Globally, people with disabilities represent more than one billion people across all lines of age, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status and religion. This is a big group that needs to be properly represented, some with individual needs that need to be addressed – and not just because it’s the right thing to do. One billion people also represent a significant revenue and skills opportunity.
American Airlines has been working to meet the needs of people with disabilities in its workforce, and for the seventh year in a row, the carrier has received the top score of 100 on the Disability Equality Index (DEI), and been named one of the best places to work for disability inclusion in 2022.
The DEI scheme is designed to help businesses make a positive impact on the unemployment/underemployment of people with disabilities. The index was launched by Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) in 2015 as a disability inclusion assessment tool for businesses. Companies that agree to assessment for the DEI can demonstrate their commitment to disability inclusion and equality, as well as broader social issues, which they can use to enhance their reputation.
“Our mission is to care for people on life’s journey, and that starts with our team members,” said Cedric Rockamore, chief diversity officer at American Airlines. “We have been intentional in creating an inclusive culture where people of all abilities feel welcomed, and American is proud to receive this prestigious recognition.”
Maria Town, president and CEO of AAPD added, “There is no single best way to practice disability inclusion. However, the companies taking the DEI share the desire to create a workplace that fosters the concept of bringing your whole self to the office. We look forward to working with all of the participants to help identify meaningful ways to build upon their current practices as we continue on the disability inclusion journey together.”
American Airlines’ CEO, Robert Isom, also recently signed the CEO Letter on Disability Inclusion as a part of Disability:IN’s global CEOs Are IN campaign. In the letter, CEOs call on peers to follow their lead and evaluate their corporate inclusion progress by taking the Disability Equality Index (DEI).