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7 Businesses That Are Prioritizing Accessibility

These seven companies are making their workplaces more accessible for employees with disabilities — and winning the talent war in the process.

With half of workers saying it’s extremely or very important to them to work somewhere that is accessible for people with disabilities, workplace accessibility has become an integral part of many companies’ talent acquisition strategies.  

 

While it’s not always easy, businesses have strong incentives to make their workplace more accessible: one in four Americans — 25% of the potential workforce — have some type of disability.  

 

Making your workplace accessible allows you to tap into this pool of talent, enriching your team with skills and diverse perspectives that can contribute to the success of the company. 

 

“Accessibility does not just accommodate employees with disabilities, it attracts them,” writes Mari-Anne Kehler for GHJ Insights. “It showcases a commitment to harnessing the full spectrum of talent, regardless of physical or cognitive diversity.”  

 

Today, we’re sharing seven companies that are prioritizing accessibility, implementing various initiatives to create more inclusive workplaces. But first, let’s define what we mean when we’re talking about workplace accessibility.  

What is workplace accessibility?

Workplace accessibility refers to creating an environment that enables all workers, including those with disabilities, to perform their jobs effectively and participate fully in workplace activities. This includes physical accommodations such as wheelchair ramps and adjustable height desks, as well as technological accommodations like screen readers and captioning services.  

 

Workplace accessibility also encompasses policies and practices that promote inclusivity and support the diverse needs of employees, ensuring equal opportunities for everyone to thrive in the workplace. 

Workplace accessibility examples

1. Microsoft

Microsoft is renowned for its accessibility efforts in its products and services, such as incorporating features like screen readers and magnifiers into its operating systems. This commitment to accessibility also extends to its own workforce, helping to set a high standard for accessibility in the tech industry and beyond. 

 

One example is Microsoft’s neurodiversity hiring program, which aims to attract neurodivergent candidates and support their professional growth. The program, which began in 2015, has given rise to other initiatives like the Neurodiversity @ Work Employer Roundtable — a coalition of employers leading the way in neurodiversity-focused hiring.  

 

Microsoft also provides accessibility training and resources for employees, including online courses, workshops, and guidelines, to raise awareness and build skills in accessibility across the organization. 

2. Salesforce

Recognizing the unique talent that individuals with disabilities bring to the table, Salesforce aims to become “the employer of choice for people with disabilities”. To that end, Salesforce actively recruits individuals with disabilities and offers job coaching and accommodations to help all individuals grow in their careers. It has also added commitment to accessibility to its Supplier Code of Conduct. 

 

Beginning in 2022, Salesforce added a dedicated Accessibility Track to its annual Dreamforce conference. The event attracted over 700 accessibility champions across 13 sessions, advancing the conversation around accessibility and inclusion of people with disabilities. The event also included accessibility improvements like sign language interpreters, accessible seating, and low sensory spaces.  

3. Accenture

In 2019, Accenture opened its first Accessibility Center — a dedicated space where employees can try out all types of assistive technology and ergonomic equipment. This includes everything from speech-to-text tools that help individuals with hearing impairments participate in conference calls to motorized wheelchairs that help people with limited mobility move around the office.  

 

Accessibility Centers not only give employees with disabilities access to assistive technology tools, they also enable other Accenture employees and clients to learn about and experience accessibility firsthand.  Today, Accenture has 32 Accessibility Centers across Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America, with more in the works.  

4. Bank of America

As the first bank in the U.S. to make an accessible online banking platform and roll out talking ATMs at all locations, Bank of America has been a leader in accessibility. Bank of America is also committed to ensuring that employees with disabilities can achieve financial stability.  

 

For over 25 years, its Support Services division has employed individuals with intellectual disabilities to do marketing and fulfillment operations. Support Services now employs more than 300 individuals.  

5. Starbucks

Aiming to set a precedent for other retailers, Starbucks is transforming its stores to accommodate employees and customers with disabilities. 

 

The newly introduced accessibility measures, which were developed in collaboration with stakeholders and accessibility experts, include optimized lighting and acoustics, power-operated doors, lower counters, and visual aids, ensuring a more inclusive experience in physical and digital spaces. Starbucks will also provide more accessible equipment for employees with disabilities.  

 

The coffee chain opened its first Inclusive Store in Washington, D.C., in February 2024, with plans to expand these initiatives beyond its 16,000 current locations.  

6. United Airlines

United Airlines has consistently been named a top company for disability inclusion, earning a perfect score on the Disability Equality Index again in 2023.  

 

As part of its accessibility efforts, United created an Accessible Travel Advisory Board comprised of experts with disabilities. The Board hosts learning events and provides accessibility awareness training to employees, airport partners, and vendors. The Board also weighs in on the airline’s policies and procedures for travelers with disabilities.  

7. Comcast

With more than a quarter of the population having some type of disability, Comcast aims to build a workforce that more closely reflects the demographics of the disability community. 

 

In 2018, the cable giant launched an initiative to encourage employees with disabilities to self-identify. By confidentially disclosing their disability status, Comcast can act on this information to provide accommodations and help all employees succeed in the workplace.  

Final thoughts

Prioritizing accessibility for employees is not just the right thing to do. It’s also a smart business move that contributes to a more inclusive, productive, and successful workplace. From actively seeking out a diverse range of candidates to addressing the accessibility of physical spaces and events, these seven companies serve as an example of forward-thinking in inclusion and accessibility.  

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