National Organization on Disability Announces 2023 Leading Disability Employers

65 Organizations Recognized for Commitment to Building an Inclusive Workforce

NEW YORK, NY (October 2, 2023) – In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the National Organization on Disability (NOD) is proud to announce and recognize the 2023 Leading Disability Employers. In its ninth year, the NOD Leading Disability Employer Seal serves as a platform to spotlight the transformative contributions made by business leaders in promoting equal employment for individuals with disabilities. It also honors those organizations that prioritize diversity, equity and importantly, accessibility–setting a high standard for others to follow.

Leading Disability Employer Seal recipients are determined based on data provided by companies on the NOD Employment Tracker™. The Tracker is the only free assessment tool that helps companies better understand how their key business practices correlate to improved talent outcomes related to hiring, retention and advancement of people with disabilities.

“These organizations understand that by harnessing the talents of people with disabilities, they reap the benefits of a more innovative, diverse and dedicated workforce,” said NOD President Carol Glazer. “The Leading Disability Employer Seal honors organizations who have not only embraced inclusivity but have taken concrete steps to break down barriers for individuals with disabilities and create an environment for all to thrive.”

The 2023 Leading Disability Employers include:

  • Accenture
  • Ally Financial
  • American Heart Association
  • Auticon US
  • Bell Textron Inc.
  • Blue Shield of California
  • The Boeing Company
  • Capital One
  • Centene Corporation
  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Cigna
  • Citizens Financial Group
  • Comcast NBCUniversal
  • Digital Accessibility by WeCo
  • Dow
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ernst & Young LLP
  • General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT)
  • The Hershey Company
  • Hilton Worldwide
  • Hugs Café Inc
  • Idaho National Laboratory
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • KeyBank
  • Leidos
  • Lockhead Martin
  • L’Oréal USA
  • M&T Corporation
  • Martinsburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center
  • Mayo Clinic
  • Melwood Horticultural Training Center
  • Hope Miller Foundation
  • Nautilus Hyosung America, Inc.
  • New York Life
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Old National Bank
  • Omnium Circus
  • PRIDE Industries
  • Public Service Enterprise Group
  • Puerto Rico Industries for the Blind, Corp.
  • PwC
  • Randstad
  • Reed Smith LLP
  • Regions Financial Corporation
  • Roche Diagnostics
  • Sanofi US
  • Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)
  • Sempra
  • Sony Electronics Inc.
  • TD Bank AMCB
  • Tennessee Valley Authority
  • TIAA
  • T-Mobile USA, Inc
  • S. Bank
  • UKG
  • Unum Group
  • Vectrus Inc
  • The Viscardi Center
  • VSP Vision
  • Grainger, Inc.
  • Walgreens
  • Wells Fargo & Company


About The NOD Employment Tracker™

The NOD Employment Tracker benchmarks organizations of any size in six disability and veterans’ inclusion focus areas, including strategy, talent outcome metrics, climate and culture, talent sourcing, people practices and workplace tools and accessibility. All participating companies receive a Tracker Scorecard to develop plans and priorities for improving employment practices and policies. The 2024 Employment Tracker will open this fall; completion of the Tracker is required to qualify for the NOD Leading Disability Employer Seal Award and the 2024 Fair360 Top 50.  To learn more, visit

About National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)

National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is an annual observance held in the United States each October. This month-long campaign aims to raise awareness about the importance of creating inclusive workplaces that value the skills and talents of individuals with disabilities. NDEAM also highlights the contributions of workers with disabilities and encourages employers to consider the diverse abilities and perspectives that they bring to the workforce.

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


Press Release: NOD Welcomes Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Executives from The Hershey Company and T-Mobile to Esteemed Board of Directors

NEW YORK (May 15, 2023)  The National Organization on Disability (NOD) today announced two new members to its Board of Directors. Alicia Petross, Chief Diversity Officer, The Hershey Company and Holli Martinez, Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, T-Mobile were recently elected to the NOD Board, joining 15 other civic and corporate leaders from across the country working to advance disability inclusion in the workforce.

Alicia Petross Photo
Alicia Petross
Holli Martinez headshot
Holli Martinez

“Ms. Petross and Ms. Martinez are senior executives at two of our nation’s most successful companies,” said NOD Chairman, Luke Visconti. “In addition to their extensive business acumen, they bring Hershey and T-Mobile’s pace and professionalism. They are welcome teammates on our board of similarly accomplished professionals. I’m confident that their leadership will help NOD make the workplace fairer and enable millions of people with disabilities to gain the basic human dignity of being well employed.”

As Chief Diversity Officer at The Hershey Company, Alicia Petross leads the development and execution of Hershey’s Pathways Framework delivering diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies to the organization. She partners with key internal and external leaders to develop more innovation in Hershey’s global climate and inclusion programming. Externally, Alicia represents the company in key industry commitments, including Paradigm for Parity, CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion, the National Organization on Disability Look Closer Campaign, and Financial Literacy for All. In 2023, The Hershey Company was ranked #3 on DiversityInc.’s Most Diverse Companies list. In 2022, The Hershey Company was named #6 on Diversity Inc.’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity list and earned the #1 ranking on Forbes World’s Most Female Friendly Companies.  Alicia was also named on Diversity Woman Media’s inaugural Elite100 Black Women leaders list in 2021.

“It is an honor to join the National Organization on Disability Board of Directors and bring awareness to the advantages of hiring people with disabilities and increasing employment,” said Alicia Petross, Chief Diversity Officer, The Hershey Company. “As leaders, we must continue to look for ways to recruit people of all backgrounds and abilities and ensure everyone has a place in Corporate America. Being part of the NOD Board and working closely with the team and member organizations only fuels my passion to drive employment opportunities for all, at Hershey and throughout the country.”

Holli Martinez is a passionate lifetime advocate for diversity, inclusion, and equality. She joined T-Mobile in February 2013 as the company’s first Director of Diversity and Inclusion and is fervently committed to sustaining an inclusive workplace where all employees can thrive.  Under her leadership, T-Mobile has embraced DE&I initiatives across the company that includes launching the Equity in Action Plan, T-Mobiles’ DE&I strategy. Nearly 40% of T-Mobile employees are members of one or more of its six Employee Resource Groups and 40+ D&I chapters across the county.  In 2022, T-Mobile received the distinction of the Best Place to Work for LGBTQ employees from the Human Rights Campaign, Forbes Best Employers for Diversity and Fortune Best Place to Work for Diversity, among others.

“I am honored to be appointed to the Board of Directors for the National Organization on Disability,” said Holli Martinez, vice president of diversity, equity & inclusions for T-Mobile.  “I am excited to serve alongside fellow board members, contributing my skills, experience, and passion for disability inclusion to make a meaningful impact together.”


About NOD

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 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,

Press Release: NOD Releases Important New Findings from Campus to Careers Demonstration Project in Time for College Graduation

Roadmap Identifies Strategies and Solutions for Employers and Universities to Create Better Access to Job Opportunities for Recent Graduates with Disabilities


NEW YORK (April 25, 2023)A new report released by the National Organization on Disability (NOD) and The Burton Blatt Institute finds employers reporting significant difficulties identifying and recruiting students and recent graduates with disabilities. At the same time, those students with disabilities are faced with challenges long before they even begin to look for work.  These unfortunate circumstances were the motivation to launch NOD’s innovative Campus to Careers Demonstration Project.

The Campus to Careers Project, supported by lead funder The Coca-Cola Foundation, and in partnership with the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Work Without Limits Initiative, has served as a living laboratory to test, to evaluate and share ideas and strategies among dozens of employers, universities, colleges, and students. The findings are now available in NOD’s Campus to Careers Roadmap. It provides practical recommendations, including checklists and video assets, for employers and universities to understand the challenges employers experience in engaging students with disabilities; the obstacles students with disabilities experience in transitioning into their chosen field; and the important role career and disability services play on campus. The Campus to Careers Roadmap can be downloaded free here.

“Recruiting college talent is becoming more competitive every year, and employers need a solid strategy to compete for skilled and diverse graduates,” said NOD President Carol Glazer.  “A productive recruitment strategy requires a dedicated commitment and can take some time to develop, but employers will see a return on investment by including people with disabilities who have incredible talent in their employment process.”

As part of this project, NOD and its partners met with college and university students who shared their job search and recruitment experiences which uncovered surprising realizations for students with disabilities. Some examples include:

  • “Career services told me to go to a temp agency…they said that was the best I could do.”
  • “What I immediately look for these days is screen reader accessibility. That’s usually an indication of the company’s commitment to equal opportunity employment.”

“Students with disabilities are an important asset to any organization,” said Felicia Nurmsen, managing director, employer services for NOD. “In addition to the skills all college graduates have, they bring intangible life experiences and attributes that are not immediately apparent on a typical college transcript. Our corporate partners have demonstrated a strong commitment to hiring well-qualified college students with disabilities, but it was apparent that these employers were still facing challenges identifying and recruiting people with disabilities. Our Campus to Careers Roadmap materials highlight the incredible talent that people with disabilities bring to the table and how to make them part of your team.”

As one University Director stated in the research, “There is a real fear on the part of our students. They have had negative experiences and may think ‘if my professor who I’m paying to be in their class is disrespectful to me, I’m certainly not going to say anything to an employer about my disability.’ Or ‘Why would I go into a position actively identifying myself as a person with a disability when I feel like that automatically makes me more vulnerable?’.”

“It is essential to create equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities to ensure everyone can contribute to society and demonstrate their talents”, said Saadia Madsbjerg, president of The Coca-Cola Foundation. “By partnering with NOD, The Coca-Cola Foundation is helping these individuals acquire the necessary skills and resources to be competitive in the job market. This collaboration is empowering students with disabilities as they transition into the workforce.”

“Partnering with NOD to develop the Campus to Careers pilot program was an important step in furthering our mission of equal employment for people with disabilities,” said Kathy Petkauskos, director of Work Without Limits, a program of ForHealth Consulting at UMass Chan Medical School. “Employers recognize the value of the program and are prepared to recruit and hire from a talented candidate pool. It is so important to work together to provide opportunities for employers to connect with job seekers, and NOD has opened pathways to employment with Campus to Careers that were not there otherwise.”

The Campus to Careers Demonstration Project was made possible by the generosity of The Boston Foundation, The Coca Cola Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, Roosevelt Warm Springs Foundation, and The UPS Foundation.


About NOD

The National Organization on Disability (NOD) is a nonprofit organization that seeks to increase employment opportunities for 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

About The Coca-Cola Foundation

Established in 1984, The Coca-Cola Foundation has invested more than $1.5 billion globally to protect the environment, empower women to thrive and to enhance the overall well-being of people and communities.

About Work Without Limits  
Work Without Limits, a program of ForHealth Consulting at UMass Chan Medical School, is a network of employers, educational institutions, employment service providers, state and federal agencies, and individuals with disabilities and their family members. Through collaboration and partnership, our goal is to provide programs and services that increase employment for people with disabilities.


Media contacts:

Steve Aaron | 717.554.8614 |

Kim Lehman | 717.599.0891 |

Statement from NOD President on OFCCP’s New Mega Construction Project Program

NOD President Carol Glazer commented today on the Mega Construction Project Program announced by the U.S. Dept. of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). Funded by the landmark Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this announcement holds tremendous opportunity for people with disabilities seeking employment with federal contractors in the construction trades working on large federally funded projects.

“When the National Organization on Disability, along with other leading disability groups, met recently with leadership at the U.S. Department of Labor, the issue of disability employment by federal contractors was one of our top priorities. So we were gratified and thankful to see this news about Megaprojects. Federal contractors from all sectors – including construction – can and must do better in hiring people with disabilities.

“NOD looks forward to supporting OFCCP’s promotion of Megaprojects workforce opportunities to people with disabilities, so they can meaningfully contribute to projects in their communities. Partnerships with disability organizations will be essential, as project managers endeavor to source talent with disabilities and fill workplace gaps across the country.

“A diverse workforce that includes people with disabilities makes good business sense. I’ve seen companies do this successfully when they make it a priority, and NOD stands at the ready to assist those federal contractors that need the help.”

Learn More About Megaproject 

About the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs

The Dept. of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) provides extensive and no-cost compliance assistance to contractors and subcontractors to strengthen recruitment, hiring, and employment practices, removing hiring barriers and promoting consideration of a diverse pool of qualified workers for jobs in the trades, including women, people of color, veterans, and people with disabilities.

Statement from NOD President on Recent Events at Twitter

By Carol Glazer, President of the National Organization on Disability

So as troubling and reprehensible as Elon Musk’s recent public questioning of an employee’s disability and use of a wheelchair was, there’s the more important and larger issue at Twitter: the total dismantling of their accessibility team.

Accessibility for users with disabilities has been compromised due to changes to the platform since Musk’s arrival. I agree with Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts who this week said the changes under Musk’s leadership signal a disregard for the needs of disabled people. This could happen elsewhere and NOD joins him in his call to have accessibility features restored.

NOD Honors Revolutionary Disability Rights Activist Judy Heumann Who Died March 4th

By Carol Glazer, President of the National Organization on Disability

Our world is mourning the loss of Judy Heumann.

She was responsible for many legislative advances, along with propelling forward the fundamental rights that people with disabilities enjoy today. She was a fierce advocate, spending her early life challenging the system and calling for needed change in education, public and private sector accessibility and an end to discrimination of people with disabilities.

Then, later in her life, she worked within the system to make improvements by joining the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

I worked closely with Judy during the last five years as she became a guide to me and our organization in creating a disability roundtable made up of 17 national disability organizations. It was not an easy process, and Judy, knowing how impactful the roundtable could be, gave her time generously to see it come to fruition.

Her stature within the disability community here, and across the globe, was enormous. She could be forceful, but always caring. You felt special and as though you were the only person in the room when she spoke to you.

I witnessed this many times, but one occasion will stick with me forever. My son, Jacob, who was born with hydrocephalus, walked by my computer during a virtual meeting with Judy and I introduced him to her. Judy immediately began asking him questions. As I often do, I provided the answers until Judy, nicely but firmly, explained that she wanted to talk to Jacob, not me.

We at NOD worked with Judy in 2020 when our nation marked the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in partnership with the George and Barbara Bush Foundation. Judy was a strong presence, always behind the scenes, making sure the event celebrated the courage of people who reimagined what life could be like for those of us with disabilities. To recognize her role in our fight for equality, in that year, NOD honored Judy with a lifetime achievement award.

Judy Heumann sitting in a motorized wheelchair speaking into a microphone while sitting amongst a panel with Taryn M. Williams to her right.

And last September Judy spoke about “Honoring the Disability Rights Movement Over the Last 40 Years” at NOD’s 40th anniversary event in Washington D.C.

Speaking to our audience of largely corporate executives, she implored them to take up the work yet to be done to support meaningful employment for people with disabilities.

Judy will be remembered for her tenacity, courage and brilliance. I will also remember what she did to remind us all of the human connections we all should make. Everyone matters. That is an incredible legacy, indeed.

Long Covid is a Disability. Here’s How to Ask for Workplace Accommodations.

Coming clean on limitations posed by symptoms such as fatigue and brain fog is difficult for many.

New studies offer clues about who may be more susceptible to long Covid, a term for lingering Covid-19 symptoms. WSJ breaks down the science of long Covid and the state of treatment. Illustration: Jacob Reynolds for the Wall Street Journal.


Many people with long Covid are legally entitled to accommodations at work to help them do their jobs. Still, some are finding it hard to ask for help.

Disability can encompass any number of physical or mental impairments. Often, managers can more easily comprehend the limitations imposed by static conditions, such as the loss of a limb or hearing. Symptoms can ebb and flow over time with chronic illness, such as long Covid, Crohn’s disease or lupus, making the experience more difficult to grasp, say disabled people and employers.

Because of that ambiguity, the onus is usually on workers to make the case for support. But coming clean on the limitations posed by long Covid is difficult for many.

“It was harder than I thought it would be, even though I knew my rights,” says Mindy Jackson, who works for the State of Washington as a vocational counselor for disabled people. She has had long Covid since her original infection in 2020. “I almost felt ashamed, which really surprised me.”

Ms. Jackson now works from home almost exclusively, has reduced her hours using Family and Medical Leave Act time off, and modified travel to avoid driving. She has also adapted her home office to help her maintain focus, adjusting the lighting and putting her screens in dark mode.

She joined the Covid-19 Longhauler Advocacy Project support group early in her illness.

“I don’t know what I would have done without being able to read the stories of those that came before me and be able to connect with people,” Ms. Jackson says.

In 2021, the federal government clarified that long Covid could be considered a disabilityunder the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Long-Covid symptoms and severity can vary greatly. People with long Covid frequently experience extraordinary levels of fatigue, which can be worsened by exertion, cognitive impairment, nervous-system dysfunction, as well as vascular, respiratory and immune-system issues.

Between 7.7 million and 23 million Americans have long Covid, according to a November report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In cases where the conditions limit at least one major life activity, the necessary accommodations might be temporary or permanent, depending on each worker’s case.

Woman looking at computer monitor while typing on keyboard.

“The law is set up so that it becomes a conversation,” says Jasmine E. Harris, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Carey Law School.

A 2022 survey of nearly 3,800 managers found that 40% of them had employees with lasting physical or mental effects of a Covid-19 infection, and that 58% of those managers said the employees had received workplace accommodations, according to the Kessler Foundation, a nonprofit supporting people with disabilities, and the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability.

“The one thing that I think people do when they’re unsure is they wait too long [to ask], and then they really start to have performance issues,” says Felicia Nurmsen, a managing director at the National Organization on Disability, a nonprofit that seeks to increase employment opportunities for disabled people.

Ms. Nurmsen, who has long Covid herself, says she found online support groups helpful when figuring out her own accommodation needs. Such communities share ideas of what types of modifications might be useful, as well as referrals to medical professionals familiar with their condition.

Employment attorneys and other disability experts say workers should consider their individual situation when deciding whether to disclose a disability and ask for accommodations. They can make a request orally or in writing, and who they contact first is also up to them. Some people might feel more comfortable talking to their manager directly, while others might believe their HR department will better understand ADA law.

In some cases, such as when a condition isn’t readily apparent, an employer may request documentation about the disability and need for accommodation. This can come from any appropriate medical professional—not just a physician, says Linda Carter Batiste, director of services and publications at the Job Accommodation Network, or JAN, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy.

“Employers cannot ask for medical information unrelated to the disability at issue,” Ms. Carter Batiste adds.

Most workplace accommodations for chronically ill people involve a policy change, such as such as allowing for rest breaks or remote work, or developing a plan of action for when symptoms suddenly flare.

JAN research shows that more than half of accommodations cost employers nothing, while those requiring some expense typically cost about $500. Equipment-related accommodations can include creating an ergonomic workspace or adding antiglare screen protectors.

For those worried they were denied accommodations because of discrimination, disability lawyers say that workers can file complaints with appropriate state or local authorities, or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It would be a misconception to think that accommodations are a form of preferential treatment, they add.

“That’s why I think a lot of employees are afraid,” says Nicole Buonocore Porter, a professor at the Chicago-Kent College of Law at the Illinois Institute of Technology. “It’s not a leg up. It’s saying, because of the manifestations of whatever my disability is, I need that accommodation just to be able to perform my job.”

WEBINAR: 2023 NOD Employment Tracker™ | Tying Business Practices to HR Outcomes

Explore how the updated 2023 NOD Employment Tracker™ provides essential data to companies seeking to become more disability inclusive and how L’Oréal USA used this tool to advance their workplace inclusion initiatives.

Plus discover trends and correlations, derived from 200+ companies that participated in the Tracker last year, including the most important disability employment practices that lead to the strongest outcomes, insights on how corporate America is progressing along the disability employment maturity curve, and what critical gaps remain and how your company can successfully address them.


  • Nick Iadevaio, VP, Diversity & Inclusion, L’Oréal USA
  • Felicia M. Nurmsen, Managing Director, Employer Services, NOD

NOD, Corporate Partners Convene Disability Organizations from Across the Country for a Special Meeting with U.S. Labor Secretary Walsh

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 15, 2023) – Recently the National Organization on Disability (NOD) in partnership with corporate members of its Leadership Council, convened their Policy Roundtable for a special meeting with U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh to discuss employment issues critical to people with disabilities.

Comprised of the leading disability organizations from across the country, NOD’s Policy Roundtable members and corporate partners talked to Secretary Walsh and other Labor Department officials about phasing out 14(c) certificates, which allow employers to pay workers with disabilities a sub-minimum wage. The group also discussed enforcing the Section 503-rule change for federal contractors, which sets a 7% target for disability workforce representation.

NOD Chairman, Gov. Tom Ridge, leads discussion with representatives from disability organizations
Photo of 2018 Policy Roundtable meeting, with NOD Chairman Emeritus, Gov. Tom Ridge, and representatives from disability organizations.

On behalf of all participants, NOD’s leadership thanks Secretary Walsh for sharing his time with our Policy Roundtable members to discuss these critical issues regarding the fair and inclusive employment of Americans with disabilities.

We are grateful for the U.S. Department of Labor’s attention to and engagement with these policy and legislative concerns of the disability community.

Roundtable participants gathered at a conference table
Photo of 2018 Policy Roundtable participants gathered at a conference table

The following national disability rights organizations attended the Policy Roundtable meeting:

  • National Organization on Disability: Luke Visconti, NOD Board Chair and Founder, DiversityInc; Carol Glazer, President; Charles Catherine, Director, Corporate and Government Relations; Josef Pevsner, Senior Manager, Research & Innovation Programs; and Charlotte Ohl, Executive Assistant to the President.
  • American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR):  Barbara Merrill, Chief Executive Officer ·
  • Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE): Julie J. Christensen, LMSW, PhD, Executive Director
  • Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD): Cindy Smith, Director of Public Policy
  • Autism Society of America: Kim Musheno, Vice President, Public Policy
  • National Association of the Deaf (NAD): Howard Rosenblum, Chief Executive Officer
  • National Council on Independent Living (NCIL): Jessica Podesva, Director of Advocacy and Public Policy
  • National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS): Bart Devon, Senior Director, Public Policy
  • Ridge Policy Group: Mark Holman, Partner; Becky Wolfkiel, Director of Federal Affairs; Zaida Ricker, Senior Associate; and Charlie Moffat, Legislative Assistant
  • Judith Heumann: Disability advocate

NOD Leadership Council members in attendance included:

  • Charter Communications: Rhonda Nesmith Crichlow, Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer; NOD Director
  • The Coca-Cola Company: Jessica Zielke; Group Director Federal and Diplomatic Government Relation
  • Elevance Health: Merrill Friedman, RVP, Inclusive Policy & Advocacy
  • The Hershey Company: Alicia Petross; Chief Diversity Officer
  • L’Oréal USA: Nicholas Iadevaio, Vice President Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Toyota North America: Javier Moreno, Chief of Staff, Office of the President & CEO

Federal officials in attendance included:

  • Secretary Martin Walsh, U.S. Dept. of Labor
  • Allison Zelman, Chief of Staff, U.S. Dept. of Labor
  • John Towle, Deputy Chief of Staff, U.S. Dept. of Labor
  • Peach Soltris, Counselor to the Secretary, U.S. Dept. of Labor
  • Taryn Williams, Assistant Secretary for Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), U.S. Dept. of Labor
  • Jenny Yang, Director of Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), U.S. Dept. of Labor
  • Kristen Garcia, Chief of Staff for Wage and Hour Division (WHD), U.S. Dept. of Labor

In 2018, NOD spearheaded the Policy Roundtable, convening the leading the nation’s leading disability rights organizations to speak with a unified voice on issues critical to ensuring meaningful and equitable employment for the 57 million Americans with disabilities.

Recent Hiring Gains For People With Disabilities Likely To Be Short Lived If Employees Don’t Feel Comfortable Disclosing Their Disability

New Report from National Organization on Disability Details Troubling Trends Within Corporate America; Findings Available for Download

NEW YORK (February 3, 2023) – Despite the recent surge of employment for people with disabilities, due to remote working, a new report released by the National Organization on Disability (NOD), finds those higher employment rates do not tell the entire story when 59% of companies tracking retention of people with disabilities reported a 40% turnover rate.

The 2022 NOD Employment Tracker report, part of a multi-year survey of hundreds of major employers that collectively employ more than 10 million people, reveals that while much progress has been made to improve disability workforce inclusion practices, key metrics like Self-ID tracking rates continue to decline year after year. This trend will likely continue unless employers can create a work environment that allows employees to feel comfortable disclosing their disabilities.

“The report card for disability management in large corporations is measured by Self-ID rates,” said NOD Chairperson Luke Visconti.  “Not only are federal contractors — which employ 25% of America’s workforce — required to track and report Self-ID rates, the rates also provide an insight into how inclusive a company’s culture is and whether employees possess the trust and psychological safety to ‘come out ’ with a disability. Self-ID rates have decreased by 15 percent and 11 percent over a two-year period (2021 and 2022, respectively) and only 72 percent of companies track Self-ID rates for employees with disabilities.  This declining trend is one that we are working hard to reverse in the future for all people with visible and non-visible disabilities.”

In its 10th year, the NOD Employment Tracker, the only free assessment tool that helps companies better understand how their key business practices correlate to improved talent outcomes related to hiring, retention and tenure, helps employers to make disability inclusion part of their overall business strategy and to find the right talent while removing employment barriers for good. According to this latest report, companies that not only track Self-ID rates, but other talent outcome metrics such as promotions of employees with disabilities; improved accessibility from the start of the hiring process; rates of job applications with disabilities; and having a C-level leader disclose their own disability, revealed self-identification rates three times higher than those that only examined Self-ID.

“It’s important to note that while the simple act of measuring does not in itself produce higher Self-ID rates, it does reveal the value a company places on improving at disability inclusion in their workforce,” said NOD President Carol Glazer.  “Employees notice these visible signs and can trust that their employer is indeed ‘walking the talk.’  I would encourage all employers to take advantage of our Employment Tracker to access how they benchmark against participating companies and receive the information they need to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce.”

NOD has also kept a pulse on the area of mental health. While companies know this is an area of great concern, they are still in the formative stages of providing the support necessary to be successful in providing employees with the appropriate tools and resources.  Report findings show an increase in companies considering adding mental health ambassadors to their workforce and hiring consultants to educate their employees about this significant topic.

Visconti added, “We know that most corporations are not intentionally trying to exclude people with disabilities from the workforce.  However, we do know from the data we collect in our Employment Tracker survey that all companies are not at the same level of competency. The Tracker survey is open right now, it’s free and you get a free score card — yet we will only have on average 300 companies who take the survey annually.  If your company is not taking the Employment Tracker, you have no excuse for professing ignorance.”

The Employment Tracker, powered by Talmetrix, ranks any size organization in six disability and veterans’ inclusion focus areas including strategy, talent outcome metrics, climate and culture, talent sourcing, people practices and workplace tools and accessibility. The deadline to take the 2023 Employment Tracker and qualify for the NOD Leading Disability Employer Seal Award and the 2023 DiversityInc Top 50 is March 10, 2023.  All participating companies receive a Tracker Scorecard to develop plans and priorities for improving employment practices and policies.

To download a free copy of the complete NOD Employment Tracker report, click here.