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Getting Started

About the disability equality index (DEI) 

What is it? What does it achieve?
• Annual benchmarking tool
• For U.S. Businesses
• Provides an objective score and roadmap
• Joint initiative between the American Association of People with Disabilities & DisabilityIN
• Eligible companies have 500 or more U.S. based full-time non-government employees
• What gets measured, gets done!
• Encourages transparent sharing of best practices
• Insight into broader industry trends
• Provides roadmap for company trajectory
• Additional indicator of potential long-term sustainability for ESG investors

Benefits for Wisconsin Members

Local Affiliates  

• Network with professionals with disabilities and allies across Chicago
• Share best practices and local resources on disability inclusion
•Engage with local, regional and national experts through events on hot topics in disability inclusion
• Connect with local certified disability owned businesses
• Identify local sources of talent with disabilities
• Engage with community resources on inclusion
• Build relationships with local leaders on disability inclusion through affiliate board participation

Despite a strong labor marketing, just 29% of working-age Americans with disabilities participate in the labor market, vs. 75% of those without a disability.  

Source: Accenture Research analysis based on data from Bureau of Labor and Statistics July 2018  


DEI Scoring Methodology consists of 6 categories below: 

  • Culture and Leadership 
  • Enterprise Wide Access  
  • Employment Practices  
  • Community Engagement  
  • Supplier Diversity 
  • Non-U.S. Operations 

Roadmap for Disability Inclusion

How do you develop a roadmap for disability inclusion?
Start by checking out the questions.

Disability Equality Index Best Practices 2018

These best practices enable a culture of inclusion that promotes increased self-identification, employees feeling truly welcomed to be their authentic selves and innovation sparked by disability inclusion being built into products and services. To learn more, download the Disability Equality Index Best Practices (PDF)

Provide resources, in a variety of forms, through:

  • Leadership Training
  • Meetings & Events
  • Workshops
  • Guidebooks

Advance accommodations by understanding the disability:

  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHoH)
  • Substance Abuse

Aim for inclusive design through participatory approaches, by:

  • Creating a Disability Roundtable
  • Utilizing an Accessibility Team
  • Inviting NextGen to innovate

Self Identification Best Practices

How can companies create a work culture where employees are comfortable disclosing a disability? Now more than ever, how people identify, as well as when and why they disclose a disability, determines workplace culture. Research shows it is not an overstatement to say that having more people who openly disclose their disability creates an inclusive culture that has the power to dramatically shape future business culture and success. But here’s the reality: Read more and download full article

  • Disability definitions
  • Quotes from Fortune 1000 executives
  • Disability pride and disclosure
  • Self identification vs self disclosure

The DEI awards the Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion

See the 2019 list

Read the Report

180 corporations used the DEI to benchmark their disability inclusion efforts. Read more results from our DEI report.

Take Action