Why Disability:IN?

Our vision is an inclusive global economy where people with disabilities participate fully and meaningfully. We collaborate with purpose to promote the full inclusion of people with disabilities, to inspire accessible innovation for all, and to foster cultures of inclusion. Companies that embrace best practices for employing and supporting more persons with disabilities outperform their peers. (according to research, in partnership with Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities)

What is Disability:IN Wisconsin?

Disability:IN Wisconsin is a business-to-business association promoting disability inclusion in the workplace, supply chain and marketplace. It supports businesses in their roles as employers, buyers, and sellers of goods and services and as corporate citizens. Disability:IN Wisconsin partners with higher education, government, and the service providing community to create connections to a pipeline of qualified talent for in-demand occupations and a marketplace where employees, customers and disability-owned businesses play a vital role in business success along with conversation from community resources. Through education, mentoring, resources and networking, Disability:IN Wisconsin works to remove stigmas surrounding the employment of people with disabilities connecting employers to effective programs, best practices and supports to enable positive outcomes.

Why Disability:IN Wisconsin?

The Wisconsin Affiliate is one of over 30 affiliates of D:IN National. The benefits of being an affiliate is local networking with the resources of a national, established organization.

As a state affiliate, we have real-time access to resources developed nationally as well as opportunities to have local discussions with a cross-section of business leaders from all areas of Wisconsin, not just Milwaukee.

Our members call on other local businesses to learn, share, and accelerate their inclusive capabilities which serve the broader audience of the employee base, customers, and supply chain.

Being a part of Disability:IN Wisconsin is sending a message to the community that your business is committed to including people with disabilities.

What does the Wisconsin affiliate provide its members?

Disability:IN Wisconsin serves as a business-to-business network of small, medium, and large employers who share best practices. It provides a forum for employers to keep current on useful resources, developments, information, and work collaboratively on common issues. In addition to business-to-business networking, it provides outreach and education, encouraging inclusive workplace policies and hiring practices. It facilitates connections to community-based resources and a diverse talent pool of workers with disabilities.

  • Hosts the Disability:IN Wisconsin Summit. 250 local leaders participated in 2022.
  • The Disability:IN Wisconsin Summit in 2022 featured experts on corporate strategies for disability inclusion, DEI, ERG/BRG networking at all stages and Successful Recruitment.
  • Assists with Disability Equality Index survey. There are local businesses, like Manpower, who have helped other local businesses by offering ideas and advice on how to get started, how to complete, and how to improve. More information can be found in our history and here. https://disabilityin.org/what-we-do/disability-equality-index/
  • Offers local events for your employees. In-person and virtual events for your HR leads, ERG members, and business leaders to publicly speak, to learn valuable information, to network and form strong relationships. All without complicated travel logistics!
  • Opens unique opportunities.
    • NM hosted a guest speaker from Fidelity Investments in 2020 who shared their success in expanding their accessibility. They met through the strong relationships within D:IN Wisconsin.
    • Disability:IN Wisconsin collaborated with the Milwaukee Public Museum and the City of Milwaukee, Division of Accessibility on a series of accessibility and customer service webinars.
    • Key webinars in 2022 focused on Disability Employment: Tapping into the Network for hiring Talent, Core Components for a disability-inclusive workplace, and Strategies for Employee Retention featuring national and local leaders in academics, businesses, and service organizations. The 2022 Events drew over 700 attendees.
  • See how our activities in 2022 provided value to our Wisconsin business community.


What’s the first step?

Contact the executive director Judy Quigley, Executive Director, D:IN Wisconsin

Phone: 262-364-6456, Email: info@disabilityinwisconsin.org

The D:IN WI affiliate operates from D:IN National and is a 501(c)(3) organization.

Which 2-year membership level is most appropriate? There are five.

  • Charter Member for businesses with >500 employees, $5,000 annually
  • Sustaining Partner for businesses with >500 employees, $2,500 annually
  • Business Partner for businesses with <500 employees, $500 annually
  • Community Partner for non-profits, $500 annually
  • Individual, $500 annually

How is Disability:IN Wisconsin funded?

The sustainable model to fund Disability:IN Wisconsin relies on support from Disability:IN Wisconsin’s business members, like you!

Should I join the Board of Advisors? How can our business take full advantage of our membership?

A typical first year of engagement includes the following:

  • Develop 2-3 employees with team and leadership skills through committees. Employees are passionate when asked to join.
  • Attend the Wisconsin Ability Summit as a group in October. Bring a business partner as your guest.
  • Encourage ERG leaders to attend 1-2 events during the year to meet other ERG leaders. The culture of your business will be positively impacted.
  • Complete the Disability Equality Survey with the help of another WI member. Your business will benefit from new ideas and best practices.
  • Add Disability:IN Wisconsin to your LinkedIn account.
  • Repurpose articles from disabilityinwisconsin.org in your company newsletters.
  • Receive helpful information through our newsletter at work or home.


When did it start?

Discussions with several key businesses and community providers had taken place over the years regarding starting a Disability:IN Wisconsin affiliate. With the support of 6 key founding partners Associated BankWallo BrandsKalahari ResortsManpowerGroupNorthwestern Mutual, and GE Healthcare and initial funding from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, an application to become a state affiliate was submitted and approved in July 2018. In October 2018 nearly 100 individuals representing over 30 businesses attended a kick-0ff event for the announcement of Disability:IN Wisconsin. The Board of Advisors officially launched the affiliate in January 2019. The affiliate was fully launched in January 2019 with the governing board and today membership has grown and includes businesses from across the state.

Who are the people with disabilities? What can you tell me about them?

People with disabilities represent $1 trillion in purchasing power.

One in four people has a disability. It may be hard to identify this population among your circle of friends, employees, clients, and vendors. Most people with disabilities have non-visible disabilities. A growing segment develops mobile and visual disabilities as they age, beginning in their 40s. And, with accommodations mandated in the educational systems from the 1990s, more young adults are capable to contribute to today’s workplace and have come to expect physical and cultural accommodations to continue in their work environment.

Market research shows that families with one or more people with disabilities are significantly likely to do business with a disability-friendly company and consumers with and without disabilities are more likely to buy from those companies. Additionally, workers with disabilities project a diverse corporate image and brand.

In addition, people with disabilities represent an untapped labor pool. In the U.S., 54 million people have a disability. People with disabilities get the job done and they stay on the job, demonstrating equal or higher performance rates than those without disabilities. Workers with disabilities are less likely to resign and move onto another job and have the lowest attrition rates of any employee group.

What is the Disability Equality Index (DEI) and how is that a business catalyst?

  • The DEI is a national, transparent, annual benchmarking tool that offers businesses an opportunity to receive an objective score, on a scale of zero (0) to 100, on their disability inclusion policies and practices and identify opportunities for continued improvement. Wisconsin has 10+ Top Scoring Businesses.
  • Registration closes early February. Only registered companies receive access to the benchmark tool. Survey submission is due in early April. The actual dates change each year and can be found on disabilityin.org.
  • Top Scoring businesses (Scores of 80, 90, 100) receive recognition. Top-scoring companies are named a DEI “Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion™”
  • Additional valuable benefits include industry data and analysis, benchmarking insight, networking connections, and customized DEI consulting services.