People with developmental and physical disabilities frequently face barriers when trying to integrate into society. The elimination of these barriers is known as disability inclusion. Some companies are helping to breakdown these barriers by promoting disability inclusion in their hiring practices.

People sometimes face challenges that create difficulties in their lives. For individuals with disabilities, these challenges can be particularly difficult. In reality, these obstructions may be more frequent and have greater impact on people’s everyday lives.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), these barriers are more common and have a greater impact. WHO defines these barriers to inclusion as factors in a person’s environment that limit a person’s functionality and actually encourage a disability.

These factors in a person’s environment that, through their absence or presence, limit functioning and create disability. These include aspects such as:

  • a physical environment that is not accessible,
  • lack of relevant assistive technology (assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices),
  • negative attitudes of people towards disability,
  • services, systems and policies that are either nonexistent or that hinder the involvement of all people with a health condition in all areas of life.

This can create multiple barriers that can make it extremely difficult for individuals with disabilities to function or participate in the larger society. The 7 most common barriers are attitudinal, communication, physical, policy, programmatic, social and/or transportation-related.

Inclusion For People with Disabilities:

The goal of inclusion is to include people with disabilities to have full participation in society. Just like people who do not have a disability. According to guidelines put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention inclusion involves:

  • Receiving fair treatment and not having to experience discrimination.
  • Creating and having products, communications and an overall physical environment that is accessible by as many people as possible.
  • Modifying items, procedures, or systems in order to enable a person with a disability to use them to the maximum extent possible (reasonable accommodations).
  • Eliminating the negative stereotype that portrays people with disabilities as less capable of accomplishing things and participating in society-at-large.

Disability inclusion involves input from people with developmental disabilities. This is often accomplished through disability-focused and independent living organizations, program design, ISP implementation as well as other related activities.

The three main federal laws and acts that protect the rights of people with disabilities:

  1. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
  1. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.
  1. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010.

Best Companies for Inclusion:

The organization Disability: IN is a leading nonprofit resource for business disability inclusion. Their network of over 185 companies promotes opportunities for people with disabilities across a variety of industries. They often serve as a collective voice to promote change and advancement for people with disabilities in the business world.

Recently, they ranked the participating companies that are part of the Disability Equality Index. Out of these corporations, the Disability Equality Index measured five categories: culture and leadership, enterprise-wide access, employment practices (benefits, recruitment, employment, education, retention, advancement, accommodations), community engagement/support services as well as supplier diversity.

Out of the companies that participate in the Disability Equality Index, only a portion of companies that operate in the healthcare industry topped the list of the best places to work for disability inclusion. Here are the 20 healthcare companies that scored 100 on the Disability Equality Index, organized in alphabetical order:

1. Aetna

2. Anthem

3. Biogen

4. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

5. Boehringer Ingelheim

6. Boston Scientific

7. Bristol-Myers Squibb

8. Centene Corp.

9. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

10. Cigna

11. CVS Health

12. Express Scripts

13. Florida Blue

14. GlaxoSmithKline

15. Health Care Service Corp.

16. Highmark Health

17. Kaiser Permanente (Oakland, Calif.)

18. McKesson Corporation

19. Medtronic

20. Merck

Closing Thoughts:

Roughly 60 million Americans live with some form of disability, which ranges from physical, developmental as well as disabilities acquired by old age. This means that about 20 percent of the U.S. population will at some point have a child, sibling, neighbor or friend with a disability.

When employers hire people with disabilities, these companies promote disability inclusion. In fact, companies that hire people with disabilities experience practical and emotional benefits for their entire workforce.

About eWebSchedule:

As a workforce management software with integrated payroll capabilities, eWebSchedule is designed for the needs of agencies that provide services for individuals with developmental disabilities.

The eWebSchedule cloud-based software solution is part of the suite of healthcare billing services offered by ABCS (Advanced Billing & Consulting Services). They have a long history of working with agencies that serve individuals with developmental disabilities.

ABCS provides workforce management tools and services that are uniquely designed for human service agencies with direct support professionals (DSPs). For more information call 614-882-0726 or 614-796-0333.

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