2023 TOP Disability-Friendly Employers In Wisconsin™ Award

MADISON, WI – Disability:IN Wisconsin is proud to announce the introduction and nomination opening of the 2023 TOP Disability-Friendly Employers In Wisconsin™ Award. The award program aims to recognize and celebrate Wisconsin-based businesses and organizations that demonstrate exemplary practices and initiatives toward creating inclusive workplaces for individuals with disabilities.

Nominations for the award are now open, and businesses of all sizes and sectors are encouraged to participate. Eligible nominees must have a significant presence in Wisconsin and demonstrate an ongoing commitment to disability inclusion in areas such as recruitment and hiring, retention and advancement, accessibility, and supplier diversity.

“The TOP Disability-Friendly Employers In Wisconsin™ Award is a way for us to acknowledge and celebrate those companies that are truly committed to creating inclusive workplaces where people with disabilities can thrive,” said Disability:IN Wisconsin Executive Director, Judy Quigley. “We encourage all eligible businesses to apply and showcase their efforts towards disability inclusion.”

The nomination period will be open until Thursday, July 20, 2023, and the winners will be announced at the 2023 Disability:IN Wisconsin Summit on Thursday, October 12. A reception celebrating the award winner and the company they represent will follow after the Summit.

Please download the 2023 Nomination Form, complete and submit it and any questions to: judyquigley@disabilityinwisconsin.org

For more information on the award program and how to apply, please visit the Disability:IN Wisconsin website at www.disabilityinwisconsin.org.

About Disability:IN Wisconsin:
Disability:IN Wisconsin is a non-profit organization that works to promote disability inclusion in Wisconsin’s business community. The organization provides resources, training, and networking opportunities to help businesses create more inclusive workplaces for individuals with disabilities.

Good Friend, Inc. and Disability:IN Wisconsin Proudly Announce New Collaboration Aimed at Increasing Understanding of Neurodiversity in the Workplace

Good Friend, Inc. and Disability:IN Wisconsin Proudly Announce New Collaboration Aimed at Increasing Understanding of Neurodiversity in the Workplace

January 23, 2023: Joined together in the mission to raise awareness of neurodivergence and autism in the workplace, Good Friend, Inc. and Disability:IN Wisconsin have announced plans to collaborate on a large-scale employer training initiative. This training will be anchored by the real experiences of autistic and neurodivergent people in the workforce, told in their voices in documentary format. Striving to improve employment outcomes for neurodivergent workers, the organizations want to ensure that this initiative focuses on attracting, retaining, and supporting neurodivergent talent.

“25% of the general population is neurodivergent yet, despite these figures, neurodivergent workers are far less likely to disclose their disability when compared to those with a physical disability,” said a rep from Good Friend, Inc. “People with invisible disabilities are part of the diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging equation. Through this collaboration, we plan to educate employers on how to best attract, retain and support neurodivergent talent.” 

Disability:IN Wisconsin serves as the state’s only B2B association that promotes disability inclusion in the workplace. They accomplish this by providing support through educational programs, resources that provide the tools to engage and improve performance, and networking that enables businesses to share best practices for disability inclusion, get updates on recent developments, and work collaboratively on common issues.  Similarly, Good Friend is known for amplifying the voices and stories of autistic people through short-documentary films and specially designed curricula intended to grow autism awareness, acceptance, and empathy among the neuro majority peers. Through their combined connections, resources, and unique skills, the organizations will work together to develop innovative educational tools to create real change in businesses of all sizes throughout Wisconsin.

This collaborative initiative will feature the stories of neurodivergent people navigating employment. Topics will be enhanced with the knowledge and experiences of employers, content experts, caregivers, and other supporters. Additionally, educational topics will be expanded upon in an e-learning format. Initial topics may include understanding autism/neurodivergence, building the case for hiring neurodivergent talent, social workplace dimensions, universal design concepts, and human resource’s philosophy and best practices.

Filming is set to take place this spring, with plans to premiere the documentary in the fall of 2023.


Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion – 2022 Just Announced!

2022 Best Places to Work from DEI Disability Equality Index

Congratulations to the members of Disability:IN Wisconsin who are recognized as the best places to work for disability inclusion:
Associated Bank logofiserv logoFroedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin logoGE logoManpowerGroup logoOld National Bank logoNorthwestern Mutual logoTRANE logoUS Bank logo
Registration is open for the 2023 DEI – FAQs – Disability:IN (disabilityin.org)

Building Disability into a Corporate Supplier Diversity Program

Disability Owned Business Enterprises (DOBEs) generate over $536M in revenue annually and employ people with disabilities at 6 to 7 times the rate of their non-DOBE peers. Integrating DOBEs into supplier diversity programs creates opportunities to recognize and elevate disability-owned businesses while enabling businesses to innovate, reach new customers and grow their revenue.
Join Disability:IN Chicagoland, in partnership with Disability:IN Greater Kansas City and Disability:IN Wisconsin, for a conversation on integrating disability into your larger supplier diversity program. This discussion will include supplier diversity professionals from different industries who will share best practices around integrating disability into your existing supplier.

Newsletter From the Executive Director

Disability:IN has recognized Disability:IN Wisconsin as “The Affiliate of the Year for demonstrating exemplary efforts in promoting the vision, mission and spirit of Disability:IN. The Wisconsin team helps their territory understand, utilize, and benefit from the valuable resources that people with disabilities present in the workplace, supply chain and marketplace”. Together through the strength of every person and every organization we are striving to make disability inclusion part of every organization’s business stratagem.

We’ve leaned on one another to learn and build.   Disability:IN Wisconsin started in 2019 with 6 founding members that made a declaration to create a workplace that is welcoming and inclusive for all, including individuals with disabilities. Starting a new organization is always difficult.  The first year the Board of Directors challenged us to push change through programming and building strategic alliances.  As our affiliate was developing, we aligned our key initiatives as well as dealing with the growing pains of a new organization. Early on we had the ability to be flexible, listen to all areas and to make a firm decision on next steps.  Having strong business leaders at the table helped us expedite this as in year one we built. Year two we were operating with our infrastructure of communication and a solid programming offering.  Year three we are planning our Third Annual Wisconsin Ability Summit, we’ve seen a full line up of programs, started an ERG/BRG network, have grown membership and have the strength of our members and volunteers running our committees.

Several years ago a young woman gave a presentation at a Special Olympics Event.   Her words were simple:

“Never let anybody say you can’t Believe in Yourself Pursue your dreams

Surround yourself with people who will help your get where you want to be”

As the Executive Director of Disability:IN Wisconsin, I’ve used these words as my guiding principle.  Because we don’t allow anyone to say you can’t, we are pushing change through conversation, closing the gap on disability inclusion, creating accessibility for all and leaving a space a little bit better than when we found it   Together, we are encouraging and empowering people with disabilities to pursue their dreams. Disability:IN Wisconsin networks with businesses who have a shared commitment to expanding opportunities for people with disabilities by helping companies invigorate their disability initiatives, explore best practices, drive cultural transformation, build a disability inclusion brand and band realize positive business outcomes.  Disability:IN Wisconsin is surrounded by an exceptional board, members, volunteers and strategic partners who share the same vision and purpose for a fully inclusive and welcoming workforces.

I encourage all companies to treat disability inclusion as a business priority. We can succeed if we work together to measure progress and drive the business investments needed to scale change.

Disability:IN Announces the 2021 Inclusion Awards Winners

Salesforce.com is named Employer of the Year; Intel wins ERG/BRG of the year

ALEXANDRIA, VA. (July,14, 2021) – Disability:IN today announced the 2021 winners of the Disability:IN Inclusion Awards at their annual conference being held virtually this week. The companies recognized are visionary brands whose leaders and employees alike are actively taking steps to advance disability inclusion and equality in the workplace.

“The past year has been challenging for society as a whole as we have had to adapt to a new way of living, working and learning,” said Jill Houghton, President and CEO of Disability:IN. “It has been extremely gratifying to see individuals and corporations like our 2021 Inclusion Award winners rise to the occasion despite the challenges of their own ‘new normal’ and work tirelessly to create more inclusive workplaces and greater economic advantages for talent, customers and suppliers with disabilities.”

The 11 Inclusion Award categories and their winners are:

2021 Top Corporation for Disability-Owned Businesses: Merck & Co.

Merck has demonstrated outstanding inclusion of Disability:IN certified disability-owned businesses (including businesses owned by service-disabled veterans) and a commitment to disability business inclusion in their supply chain processes and corporate supplier diversity programs.

2021 John D. Kemp Leadership Award: Catherine P. Bessant, Bank of America

Cathy Bessant, Chief Operations & Technology Offer at Bank of America, has played a significant role in developing and influencing the company’s disability employment programs and services, resulting in measurable, tangible and positive outcomes that have dramatically improved disability employment opportunities at Bank of America.

2021 ERG/BRG of the Year: Intel Corporation

Intel’s Disability Employee/Business Resource Group is recognized for making available  exemplary programming and practices that provide business value to the company and professional growth for its members.

2021 NextGen Alum of the Year: Ike Tallerine, Accenture

Ike Tallerine, Senior Financial Analyst at Accenture, is a NextGen Leader Initiatives alumnus who has gone above and beyond after participating in the program by not only demonstrating corporate leadership, but paying it forward for future NextGen Leaders.

2021 Supplier Diversity Advocate of the Year: Kimberly Marcus, AARP

Kimberly Marcus, Director of Supplier Diversity at AARP, is a procurement champion who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to the utilization and growth of disability-owned businesses, and has provided exceptional support for certified Disability-Owned Business Enterprises- DOBE®s, Veteran-Disability Owned Business Enterprises (V-DOBEs™) and Service-Disabled Veteran Disability-Owned Business Enterprises (SDV-DOBEs™).

2021 Supplier of the Year: Certify My Company

Certify My Company, a leader in assisting companies in developing their supplier diversity programs, is recognized as a role model for its focus on growing disability business inclusion in the supply chain.

2021 Marketplace Innovator of the Year, Advertising/Marketing Category: Comcast NBCUniversal

Comcast NBCUniversal is recognized as a visionary corporation for its advertising and marketing strategies that highlight people with disabilities.

2021 Marketplace Innovator of the Year, Product Category: Google

Google is recognized for the inclusive design of its products, enabling their use by people of all abilities.

2021 Employer of the Year: Salesforce.com

Salesforce.com is named Employer of the Year due to exemplary policies, strategies and initiatives that have resulted in measurable results in the areas of disability inclusiveness in the workplace, marketplace and supply chain.

2021 ERG/BRG Executive Sponsor of the Year: Alleace Gibbs, Northrop Grumman

Alleace Gibbs, Vice President of Communications at Northrop Grumman, is named ERG/BRG Executive Sponsor of the Year Award for her work as Executive Sponsor of the company’s disability ERG/BRG. Her work has had a measurable impact on disability inclusion at the company as she champions disability inclusion across the enterprise.

2021 Affiliate of the Year: Disability:IN Wisconsin

This year, our Wisconsin affiliate has been named Affiliate of the Year for demonstrating exemplary efforts in promoting the vision, mission and spirit of Disability:IN. The Wisconsin team  helps their territory understand, utilize, and benefit from the valuable resources that people with disabilities present in the workplace, supply chain and marketplace.

About Disability:IN

Disability:IN is the global organization driving disability inclusion and equality in business. More than 280 corporations trust Disability:IN to activate and achieve disability inclusion across their enterprise and in the broader corporate mainstream. Through the world’s most comprehensive disability inclusion benchmarking; best-in-class conferences and programs; and expert counsel and engagement, Disability:IN works with leading businesses to create long-term business and societal impact.Join us at disabilityin.org/AreYouIN #AreYouIN.

2021 DEI Award Winners

Disability:IN Wisconsin congratulates the following 2021 DEI award-winning members. These leading companies, that are members of Disability:IN Wisconsin, have made the commitment to disability inclusion

CUNA Mutual Group
GE Healthcare
Trane Technologies

The following leading companies, that are members of Disability:IN Wisconsin, have scored 100 on the DEI demonstrating their commitment to disability inclusion:

Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin
Northwestern Mutual
Old National Bank
US Bank