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Making the Business Case


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Title: Making the Business Case

Making the Business Case
  • Charles A. Riley II, PhD
  • author of
  • Disability and Business (UPNE)

We Magazine1996-2001
(No Transcript)
International Center for Corporate Accountability
  • The mission of ICCA is to urge multinational
    corporations to create and subscribe to voluntary
    standards that would guide their conduct in
    overseas operations regarding issues such as
    wages and working conditions, protection of human
    rights (including disability), and sustainable

Disability and Business Best Practices and
Strategies for Inclusion
What Corporate Leaders Fear
  • What has kept corporations from recognizing the
    opportunity that disability offers?
  • Lack of information. When strategists are asked
    to try something different, there is comfort in
  • Basic SWOT analysis precedes a top-down buy-in
  • The carrot is now more effective than the stick

Trend Spotting
  • For connoisseurs of business trends, disability
    is in the bulls eye of three major movements
  • The knowledge workers rise inflated by the
    computer age
  • The demand-driven consumer rights revolution that
    took power from producers
  • The boomer generation with all its clout

The Trading Zone
  • Must be in the workplace and marketplace
  • From HR to PR, marketing, tech, legal, design,
    management and customer service, from customer to
    ceo, all are at the table
  • A place of visibility for the disability
    community and the nondisabled business partner
  • A place for handshakes, not handouts

Theres More at the Door (HR)IBM, Merrill,
Microsoft, COSD
  • Hire from the community to which you hope to sell
  • Send out your best managers with disabilities to
    attract candidates
  • Link recruiting to strategic planning in sales
    and operations
  • Go to the focused sources for candidates,
    including organizations like COSD and colleges
    noted for disability
  • Don't be shy about using in-house affinity groups
    and product development as recruiting bait
  • Interns and mentoring are proven measures
  • Make sure accommodations are in place before
    launching a disability effort

Right Behind You I See the Millions
(Marketing)Mattel, Avis, Universal
  • Communicate your commitment in labels,
    advertising, packaging, press campaigns, Web
  • Graft a disability affinity group onto other
    existing diversity groups
  • Create a customer advisory board or task force
    composed to provide guidance, insights, expertise
  • Explore the crossover demand of multiple
  • Know the customers needs and comfort level
  • Enlist the expertise of the disability
    grass-roots nonprofits (not service providers)
    and the support of top brass
  • Avoid patronizing or insulting language and
  • Ensure alternative formats, such as Braille and
    large-print, for promotional materials

From You I Get the Story (Public
Relations)Kinkos, Motorola
  • Edit your copy for media kits and presentations
    to ensure people-first language
  • Top the release or press materials with the
    disability angle for the specialty press
  • Position the articles in metro, news and
    business, not in health or lifestyle
  • Have a lineup ready of trusted in-house sources
    with disabilities who can represent the company
  • Pitch the people or products, not the disability
  • Make the copy clear and consistent on disability
    and accessibility, from manuals through media
    kits and presentations
  • Avoid using philanthropy to deflect
    discrimination accusations in the case of hit
  • Build a disability history or story platform to
    show the legacy within the company and community.

How Do You Think He Does It?(Design and
Architecture)Steelcase, Adaptive Environments
  • Let user-experts guide you to both problems and
  • Audit the workplace for design shortcomings based
    on a range of disabilities
  • Tinker with technology. Not all solutions come
    off the shelf.
  • Solicit customer and visitor suggestions
  • Automate everything possible with
    voice-activation and smart technology

The Camp With A Difference(Management)Suntrust
, Cingular
  • Promote the growth of affinity groups dedicated
    to disability culture
  • Build teams based on complementary rather than
    homogenous strengths
  • Apply a 360-degree perspective to leadership
  • Use constant communications to sync disability
    and corporate cultures
  • Include the recommendations of disability task
    forces in company strategy and policy
  • Play the long-shot now and then on matching
    disability and job requirements

The Top 50 U.S. Disability-ForwardCompanies
Consulting with experts in the disability
field, the author ranked these companies
according to their performance in three areas
1) aggressively recruiting, training, and
promoting people with disabilities 2) investing
in assistive technology and accessible
workplaces 3) recognizing the power of
customers with disabilities
  • 1. IBM
  • A Big Blue-sized marketing effort in assistive
    technology is matched by a decadesold
  • tradition of weaving disability and corporate
    cultures through recruiting (diversity
  • chief Ted Childs aggressively accents disability)
    and accommodation.
  • 2. Microsoft
  • Chairman Bill Gates supports national
    initiatives, including the USBLG, while his
  • HR managers under Mylene Padolina effectively
    recruit students with disabilities
  • (as early as high school) as interns and new
    hires. The in-house affinity groups and
  • brilliant accessible technology team make it the
    dream office for accessibility.
  • 3. SunTrust
  • This major banks disability policy has reached
    an advanced level of cultural integration,
  • including employee and customer awareness, even
    as its call centers and
  • products attract strong numbers of recruits and
    new clients.
  • 4. Cingular Wireless
  • The in-house winner for its savvy niche marketing
    and outstanding HR policies,
  • this telecom giant invests its dynamic affinity
    groups with the strategic power to integrate

  • 5. Bank of America
  • A strong advocate and supporter of the Business
    Leadership Network, the bank is
  • also notable for its full-blown ad campaign for
    customers with disabilities.
  • 6. Booz Allen Hamilton
  • The consulting firm is a perennial award winner
    for campus recruitment, college
  • internships, and a record of promoting from
    within. Its Disabilities Task Force and
  • Disabilities Program Manager are used by the NBDC
    as a best practices model.
  • 7. Procter Gamble
  • Under chief diversity officer Deb Dagit, the
    masters of marketing boast an outstanding
  • recruiting record and benefits program, making
    them a prize employer for
  • managers with disabilities.
  • 8. JPMorgan Chase
  • With the acquisition of Bank One, which has
    enjoyed a hugely successful marketing
  • effort of its redesigned and highly accessible
    facilities, the fast-growing investment

  • 9. Merck
  • The pharmaceutical giant uses sponsorships and
    participation in advocacy efforts to
  • build an image in the disability community,
    establishing a solid symmetry in its outreach to
    consumers and recruits.
  • 10. Wells Fargo
  • A pioneer in accommodation, the bank is also way
    out front in marketing, with the
  • first accessible ATM (now up to 4,800
    state-of-the-art machines with assistive
    technology) and an award-winning accessible Web
  • 11. Motorola
  • A major presence in college recruiting and
    advocacy, the leading maker of cool cell phones
    recognized early in the game the advantages of
    multiple applications of accessible and usable
    technology in product design.
  • 12. Nordstrom
  • The retailer captured its place in disability
    business history through its high-visibility
  • advertising campaigns have used cause marketing
    since 1987. More recently, it
  • has made strides on the HR and management

  • 13. Manpower
  • The worlds biggest employer, a past winner of
    New Freedom Initiative Award, keeps
  • thousands of workers with disabilities on its
    rolls, with benefits.
  • 14. UPS
  • Worldwide shipper wields its purchasing power as
    an influential force through its
  • Supplier Diversity Program as well as its hiring
    might through such programs as
  • the Marriott Foundations Bridges, state
    vocational services, and non-profit agencies
  • (particularly serving deaf workers).
  • 15. Merrill Lynch
  • Thanks to the dynamic in-house advocate Chris
    Fossel, the affinity group and recruiting
  • efforts post significant hiring numbers in
    combination with targeted retail efforts, a
    record of success particularly in the Deaf
  • 16. Lockheed Martin
  • The massive defense contractor is a powerhouse
    in diversity, emphasizing disability
  • in its HR training and garnering perennial
    awards and high marks from Careers and the
    disABLED magazine.
  • 17. Federated Department Stores
  • The rookie of the year in 2006 for its employee
    training and comprehensive marketing
  • efforts is ensuring that its Macys sales force
    is up to speed on disability culture.

  • 18. General Electric
  • As a design innovator of accessible consumer
    home products, including a highly profitable
    kitchen, GE is also a leader in reaching the
    disability market, especially after taking the
    extra step to make its Web portal completely
  • 19. Wal-Mart
  • The new addition of Deidre Davis to the
    executive ranks as their first director of ADA
    services is considered a major move by advocates,
    gaining community points for a company that has
    already scored high for hiring people with
    developmental disabilities as well as seniors
    (225,000 of them).
  • 20. Sears
  • A solid track record at Sears on accommodation
    and HR joins a highly regarded disability
    marketing effort, established over a decade ago,
    at Kmart to make one of the most balanced
    examples among retailers of disability awareness.
  • 21. Charles Schwab
  • Disability awareness starts at the topthe
    founder and chairman, whose name is on the door,
    has dyslexia.

  • 22. Medtronic
  • The world leader in medical technology is a
    growing presence in the Business Leadership
    Network, thanks to Karen Quammem, which named it
    Employer of the Year for 2005 in part for its
    cultural affinity network.
  • 23. TJX
  • The nations top clothes retailer is the source
    of hundreds of jobs for workers with disabilities
    through the nationwide Resource Partnership and
    uses its strong supplier diversity policy to
    wield wider influence.
  • 24. Blue Cross
  • This massive healthcare network is a classic
    example of the medical industry hiring from its
    core market. It hosted the 2003 COSD conference.
  • 25. General Motors
  • The carmaker is miles ahead of domestic rivals
    on accessible design, customer service (including
    TTY for OnStar) and marketing to drivers with
  • 26. United Technologies
  • Not surprisingly, a major supplier of disability
    products, including Otis elevators, is also a
    major employer.

  • 27. Black and Decker
  • This important holdover from the old industrial
    economy is an outstanding example
  • of accommodation in an era when too many jobs for
    people with disabilities are
  • in the service sector.
  • 28. Starbucks
  • Conspicuously eager to be perceived as a
    corporate good citizen, the coffee chain
  • lowered the bar for wheelchair users on both
    sides, working and sipping, making
  • it a recent but caffeinated entrant into the
    recruiting and marketing games.
  • 29. Pitney-Bowes
  • A copier with multiple access features was a
    major coup in universal design enabled
  • by disability-forward strategists who spotted a
    great niche.
  • 30. Johnson Johnson
  • The all-round diversity champion does not leave
    disability out of the mix with its Return
  • to Wellness integrated disability management
    program that supports employees
  • returning to work on flex-time.
  • 31. Marriott
  • The hotelier is a pioneer through its foundation
    program called Bridges (from
  • school to work), now in its 17th year, a major
    force in supported employment that
  • has racked up over 7,800 placements with 1,500
    employers. Caveat Considered by

  • 33. 3M
  • A top-ranking technology company with an
    outstanding example of an in-house employee
  • resource group (the DisabilityAdvisory Network)
    and a model HR and benefits
  • policy (Total Disability Management program) that
    is especially strong in the
  • area of developmental disabilities.
  • 34. American Express
  • A major employer of people with disabilities,
    they just appointed EVP Kevin L. Cox,
  • noted disability expert, to a high-ranking
    strategic HR spot.
  • 35. Northwest Airlines
  • This is a turn-around tale The one-time target
    of travelers complaints has launched
  • recruiting, workplace accommodation, advocacy,
    and marketing efforts with their
  • innovative Customer Advisory Board that redeem
    old offenses.
  • 36. ConAgra
  • The food giant has nurtured disability awareness
    as a cultural component of its
  • award-winning Valuing Diversity Initiative.
  • 37. Qualcomm
  • The Department of Labor recently recognized the
    telecom supplier as a leader in the
  • employment of veterans with disabilities.

  • 39. MacDonalds
  • With its huge presence in supported employment
    and philanthropy, which some
  • say is old school, the burger chain creates
    thousands of jobs annually.
  • 40. Honeywell
  • This founding member of the (now defunct) Able to
    Work consortium has a great
  • track record on turning its assistive tech
    innovations into employee perks.
  • 41. Mattel
  • The toymaker made history with Share-a-Smile
    Becky, Barbies wheelchair-using
  • friend, and remains disability-forward in its
    marketing and philanthropy.
  • 42. Chrysler
  • The automakers annual design awards promote
    accessibility, a standout feature of
  • its own models (such as the PT Cruiser, one of
    the best cars for wheelchair users).
  • 43. Universal Studios Home Entertainment
  • The studio garnered rave reviews on progress for
    disability in the media with the simultaneous
    release of Ray in DVD and enhanced DVS format.
  • 44. Hewlett-Packard
  • For years a dominant player in recruiting people
    with disabilities, as well as accessible
  • technology, HP is a past winner of the New
    Freedom Initiative Award.
  • 45. Avis

  • 46. ExxonMobil
  • The gas giant is a strong supporter of advocacy
    and recruiting groups, including COSD, as well as
    nonprofit service organizations.
  • 47. Caterpillar
  • The huge equipment manufacturer is an assistive
    technology leader and towering philanthropic
    force for its support of the Special Olympics.
  • 48. Colgate-Palmolive
  • A steady supporter of Just One Break and other
    employment initiatives, Colgate also plays a
    strong marketing role as an advertiser in
    disability publications.
  • 49. Ford
  • An automaker that is going all-out to be
    regarded as a good corporate citizen, Ford puts
    user-experts to work designing cars that offer
    mobility to consumers with disabilities. A recent
    conference on the issue was titled Not Just
  • 50. MGM
  • Recognizing the tremendous market among people
    with disabilities for casinos and resorts, this
    entertainment company is pouring resources into

On Second Thought
  • 41) Google
  • Strong disability presence throughout voluminous
    mission statement on corporate social
    responsibility, backed by significant hiring and
    solid if not perfect effort on accessible Web
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