BraunAbility gears up to release the results of its second-annual Drive for Inclusion Report Card. The study, which assesses the nation’s state of inclusion, reveals some surprising data.
BraunAbility — a manufacturer of wheelchair accessible vehicles and lifts — surveyed both the general public and The Driving Force, an online community of more than 1,600 people with mobility impairments and their caregivers, to identify obstacles to inclusion based on perceptions – or misperceptions – between the general public and those with a mobility disability.
Two Different Views
This year, BraunAbility found a gap in how the general public and The Driving Force experience how people with mobility disabilities are accommodated, highlighting two different views of the world.
The 2021 Drive for Inclusion Report Card revealed three key opportunity areas:
- Fair Accommodations: Only 23% of The Driving Force think people with mobility challenges are fairly accommodated, while 61% of the general public see it that way.
- Inclusive Design: 79% of The Driving Force believe society is most lacking in design and development of accommodations within businesses they frequent, versus 37% of the general public, a disconnect of 42 points.
- Bias & Fair Representation: Those with a mobility disability are two times more likely than the general population to see a lack of inclusion of people with mobility challenges when accommodations for that very audience are being designed.
2021 Report Card Findings
Despite a steady year of diversity, equality and inclusion conversations, the 2021 BraunAbility Drive for Inclusion Report Card uncovered that of all marginalized groups, those with mobility challenges have the fewest accommodations to be fully included in society. Compared with 2020 results, the report also found a disappointing 14% decline in the public’s willingness to understand and accommodate those with mobility challenges, indicating a seemingly “back to normal” attitude as the nation’s restrictions begin to lift.
“[After COVID,] it seems many people are already quickly forgetting to accommodate the needs of those in wheelchairs,” noted someone who uses a wheelchair in the report.
Workplace and Business Accommodations Not Making the Grade
When it comes to accommodations in the workplace and businesses, the majority of The Driving Force agree that organizations are not doing enough to create equal employment opportunities for those with mobility disabilities. Both groups rated their employers with a C grade for accommodations for those with a mobility challenge, with only 7% of The Driving Force assigning their employers an A. When reflecting on all aspects of society, those with a mobility disability overwhelmingly reported that businesses’ design and development of accommodations is what is lacking the most.
Despite living in a dollar-driven society, only a handful of companies garnered recognition as leading the way in mobility inclusion. BraunAbility sees this as a huge miss for both employers and product and service providers, given the disposable income for working-age people with disabilities is about $490 billion. That disposable income is similar to that of other significant market segments, such as African Americans ($501 billion) and Hispanics ($582 billion), according to the same study.
Top 3 Companies Recognized as Mobility Inclusion Leaders
The Driving Force spoke up with the top three companies they feel are leading the way in inclusion efforts:
- Marriott International
Inclusive Business Criteria
These companies all have three things in common: they prioritize the following criteria The Driving Force identified as key to advancing mobility inclusion.
- Seek input from people with mobility challenges on the design and development of products and/or accessible accommodations (70%).
- Increase accommodations for people with mobility challenges (62%).
- Include those with mobility or other disabilities in how they represent their company or consumers to the public (39%).
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