Don’t Miss out on Your Opportunity to Participate in the Best Places to Work Survey

Registration now open for 2017 Disability Equality Index

WASHINGTON, D.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#DEI17–Today, the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN) and the American
Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) officially open the
registration process for the 2017 Disability Equality Index (DEI).
Companies interested in participating in the 2017 DEI must register by
Jan. 13, 2017. To register, view the 2017 DEI survey questions, or the
DEI FAQs, visit the DEI

New this year, the USBLN and AAPD expanded the criteria for
participation. Specifically, in addition to Fortune magazine’s 1,000
largest publicly-traded businesses (the Fortune 1000), American Lawyer
200 firms can now participate. Other companies or organizations that are
welcome to participate in the DEI include the following, provided they
have 500 or more full–time employees in the U.S.:

  • Private sector employers that are not owned by a larger U.S.
    incorporated entity.
  • Businesses that serve as the U.S. subsidiary of a foreign–based
    multinational business.
  • Foreign–owned private companies on behalf of their U.S. operations.

The 2016 DEI was completed earlier this year by 83 Fortune 1000-size
companies across a variety of industries; two-thirds of these companies
top the Fortune 500 list. A comprehensive list of the DEI top scoring
companies deemed the “2016 DEI Best Places to Work” can be found on the DEI

Companies that participated in the 2016 DEI shared what they like about
the DEI survey. Here are a few responses:

  • “Truly like the broad, inclusive scope of the areas addressed.
    Excellent depth and really like the way it holds us accountable.”
  • “The DEI survey helps drive our organization to continuously strive to
    be an inclusive culture.”
  • “The survey allows the individual completing it to interact with
    subject matter experts at all levels which creates more awareness.”

Aggregate results for the 2016 DEI are also now available on the DEI
. Here is an example of one of many key learnings:

  • 93% of DEI respondents reported that they included information about
    disability inclusion in their new hire orientation curriculum. 80% of
    companies also had additional disability inclusion training curriculum
    available for employees, above and beyond orientation. Fewer companies
    (57%) made this training required for managers. Companies that scored
    100 were more likely to provide such required training to their
    managers, at 74%.

“The DEI provides a roadmap for advancing disability inclusion by
enabling companies to see both strengths and areas of opportunity that
exist across their organization, and provides a means to benchmark
against their competitors and businesses as a whole,” said Jill
Houghton, President and CEO, USBLN. “As we continue to work with our
partners within corporate America to improve disability inclusion, we
are heartened to see the DEI best practices shared and continued year
over year growth. We look forward to working with employers that
participate in the 2017 DEI to continue to advance disability inclusion.”

“The DEI is an effective, non-punitive tool that has fostered
relationships between the disability and business communities that will
ultimately lead to more employment opportunities for people with
disabilities and better inclusion of people with disabilities as
customers, suppliers, and employees,” said Helena Berger, President and
CEO, AAPD. “Research shows that diversity in the workplace unlocks
innovation and market growth, so embracing the DEI and the power
of differences is not only the right thing to do but increasingly the
necessary thing to do to succeed in today’s marketplace.”

A few of the areas businesses showed the most improvement since the
inaugural DEI include having:

  • A disability-focused employee resource group
  • An information and communications technology accessibility expert
  • Disability inclusive marketing materials
  • Training on handling requests for accessible formats

Companies that score 80 points or higher on the 2017 DEI will be awarded
the “2017 DEI Best Places to Work” designation.

About the Disability Equality Index® (DEI®)

The DEI is a joint initiative of the USBLN and AAPD. Developed by the DEI
Advisory Committee
, a diverse group of business leaders, policy
experts, and disability advocates, the DEI is a national, transparent,
annual benchmarking tool that offers businesses an opportunity to
receive an objective assessment of their overall disability inclusion
policies and practices. It is an aspirational, educational, recognition
tool that goes far beyond legal compliance, helping companies identify
opportunities for continued improvement, while building their
reputations as organizations that value diversity and inclusion.

The DEI was first introduced in 2012 and piloted in 2013-2014 with 48
companies. The inaugural (2014-2015) DEI and the Second Annual (2016)
DEI have since been successfully completed with 80+ companies.

About the US Business Leadership Network®

The USBLN is a national non-profit that helps business drive performance
by leveraging disability inclusion in the workplace, supply chain, and
marketplace. The USBLN serves as the collective voice of nearly 50
Business Leadership Network affiliates across the United States,
representing more than 5,000 businesses. Additionally, the USBLN
Disability Supplier Diversity Program® (DSDP) is the nation’s
leading third party certification program for disability-owned
businesses, including businesses owned by service-disabled veterans.
Learn more at

About the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)

AAPD is a convener, connector, and catalyst for change, increasing the
political and economic power of people with disabilities. As a national
cross-disability rights organization AAPD advocates for full civil
rights for the 50+ million Americans with disabilities. Learn more at


US Business Leadership Network
Shawna Berger, 800-706-2710