Booz Allen Hamilton Again Earns Top Score of 100 on 2016 Disability Equality Index
For the second year in a row, Booz Allen Hamilton has received the top score of 100 on the 2016 Disability Equality Index® (DEI®), and has been named a “Best Place to Work” by the DEI.
The DEI, a joint initiative of the US Business Leadership Network® (USBLN®) and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), is a national, transparent benchmarking tool that offers businesses an opportunity to receive an objective assessment of their overall disability inclusion policies and practices.
“We are very proud to again earn the top score on the Disability Equality Index,” said Booz Allen Senior Vice President Jennifer Swindell, who chairs Booz Allen’s Disability Agenda. “Disability touches more people than we imagine. Depending on how you define it, at least one quarter of the population will either experience a disability or have a significant relationship with someone who does.”
Jennifer Swindell participated in Booz Allen’s newly launched video series, “Let’s Talk About It,” which features employees and leaders at the firm talking about their experiences as part of the disability community. She said, “As the parent of a child with a disability, a person with a disability myself, and as the leader of Booz Allen’s disability inclusion strategy, my hope is that everyone is seen for what they bring to the table, and that people don’t react to what they see—but rather to who that person is.”
DEI points are awarded in four major categories: Culture & Leadership, Enterprise-wide Access, Employment Practices, and Community Engagement & Support Services. Companies receive points in any given area by responding affirmatively to a significant portion of the numerous best practices outlined.
The survey gives companies an opportunity to reevaluate policies and practices and determine where the company stands in regards to being a best in class organization for disability inclusion practices.
"We are proud to see the year over year growth, improvement and results from participating companies,” said Jill Houghton, Executive Director, USBLN. “We know that policies alone don’t always translate into inclusion. 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. This is only the beginning of what’s to come as companies continue to embrace the DEI and work hard to take their disability inclusion policies and practices to the next level.”
“As we approach the twenty-sixth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and celebrate our achievements, we also recommit ourselves to ensuring all Americans with disabilities are able to build vibrant futures for themselves and their families, and the DEI can help make that happen," said Helena Berger, President and CEO of AAPD. "The DEI is an effective, non-punitive tool -- as demonstrated by the many returning companies who maintained or increased their score -- that builds a partnership between the disability and business communities to ultimately expand employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities and embrace the talents and skills we bring to the workplace."
A comprehensive list of DEI top scoring companies deemed “2016 DEI Best Places to Work” can be found on the DEI website or follow the conversation using #DEI16.
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 prior to the official go-live launch of the inaugural DEI in Fall 2014, which concluded in 2015.