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In The Know: Do Ask, Do Tell

How can companies build a disability inclusive culture? 

Encouraging employees with disabilities to self-identify and providing them with the proper support and structure to do so is one way. 

Often, employees refrain from identifying as a worker with a disability for fear of facing resulting prejudice or discrimination. The goal of every workplace should be to make employees feel safe disclosing their disabilities, which will in turn lessen the extent to which disability is a barrier to employment. 

"Do Ask, Do Tell" is a report by the non-profit organization The Conference Board that contains research collected from a survey of 98 companies and interviews with disability experts. The findings show that companies have much to work on before they can meet the target goal for disability representation. 

The practices outlined in this report give advice for how companies and organizations can hope to remedy the current status of workplace disability representation, such as: 

  • Articulate a clear business case for why employing individuals with disabilities is important
  • Put a face on disability by sharing the stories of employees with disabilities
  • Foster a strong employee resource group/business network on disabilities
  • Capitalize on the convergence of aging workforce issues and disability issues
  • Help managers and employees become “disability confident”
  • Communicate why they are asking those with disabilities to self-identify
  • Communicate how the information will be used and how anonymity or confidentiality will be protected
  • Communicate the benefits of self-identification for the employee
  • Provide multiple avenues for employees with disabilities to self-identify

Read the full report: 

Do Ask, Do Tell


In the Know is a bi-monthly feature on the LEAD Center blog that highlights important resources and information about the employment, policy and economic advancement of people with disabilities. To find even more useful resources, visit the LEAD Center Resource Center


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