In another example of Rush's commitment to accommodating people with disabilities, for the second year in a row, Rush University Medical Center is among the top-scoring organizations on the Disability Equality Index (DEI). With a score of 80%, Rush again has earned the honor of being named one of the nation's “Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion."
“Achieving recognition as a 'Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion' for the second year in a row sends a clear message to all Rush employees with disabilities that we can't achieve excellence without their vital contributions," said Kevin Irvine, senior talent acquisition consultant for individuals with disabilities, facilitator of the Rush Disabilities Employee Resource Group and co-chair of the Rush ADA Task Force. “For job seekers with disabilities, the Disability Equality Index award serves as a beacon and helps Rush to attract the very best and most qualified candidates."
The DEI is a prominent benchmarking tool for organizations to gauge their level of disability workplace inclusion against other organizations. The tool was developed by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and Disability:IN, a nonprofit resource for business disability inclusion worldwide. These national leaders are supported by a diverse committee made up of experts in business, policy and sustainability advocacy.
Scores are on a scale from 0 to 100, but a score of 100 is not meant to convey the idea of perfection. There is no one “right" way to practice inclusion, according to the AAPD and Disability:IN, and some practices may be more practical for some companies or industries than others. Organizations that are top scorers, earning 80% and higher, adhere to many of the leading disability inclusion practices featured in the DEI.
Receiving this honor is particularly special because it coincides with the ADA's 30th anniversary.
“The Disability Equality Index top-scoring companies represent those businesses that have invested in accessibility and inclusion across their enterprise," said Maria Town, president and CEO of AAPD. “As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the ADA, it is wonderful to see the progress made by these companies, and we hope to see continued progress and support for the DEI over the next 30 years."
In 2020, nearly 250 corporations, including both Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies, used the DEI to benchmark their disability inclusion efforts. This year's DEI measured the following areas:
- Community engagement
- Culture and leadership
- Employment practices (accommodations, benefits, education, employment, recruitment, retention and advancement)
- Enterprisewide access
- Non-U.S. operations (non-weighted)
- Supplier diversity
Now in its sixth year, the DEI helps businesses address the unemployment and underemployment of people with disabilities.
“The best way to attract, retain and grow talent with disabilities is to create an accessible, inclusive workplace," said Jill Houghton, president and CEO of Disability:IN.
“Rush's commitment to disability inclusion ensures that we keep the best people on our team when they acquire a disability at any point in their career," said Irvine. “Rush thrives when everyone knows they can bring their whole self to work."