Amazon Leading the Way on Disability Equality Index

The Disability Equality Index is a benchmarking tool that has been designed to help companies become inclusive of disability and provide quality to all staff. The comprehensive set of guidelines enables any company to create a roadmap, providing measurable actions, so they can make progress and ensure they are recognised as a ‘best place to work for disability inclusion’. In order to claim that accreditation, they must score 80 or above out of the 100 points available. For the second year running, Amazon has scored an impressive 100 out of 100 based on its ability to provide leadership, access, culture, and positive employment practices for every employee.

Positive Steps for All

As an NDIS provider on the Gold Coast, we are always delighted to see that companies are striving to make themselves inclusive and accessible. Although the DEI is an American-based initiative created by the American Association of People with Disabilities, they partner with Disability:IN, which is more globally focused. The work they are doing together is the perfect collaboration of both companies’ strengths. It will greatly benefit anyone with accessibility issues to the workplace, provided the company is prepared to sign up and do the work. Amazon is a global employer and is clearly happy to lead the way, which will be of great interest to anyone looking for work.

A Wide Group of Employees

Amazon is always keen to promote its inclusivity and often publishes interviews with some of its current employees who have disabilities. Naomi Johnson is part of the Amazon stores team, but more than that, she is also a people with Disabilities, Diversity, Equality and Inclusion business partner; she said, “I got into this work because I was recently diagnosed with autism, dyspraxia, and ADHD,” said Naomi. “And more than 15% of people in the U.K. alone are neurodivergent. I want to help change people’s understanding of what disability means. I want to make sure people can comfortably say who they are. I want to make a difference for my kids who are also neurodivergent, because they’re the next generation of all of us.”

Shadi Abou-Zahra is a quadriplegic and currently a Principal Accessibility Standard and Policy Manager for the Amazon devices accessibility team. He works from their offices in Austria and is a king promoter of access ability. He said, “Accessibility is my passion, and at Amazon, I feel I can live that every day,” he said. “In accessibility, I can combine my professional background as an engineer with my personal life as a quadriplegic.”

They both agree that in order to provide a truly accessible workplace, you need to work backwards from the customer or, in this case, the employee. By understanding what makes life work for them, you can work to create the perfect solution, which removes any barriers and makes every workplace completely accessible no matter what disability. Hopefully, more companies will take up the challenge of scoring as close to 100 points as possible, making their workplaces disability friendly.

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