Towards a Disability-Smart World: Strategies for Global Disability Inclusion
Synopsis: Towards a Disability-Smart World: Developing a global disability inclusion strategy study draws on evidence and case studies from organisations including Shell, Unilever, HSBC, Accenture and Microsoft. As recent times have demonstrated, we are living in a global world and there is more need than ever before for businesses to respond to disability inclusion at a corporate-wide level. We hope this research into best practices will create impact collectively through collaboration and partnership, and benefit companies as they develop global strategies to do more for people with disabilities.
The study, called 'Towards a Disability-Smart World: Developing a global disability inclusion strategy', was conducted by Business Disability Forum in partnership with energy company Royal Dutch Shell. It draws on evidence and case studies from the experience of organisations including Shell, Unilever, HSBC, Accenture and Microsoft.
The report shows that:
- More than 90 percent of respondents state that 'disability inclusion is the right thing to do' at a global level.
- More than 80 percent state that it allows them to access a wider pool of talent, drives employee motivation, has an impact on sales and opportunities and supports business objectives.
Yet, whilst more than 80 percent of respondents say that their organisation had made one or more commitment to disability inclusion at a central level, only about 20 percent of respondents had a global strategy for disability inclusion in place and resourced.
The study identifies several common barriers to creating a global strategy for disability inclusion. These include:
- Cultural differences in the way disability is understood.
- Levels of engagement with disability and accessibility in some countries.
- Varying legal requirements between countries.
- Resources and systematic data collection.
- Gaining the commitment of local champions and managers.
For organisations which have worked to overcome these challenges the benefits are clear, with over 80 percent reporting improvements for disabled colleagues and customers on a global scale. Over 90 percent reported senior level buy-in at an early stage to be key in gaining engagement, traction, and stronger accountability at a local level.
Diane Lightfoot, CEO, Business Disability Forum, said:
"As recent times have demonstrated, we are living in a global world and there is more need than ever before for businesses to respond to disability inclusion at a corporate-wide level. This study shows that businesses are recognising that need, but often face common barriers when responding to it."
"Based on the experiences of 120 leading global brands, we want to offer organisations practical advice on how they can overcome those challenges and achieve positive change for their workforce and customers alike."
Lyn Lee, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Shell, said:
"While most leaders of organisations will agree that disability inclusion is the right thing to do, there are challenges and barriers which many need to address. We hope this research into best practices will create impact collectively through collaboration and partnership, and benefit companies as they develop global strategies to do more for people with disabilities."
The study shows that workplace adjustments, along with recruitment and onboarding, are the areas where businesses have made the most progress in disability inclusion.
These were followed by buildings and built environments; digital technology; and retention and development of employees.
Communication and marketing; customer or client experience; and procurement and supply chain, were the areas where there is the least evidence of progression.
The study draws on feedback and case studies from respondents to highlight some fundamental lessons for organisations looking to develop their own global disability inclusion strategy and to provide a practical roadmap to others starting out:
- Don't underestimate the complexity of a global disability inclusion strategy and how long it might take. Focus on intentions, rather than perfection.
- Don't be overwhelmed. Start small, by focusing on one or two activities and locations. Gather evidence and then scale up.
- Engage business leads and people with disabilities at regional and local levels to gather insights and inform global strategy. Working collaboratively will empower colleagues to interpret and execute global commitments to disability in ways that are culturally and legally appropriate for their country.
- Identify a senior global disability inclusion champion, early on, to drive forward the strategy.
- Disability impacts on every area of the organisation. Bring together colleagues with key responsibility for strategic functions across HR, recruitment, the built environment and technology.
Diane Lightfoot said:
"Disabled people are expected to be more disadvantaged by the impact of Covid-19 than non-disabled people; particularly in developing countries. This is an opportunity for global business to make a positive difference. Introducing a corporate-wide policy on disability inclusion is a sensible place to start and the roadmap included in this report is designed to help businesses get on the right track."
The study, 'Towards a Disability-Smart World: Developing a global disability inclusion strategy' (businessdisabilityforum.org.uk/knowledge-hub/resources/towards-a-disability-smart-world-global-disability-inclusion-strategy-report/),
The accompanying roadmap, can be downloaded on Business Disability Forum's Knowledge Hub (businessdisabilityforum.org.uk/knowledge-hub/).
This quality-reviewed article relating to our Disability Information section was selected for publishing by the editors of Disabled World due to its likely interest to our disability community readers. Though the content may have been edited for style, clarity, or length, the article "Towards a Disability-Smart World: Strategies for Global Disability Inclusion" was originally written by Business Disability Forum, and published by Disabled-World.com on 2020-07-08. Should you require further information or clarification, Business Disability Forum can be contacted at businessdisabilityforum.org.uk. Disabled World makes no warranties or representations in connection therewith.
Share This Information To:
𝕏.com Facebook Reddit
Discover Related Topics:
Disabled World is an independent disability community founded in 2004 to provide disability news and information to people with disabilities, seniors, their family and/or carers. See our homepage for informative reviews, exclusive stories and how-tos. You can connect with us on social media such as X.com and our Facebook page. Disabled World provides general information only. The materials presented are never meant to substitute for qualified professional medical care, nor should they be construed as such. Funding is derived from advertisements or referral programs. Any 3rd party offering or advertising does not constitute an endorsement.
Information, Citing and Disclaimer
Permalink: <a href="https://www.disabled-world.com/disability/smart-world.php">Towards a Disability-Smart World: Strategies for Global Disability Inclusion</a>
Cite This Page (APA): Business Disability Forum. (2020, July 8). Towards a Disability-Smart World: Strategies for Global Disability Inclusion. Disabled World. Retrieved September 23, 2023 from www.disabled-world.com/disability/smart-world.php