Disability Employment Statistics Don’t Tell the Whole Story

February 2, 2024

Since 2020, the workforce participation rate for people with disabilities has hit record highs. Working from home and an increased focus on DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) programs has put disability inclusion in the forefront in recent years. As a result, more companies have started mentioning disability in their voluntary non-financial reports.

Approximately 65% of Fortune 500 companies include disability inclusion in their impact reporting, according to a new report from Disability:IN, an organization dedicated to disability inclusion in business. However, few employers are disclosing any hard numbers–the actual number of people with disabilities among their ranks.

“When we saw the report, there’s this really encouraging piece that pulls on your heartstrings and says, ‘Oh, my God, 65% of the Fortune 500 are already doing this,’ which in one way we’re really excited about that, we want to champion that,” says Reid Jewett Smith, director of research and policy at Disability:IN. “But you dig one layer below that, and we find the percentage of the reporting that’s just really superficial, all of a sudden, shaves that number way down.”

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