October 03, 2022
Disability Inclusion in the Workplace
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Individuals with disabilities are our family, friends, community members and colleagues who are viable and essential to the success of any community or organization.
Over 60 million people in the United States of America, approximately one in four (26%), are living with disabilities. According to Disabled World, “individuals with disabilities make up the nation’s largest minority group.” Including people with disabilities requires more than random acts of kindness and words of encouragement. It requires making sure that adequate policies, processes and practices are in effect in a community or an organization.
Carnegie Mellon University recognizes that disability inclusion is the relationship between the action of providing equal access, equal resources, and the removal of barriers to those with disabilities. The Office of Human Resources supports the university’s mission to attract and retain diverse talent by ensuring the university’s policies, processes and practices are not barriers to people with disabilities. Both Carnegie Mellon University and the Office of Human Resources’ continually strive to provide individuals with disabilities full and equal access to all benefits and privileges of employment that are available to similarly situated employees.
Achieving disability inclusion in the workplace requires taking an honest, data-driven and fact-driven approach to understand successes and opportunities to improve. Annually, the Office of Human Resources invites employees to voluntarily self-identify their diversity identity, such as race, sex, veteran status and disability, confidentially via Workday. For individuals with disabilities, self-identification as well as reaching out to the Office of Disability Services will help to initiate discussions around possible and reasonable job accommodations.
In December, employees will have an opportunity to voluntarily self-identify their diversity identity. The Office of Human Resources encourages all employees with a disability or history/record of having a disability to self-identify. Thank you in advance for empowering university leaders and champions of disability inclusion to continue building a university culture that supports the needs of individuals with disabilities, as well as all employees.