Deloitte’s focus on accessibility underscores the organization’s commitment to equity and inclusion for people with disabilities
Deloitte has a longstanding reputation as a leader in advocating for the people with disabilities (PwD) community, which is evident at all levels of their organization – from local employee engagement to national executive-level sponsorship. Through many initiatives and programs, including the organization’s People with Disabilities & Allies (PwD&A) Advisory Committee, Deloitte is committed to the ongoing journey of creating a culture where all professionals have an opportunity to succeed, and they are continuously focused on evolving the policies and practices that center on the needs and experiences of Deloitte professionals with disabilities.
Deloitte believes that for a workplace to be fully inclusive, it must be accessible for everyone. With accessibility woven into DEI conversations and strategic decisions, an organization’s greatest resource—its people—will be better enabled to work to their fullest potential without impediment. For example, Deloitte’s focus on accessibility includes physical support (such as access ramps and accessible restrooms), along with readily-available digital tools and assistive technology devices designed with the PwD community in mind. With technology constantly evolving, Deloitte has an active partner in its Digital Accessibility Community of Excellence, which provides counsel and input on accessibility across all materials and platforms.
Deloitte is also taking an intentional approach to combating misconceptions about people with disabilities. Removing attitudinal barriers creates a more accessible, inclusive workplace for all, which is why Deloitte invests heavily in disability employment awareness, through training, local networking events, and a national speaker series featuring high-profile advocates and thought leaders such as Deloitte-sponsored Paralympics Gold Medalist, Brenna Huckaby, Oscar winner, Marlee Matlin, and deaf activist and author, Nyle DiMarco.
Recruiting and development opportunities must also be made accessible to the PwD community. In collaboration with Specialisterne Foundation, Deloitte is proud to be a part of the [email protected] movement. Through its [email protected] program, Deloitte recruits neurodivergent candidates and provide a three-month apprenticeship with an opportunity for full-time employment following the apprenticeship. Deloitte’s own research found that organizations that recruit, retain, and nurture neurodivergent workers can gain a competitive edge from increased diversity in skills, ways of thinking, and approaches to problem-solving
In July 2022, Deloitte published its second annual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Transparency Report. Designed for digital accessibility by following the highest standards of web content accessibility guidelines, the report outlined Deloitte’s commitment to diversify its workforce, strengthen its inclusive culture, and advance equity within its organization and in society. Within the report, based on individual’s disclosed workforce data through Deloitte’s self-id campaign, it was reported that 5.7% of the Deloitte US workforce, or 3,320 professionals, identify as a person with a disability. An increase from 1.8% reported in 2021, this number signals an emerging culture where more and more of people feel comfortable to self-identify and disclose their place within the disability community.
Deloitte’s PwD&A Team remains committed to recognizing the way that disability intersects across all identity groups. The Why(I)D Campaign spoke to the empowerment of self-identification options so that Deloitte can continue to support the needs of all its professionals and acknowledge the true value of their diverse identities. In addition, through the power of storytelling, and by sharing raw, uncut stories of professionals with disabilities and stories of allyship, Deloitte intends to continue to foster a community that values authenticity, unity, and openness.
Deloitte’s impact within the disability community is also felt externally through its membership with Valuable 500, a business collective made up of 500 CEOs and their companies advocating for disability inclusion. In addition, Deloitte is a presenting partner Corporate Sponsorship of Disability:IN and a proud sponsor of and trusted advisor to Team USA and the LA28 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
There is still much to learn and there will be many new opportunities to continue to increase accessibility, and create greater equity for people with disabilities. This is an ongoing journey that Deloitte is deeply committed to over the long term.