a lively panel discussion featuring representatives from L’Oréal USA, Capital One, EY, and New York Life. Shane Nelson from DiversityInc also presented on best practices of ERGs.

Panelists seated on a stage, before a projected screen.
Panelists seated on stage

“I am thrilled that our Corporate Leadership Council members could come together for this exciting networking program,” said National Organization on Disability President Carol Glazer. “Disability ERGs are important for pushing employers to be more inclusive of people with disabilities, and they can also help businesses reach the $490 billion disability consumer market and the millions of unemployed people with disabilities in the communities in which we live, work and serve.”

Attendees seated in rows listening to panel
Attendees seated in rows listening to panel

“At L’Oréal, we believe that all abilities are beautiful, and while we have a lot more work to do, our results show that we are, indeed, ‘breaking the silence’ around disability 365 days a year,” said Angela Guy, Senior Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion at L’Oréal USA. “The National Organization on Disability helps to ensure that we’re all on the right path in meeting the needs of employees with disabilities, and that we’re leveraging the innovation, talent and creativity of individuals with disabilities in the workplace.”

DiversityInc's Shane Nelson + D&I Executive Karen Brown
DiversityInc’s Shane Nelson + D&I Executive Karen Brown

Glazer added, “We are grateful for the Corporate Leadership Council, the very heart of the National Organization on Disability. Our corporate partners distinguish themselves everyday as leaders in diversity and inclusion, and employers of choice for people with disabilities.”

Elaine Perez-Bell, ADP + Rachel Noiseux from Stanley Black & Decker
Elaine Perez-Bell, ADP + Rachel Noiseux from Stanley Black & Decker

Don’t Miss the next Corporate Leadership Council event! June 13, New York City | Executive Luncheon: Closing the ‘Trust Gap’. Not a member of the Corporate Leadership Council? Find out about the many benefits of joining today!

NOD Chairman Tom Ridge Receives AUCD Award for Leading the Way toward Inclusion and Opportunity for Americans with Disabilities

Honor Marks Second National Disability Award Gov. Ridge has Received this Month

Washington, D.C.(March 20, 2019) – The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) last night honored National Organization on Disability (NOD) Chairman Tom Ridge, the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and 43rd Governor of Pennsylvania, with the AUCD Leadership for All Award. Governor Ridge was honored for his many years of leadership in civil rights and honorable service on behalf of the disability community – most notably his work with NOD to raise the issue of disability employment and to find opportunities for the 20 million Americans with disabilities who are ready to work.

NOD Chair, Gov. Tom Ridge gesturing while speaking
“The search for justice for people with disabilities is not over.” – AUCD honoree + NOD Chair Gov. Tom Ridge

Claudia Gordon, a former colleague at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and herself a noted advocate for people with disabilities, presented Governor Ridge with the leadership award at AUCD’s annual celebration, which brings together leaders from all sectors who are tireless advocates for disability rights and social justice for all.

Claudia Gordon of Sprint speaking at podium and projected on screen
Claudia Gordon of Sprint: “I am here as a disability civil rights leader. And one who has had the privilege of working with Governor Ridge.”

“Governor Ridge has been a champion for disability rights for decades, going back to when he began his career in public service,” said Andrew Imparato, executive director of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities.  “Our network of centers and programs and the communities we serve are deeply grateful for his principled leadership, and we are delighted to have this opportunity to celebrate his contributions to our movement.”

Gov. Ridge last week received the National Leadership Award from the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD).

Gov. Ridge became the NOD Chairman soon after his appointment by President George W. Bush as Homeland Security Advisor in 2006. Under his leadership as U.S. Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, DHS implemented an impactful program to hire people with disabilities.

He also partnered with NOD’s Emergency Preparedness Initiative for the first-ever conference on Emergency Preparedness for Individuals with Disabilities. For more than a decade as NOD Chairman, the organization has adopted a strategic focus on training corporations and organizations to help hire people with disabilities in our country today.

Most recently, Governor Ridge led the charge to launch Look Closer, a national awareness campaign by NOD to encourage hiring managers to consider this diverse, capable, and largely untapped talent pool and put more Americans with disabilities to work. He also has convened a group of twelve disability organizations from across the country, including AAPD and AUCD, to focus attention on the critical issue of employment for people with disabilities.

Association of University Centers on Disabilities network leaders Jack Brandt and Donna Gilles from the Virginia Commonwealth University Partnership for People with #Disabilities
Association of University Centers on Disabilities leaders Jack Brandt and Donna Gilles from the Virginia Commonwealth University Partnership for People with Disabilities.

“I am truly honored to receive this award and accept it on behalf of the 57 million Americans with disabilities,” said Governor Ridge. “I was so pleased that this year’s theme for AUCD’s gala was ‘Celebrating Leadership in Civil Rights’. The core civil rights vision of the ADA and other disability rights laws inform the approach we take to improving the lives of children and adults with disabilities.

“For the 25th anniversary of the ADA civil rights legislation, I had the good fortune and privilege to sit with and interview one of my heroes, and the man whose signature is forever affixed to that legislation. President George H.W. Bush told me on that day from his office in Houston, that among all his many remarkable accomplishments as president, working in bipartisan fashion to pass the ADA was perhaps his proudest moment. Think of that. That’s quite a statement considering all he was able to achieve from his years in the White House.

“Over the last few months, I’ve had the privilege to meet with many of the largest, most politically influential and most effective disability organizations in America today.  We’ve put aside our disparate agendas and individual priorities and found common cause.  We recognize that collectively, we represent a powerful political constituency numbering in the scores of millions of people.  And we’re using that power to talk to others in power, especially the appointed and elected officials here in Washington that we put there to work for us.

“The collective voice of the disability community is one that can no longer be ignored, especially if we stay together. Put aside our individual differences, pick the few issues we agree on, and join forces.  Let’s all get behind a bipartisan agenda to bring more workers with disabilities into the competitive labor market with fair wages.”

NOD President Partners with PwC’s CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion to Tackle Unconscious Bias


[NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 16, 2018] – Yesterday, the National Organization on Disability’s President Carol Glazer, joined forces with PwC’s CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, to take part in the largest dialogue on D&I amongst C-suite executives. CEO Action is the biggest executive coalition advancing diversity and inclusion within the workplace. At this second annual CEO Closed-Door Session, the group announced key actions to broaden awareness of unconscious bias and encourage difficult conversations about diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

The three actions include:

  • Launching the new “Check Your Blind Spots” unconscious bias mobile tour with experiential elements and online resources to give people the opportunity to learn about and explore ways to mitigate unconscious bias in their everyday lives. The tour will make 100 stops across the country and engage one million people.
  • Initiating the “I Act On” pledge, in conjunction with the unconscious bias mobile tour, individuals can commit to action through a personal pledge to mitigate any personal unconscious biases, and act on driving more inclusive behaviors in their everyday lives. Individuals can also take the pledge via
  • Hosting a “Day of Understanding”, the largest conversation about diversity and inclusion in the business community and beyond. More than 150 signatories came together to take bold action and host a day of candid conversations within each of their respective companies surrounding race, gender and age in order to further embrace differences in our organizations.

“These bold actions will help leaders draw on our collective power to drive change,” said Tim Ryan, US Chairman and Senior Partner of PwC and chair of the CEO Action steering committee. “Together, we have made unprecedented progress, but we must continue to challenge ourselves in new ways to foster more open, inclusive and diverse workplaces and communities.”

In addition to discussing the new actions, CEOs and presidents  collaborated during working sessions and heard from employees about their real-life experiences at signatory companies. Speakers Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson and Van Jones also offered their perspectives on key diversity and inclusion topics.

The coalition will also release “Beyond the Bottom Line”, a five-part landmark series featuring conversations between CEOs and their employees, unpacking diversity and inclusion issues confronting the workplace today hosted on the Huffington Post’s Purpose + Profit platform, and sponsored by PwC.

“The collaborative sessions, direct CEO-to-CEO engagement and the new actions are tangible examples of how CEO Action realizes the significant role individual CEOs can play in continuing to advance diversity and inclusion,” said David Taylor, Chairman, President and CEO of The Procter & Gamble Company. “As leaders in our industries, organizations and communities, creating positive change and making an impact is our responsibility.”

With research showing that 78 percent of Americans want companies to address important social justice issues, the actions outlined at the second annual Closed-Door Session will help the coalition’s more than 500 signatories, representing 85 industries and 12 million employees, glean ideas and opportunities to drive additional progress within their companies and organizations around diversity and inclusion.

CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ steering committee member and EY US Chairman and Managing Partner and Americas Managing Partner, Kelly Grier, stated: “Building an environment that celebrates and includes differences is essential to developing the transformative leaders we need in today’s complex business environment. It takes bold action to make an impact, and today’s announcements show how passionate CEO Action leaders are about driving cultural change.”

Companies represented at the closed-door discussion include: A.T. Kearney, Achieve3000, ACT, Adtalem Global Education, Advancing Minorities’ Interest in Engineering, AllianceBernstein, American Heart Association, AmeriHealth Caritas Family of Companies, Ascena Retail Group, Ashley Stewart, Asian American Business Development Center, Bashen Corporation, Bowie State University, Brighton Agency, Career Communications Group, Inc., Catalyst, CECP, Center for Audit Quality, Century Snacks, Chicago United, Children’s Minnesota, Con Edison Inc. / Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc.,Council of Chief State School Officers, Denny’s, Inc., Discovery Education, DNA, Edelman, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Equilar, Erie Insurance, Express Scripts, EY, Facing History and Ourselves, Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, Feeding America, FirstEnergy, Fisher Phillips, Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility, Horace Mann Educators Corporation, Horizon Pharma, Infectious Diseases Society of America, Information Technology Senior Management Forum, Ingredion, INROADS, Inc., Institute for Corporate Productivity, J.M. Huber Corporation, K12 Inc., Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, King’s College, Legg Mason Global Asset Management, Lehigh University, Marcum LLP, Masco Corporation, McKinsey & Company, Moody’s Corporation, Movado Group, Inc., National Down Syndrome Society, National HBCU Business Deans Roundtable, National Organization on Disability, Nixon Peabody LLP, Novant Health, OhioHealth, One To World, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, Per Scholas, Inc., Porter Novelli, PSEG, PwC, Randstad North America, RRD, Savills Studley, Sodexo, Solar Energy Industries Association, Springboard Consulting LLC, Stetson University, SunTrust Banks Inc., Swiss Re Americas, Tanenbaum, Tapestry, TEKsystems, The Boston Consulting Group, The Bozzuto Group, The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation, The Executive Leadership Council, The Hartford, The New York Times Company, The Procter & Gamble Company, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Tillamook County Creamery Association, United States Steel Corporation, United Way Worldwide, W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., WayUp, WP Engine, Worldpay.

For more information on CEO Action, visit

Is Your Company Using These 5 Critical Practices to Increase Disability Self-Identification Rates?

The 2017 NOD Disability Employment Tracker results reveal the practices of top companies to achieve a disability workforce representation of four percent or more.

The 2018 Disability Employment Tracker™ is now open for enrollment. Complete the free and confidential survey by March 1, 2018 to receive a complimentary benchmarking Scorecard.

Completion of the Tracker is a requirement to be considered for the 2018 DiversityInc Top 50 and to compete for the 2018 NOD Leading Disability Employer SealStart today:

More and more American businesses share a goal to increase the number of employees with disabilities within their workforce, driven by motivators like competition for top talent, achieving a competitive advantage through diversity, compliance with federal regulations, or all three. As a result, increasing disability self-identification rates among new and existing employees with disabilities has become a priority to many human resources and diversity & inclusion teams.

Yet, at the National Organization on Disability (NOD), we’ve seen that despite making strides in implementing disability inclusion policies and practices—many companies still struggle to see their percentage of employees who identify as having disabilities rise.

So, as we analyzed the data gained from our 2017 Disability Employment Tracker™, the National Organization on Disability’s confidential, annual survey of corporate disability inclusion policies and practices, we aimed to find out what differentiates companies that have been successful at building disability-strong workforces from those that have not.

As we pored over the 2017 Disability Employment Tracker™ results, which measure practices and outcomes of more than 175 companies that together employ more than 10 million workers, across a range of industries, we sought to discover what companies with an above average percentage of employees had in common.

We uncovered five practices shared by high achieving companies that reported a disability workforce representation of 4% or more:

Companies with a higher than average representation of people with disabilities (> 4%) share these practices. Strategy & Metrics: Senior leaders discuss/publicly promote overall diversity; Plan for improving disability inclusion practices; Diversity champion accountable to drive disability strategy. Culture & Climate: Employee/business resource groups or affinity groups; Disability-specific employee/business resource group with annual budget. Talent Sourcing: Recruiters know how to find accommodation process. People Practices: Post-offer and pre-employment, new hires asked if accommodation needed. Workplace & Technology: Universal design principles applied in new facility buildouts.

  1. Strategy & Metrics. Senior leaders discuss and publicly promote overall diversity. Further, they have a plan of action for improving disability inclusion practices that is driven by a disability champion who is accountable to advance this strategy.
  2. Climate & Culture. Priority is given to creating employee/business resource or affinity groups that are specific to disability. Moreover—and this is critical—these groups have annual budgets that allow them to take visible and impactful action.
  3. Recruiter Training. Recruiters, who are on the front line in the pursuit of employees with disabilities, are trained in, and know how to find and use the company’s accommodation process. This helps ensure candidates gain access to the supports needed to be successful and land the job.
  4. People Practices. HR teams are trained to proactively ask new hires if they need an accommodation in the post-offer and pre-employment stages. This ensures that there are no gaps in providing support to employees with disabilities from day one, and goes a long way to protect the employee experience. These “moments of truth” can make or break how the employee feels about their new employer, which, ultimately, affect retention and turnover rates.
  5. Workplace & Technology. As new facilities are built, universal design principles, a set of guidelines that ensure environments, processes, policies, technologies and tools work for people of every ability, are routinely applied.

Companies struggling to attract and keep talent with disabilities should reexamine their efforts against these key practices, which the Tracker results found are correlated to successful workforce outcomes, to identify opportunities for improvement. Without this foundation, companies may struggle to see disability self-identification rates rise.

While the research does show a lot of effort and hard work on the part of employers to advance disability inclusion practices, ultimately, we are not seeing significant increases in disability inclusion in the American workforce. On average, we found the workforce representation of people with disabilities was 3.2%—well below the target of 7% set by the Department of Labor for those companies that do business with the federal government. When you consider that one in five Americans has a disability, the gap is striking.

Admittedly, finding the right workers in any labor pool—especially one not yet fully familiar to many employers—may demand some skills and types of effort that are out of the ordinary. Recruiters and hiring managers need to know where to source this talent, and how to address the needs of candidates with disabilities in the pre-offer stage.

A cross-departmental effort, including representatives from IT, Facilities, Legal and HR, is needed to provide comprehensive accommodations in a reasonable amount of time, so employees with disabilities can be successful on the job. Most importantly, leaders must create a culture of trust and open communication to engender a spirit of ‘disability pride’ where employees with disabilities feel welcomed and supported in order to perform, produce and progress. Doing so, will create an employee cohort that will surely be among the most engaged, committed and productive.

The National Organization on Disability, the national leader in helping business tap the disability labor pool, offers companies a complete set of solutions, including benchmarking, program design and planning, and customized local hiring engagements. Our employment experts make the journey with companies, from initial exploration through stage after stage of improvement, all the way to success.

We’ve partnered with over a dozen Fortune 500 companies, like EYKaiser PermanentePrudential Financial, PwCSodexo, and Toyota to help them advance their disability inclusions efforts to the next level.

For American businesses that prioritize disability inclusion the benefits are many. Employees with disabilities are a rich supply of talent, ready to be tapped, at a time when talent is at a premium, and the employers who hire from this pool consistently rank employees with disabilities among their best, most dedicated workers, with some of the lowest rates of turnover.

Furthermore, research has shown that the vast majority of consumers prefer to buy from companies who hire people with disabilities, and Americans with disabilities and their friends and families constitute a huge and growing consumer segment with over $3.9 trillion in disposable income.

To start the free and confidential Disability Employment Tracker™ today, visit


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