RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • This Accenture whitepaper demonstrates the value of inclusive design and disability inclusion policies and practices.
  • Accessibility awareness and inclusivity not only support workplace equality but are often correlated with growth and profitability.
  • This paper recommends four key steps for accessibility and inclusive design implementation: employ, enable, engage, empower.
  • Incremental steps taken today pave the way for a sustained organizational culture of innovation and disability inclusion in the future.


Why businesses should care about inclusive design

Businesses that will thrive in the economy of tomorrow recognize that meeting the needs of diverse populations is key to their business model today. But an often underrecognized group is those with disabilities. In fact, providing increased access to technologies that meet the needs of persons with disabilities lays the foundation for inclusive work cultures that enable these employees to thrive—presenting a tremendous opportunity.

Consider this: There are approximately 20 million individuals with disabilities in the United States, representing US$490 billion in disposable income. Globally, these figures jump to 1 billion individuals with disabilities with US$8 trillion in disposable income, making them the 3rd largest economic power in the world above Japan, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

It pays to be inclusive. Leaders in disability employment and inclusion outperformed their peers in the following ways:

Leaders in disability employment and inclusion outpaced their peers financially with 28% higher revenue, 2x net income, and 30% better performance on economic profit margin.

Inclusion at Accenture

Persons with disabilities across Accenture provide invaluable insights for innovation. Here are a couple of stories about how individuals are bringing the Accessibility Advantage to life inside our team:

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Meet Joaquin Ortiz

As a consultant working for Accenture Federal Services, Joaquin is deaf and takes advantage of real-time remote interpreting services for online and in-person meetings while designing accessible websites.

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Meet Lisa Bertolini

Lisa is a manager with our CIO practice. Her perspective as someone experiencing spinal muscular atrophy is critical to designing more accessible and usable internal Accenture sites. 

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Organizations that lead inclusive innovation inside of their own environments will set the tone for workplaces and cities of the future and are better positioned to have their technology and platforms emerge as industry standards.

Take action: Implementing accessibility and inclusive design practices

Consider the following building blocks as you transform your organization’s inclusivity practices.

1. Employ

Establish an inclusive foundation to recruiting, hiring, and daily business practices to support your diverse workforce.

2. Enable

Make persons with disabilities a core priority for your human capital strategy through practices like empathy-building and R&D funding.

3. Engage

Increase organizational awareness about accessibility and inclusion, from goal-setting to regular review of ethics and inclusion practices.

4. Empower

Make your work environment and career path planning connected and accessible, supporting persons with disabilities at all levels of the organization.

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Heather Andersen

Managing Director – High-Tech Consulting


Patrick Kennedy

Digital Transformation Lead – Accenture Interactive

Contributors

Arvind Shankar

Global Managing Director of Accenture Enterprise Enablement


Daniel Ellerman

Global Persons with Disabilities Lead


Harrison Lynch

Technology R&D Associate Principal


Kira Gidron

Digital Practice and Off Dev Consultant

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