Easterseals launches “All In: The Plan for Disability Equity,” a 10-point plan asking US businesses to commit to a diverse and inclusive workplace, where employees with disabilities are valued and paid fair wages.

The initiative is Easterseals’ response to employment disparities that have challenged people with disabilities for decades and have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Its introduction coincides with the 75th observance of the U.S. Department of Labor’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October.

“The pandemic has shown employers how efficiently we all can work remotely with the proper resources, eliminating many of the inequities that keep people with disabilities from performing at their full potential.

“Yet at the same time, COVID-19 layoffs have dealt workplace diversity a setback.  Without a commitment to disability rights, the wage gap between workers with and without disabilities will grow even wider. Our challenge going forward is to ensure the workplace, as it rebuilds, respects the dignity and productivity of employees with disabilities.”

— Easterseals President and CEO Angela F. Williams

Website Guides Employers in Building Workplace Diversity, Accessibility & Equity

The plan includes 10 steps to help companies reach disability equity by 2030 by increasing job opportunities, ensuring workplace accessibility and creating a culture that welcomes and values people with disabilities, according to Easterseals in a media release. 

All In: The Disability Equity Pledge

Easterseals invites all employers in corporate America to participate in its 10-point plan to make a diverse and inclusive workplace a reality:

  1. Achieve Disability Equity in the Workplace. Not Just Diversity. Introduce a written retention and advancement policy that demonstrates a commitment to recruiting, hiring, retaining and promoting employees with disabilities.
  2. Reduce the Pay Gap. Increase wages of employees with disabilities to industry standards.
  3. Advocate for Better Part-Time Benefits. Review part-time benefits programs with employees with disabilities in mind. Create a plan that better accommodates part-time employees with disabilities.
  4. Require Digital Accessibility and Inclusion. Assess remote capabilities for employees with disabilities and adopt a plan to provide flexible work options.
  5. Measure and Publicly Report Disability Equity Performance. Define accountable measures consistent with this pledge and agree to release an annual public report with new goals and objectives for the upcoming year.
  6. Include People with Disabilities in Marketing. Require that people with disabilities have an appropriate presence in marketing, advertising and social media.
  7. Make Invisible Disabilities Like Mental Health Visible and Acceptable. Introduce employee assistance programs (EAPs) to ensure workers feel comfortable in disclosing their disabilities.
  8. Refocus Philanthropic Giving to Areas That Drive Disability Equity. Direct a percentage of charitable giving to advance economic sustainability among people with disabilities, specifically focusing on employment support and job training.
  9. Eliminate Workplace Microaggressions and Misunderstandings. Create a culture of community. Introduce programming to educate employees and achieve understanding and support for people with disabilities.
  10. Sign Up and Take the Disability Equality Index Survey. Participate in the annual Disability:IN benchmark report to assess progress towards disability equity.

[Source(s): Easterseals, PR Newswire]

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