October marks National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) in the United States. Held annually, NDEAM is intended to highlight disability employment issues and importantly, to celebrate the contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. To me, this annual celebration aligns perfectly with our Finance organization’s focus on disability inclusion and mental health.

work meeting with one employee in a wheelchair

Julie Spillane shared this focus and our recommitment to Diversity and Inclusion with the Accenture Finance community as a core tenet of our culture. In her post, she spoke of the business case for why this is critically important to our shared success and importantly our success as individuals. She articulated that disability inclusion and mental health is one of Finance’s four Diversity and Inclusion areas of focus with the goal to “Be the industry role model for disability inclusion.”

What is disability inclusion?

As defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), disability inclusion means understanding the relationship between the way people function and how they participate in society and making sure everybody has the same opportunities to participate in every aspect of life to the best of their abilities and desires.

A disability is any condition that makes it more difficult (or different) for a person to do certain activities or interact with the world around them. Disabling conditions, or impairments, may be cognitive, developmental, intellectual, mental, physical, sensory, or a combination of multiple factors.

What is disability inclusion at work?

An inclusive workplace values all employees for their strengths. It offers employees with disabilities—whether visible or invisible—an equal opportunity to succeed, to learn, to be compensated fairly, and to advance. A study of 45 US companies by Accenture found companies that recruit and support employees with disabilities have twice the net income and 28 percent higher revenue than those that do not. The Accenture study also found that disability inclusion efforts are a boon to employers regarding increased innovation, improved shareholder value, improved productivity, and enhanced reputation.

What are the benefits of disability inclusion?

Disability inclusion provides two obvious benefits:

  • It serves as evidence that we will support all our current employees leading to higher levels of engagement and increased employee retention, and
  • It will support our hiring process for new employees through an expanded pool of talent.

Teams with strong disability inclusion programs have the tools they need to help their employees thrive.

What can you do to support disability inclusion?

NDEAM offers an opportunity to refresh our awareness of what each one of us can do to support disability inclusion. Actions include:

  • Acknowledge, understand, and embrace the widespread nature of both visible and invisible disability.
  • Recognize the significant and diverse talents of people with disabilities.
  • Make a commitment to enable people with disabilities to develop peer relationships.
  • Use appropriate language and etiquette; refer to people respectfully and how they want.
  • Educate yourselves and share your personal experiences and perspectives with your colleagues.

Our commitment to disability inclusion

While October marks an annual focus on disability employment awareness, our Finance community must recognize every day that we already do and will continue to work with many colleagues with visible and invisible disabilities. Our culture also requires us to embrace this aspect of diversity to build stronger teams, increase engagement, and drive strong business results.

Bill Manning

CFO US-West, Finance

Subscription Center
Subscribe to the Finance at Accenture blog Subscribe to the Finance at Accenture blog