National Disability Independence Day is celebrated annually on July 26th, commemorating the anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990. At BGSF, we recognize the contributions and rights of individuals with disabilities and strive to provide inclusive and accessible hiring practices that benefit everyone.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in four U.S. adults – 61 million Americans – have a disability that impacts major life activities. It is our responsibility to continually educate ourselves on disability rights and inclusive practices for all, which will foster empathy and understanding while bringing awareness to people’s lives, ambitions, biases, fears, motivations, and challenges.
Ways to Honor National Disability Independence Day
- Establish Employee Resource Groups (ERGs): Create or support ERGs to provide a supportive network, share experiences, and offer insights on improving the workplace for those with disabilities. Our DE&I Council, VIIBE (Voices Inspiring Inclusion, Belonging, & Equity), established in 2020, continuously shares resources internally to bring awareness and education to our team members.
- Inclusive Recruiting and Hiring Practices: Review and update hiring practices to promote inclusivity. Focus on attracting and recruiting candidates with disabilities and ensure the hiring process is accessible to everyone. We invite our employees and candidates to show up as their authentic selves each day, ensuring that BGSF is cultivating both equality and equity, while recognizing and celebrating our differences at work, in our homes, and our communities.
- Celebrate Employee Contributions: As a manager, it is important to recognize and celebrate the achievements and contributions of employees with disabilities (with permission). By highlighting their successes, including ways they have overcome challenges, you can inspire others.
- Provide Flexible Work Policies: Flexible work arrangements are often essential to accommodating the unique needs of employees with disabilities. This may include flexible hours, remote work options, specific equipment, or other adaptations to create a more equitable work environment.
- Accessibility in Marketing: Marketing materials should be inclusive and considerate of individuals with disabilities. At BGSF, we strive to ensure that our materials reflect our vision of connecting people with opportunities that help fulfill their life’s mission and transform lives, using diverse individuals and inclusive language that aligns with our values.
- Raise Awareness: Use your network to raise awareness about disability rights and the importance of an inclusive workplace by sharing educational content from the ADA.
Disability inclusion is an ongoing effort. We invite you to join in our efforts by taking proactive steps that foster an inclusive workplace to create a more diverse, equitable, and supportive environment for everyone. Be intentional and remember that every action can have a huge and positive impact on our work culture and the quality of life of our teammates.