For the past 75 years, October has been known as Disability Employment Awareness Month. It’s meant to raise awareness for the employment needs and impact of individuals with disabilities. This year’s theme, Increasing Access and Opportunity, is something we know a lot about at Intel—because we’re working every day to achieve our goal of becoming the most inclusive company on the planet.
Our employees with disabilities are incredible members of our team, and it’s our job to provide them with the resources they need to succeed. While we know we still have a lot of work in front of us, there’s a lot we’re already doing to create a more inclusive environment for employees with disabilities.
1. Disability will touch every one of us at some point in our lives.
According to the World Health Organization, 15% of the world’s population has some form of disability, and almost everyone will experience temporary or permanent disability at some point in life. Disabilities may include visible, physical disabilities or invisible disabilities, such as hearing loss, low vision, dyslexia, autism, diabetes, anxiety, depression, and many more.
2. Intel has taken a bold stance on disability inclusion.
Earlier this year, Intel announced goals for corporate social responsibility targeted for 2030, with inclusion as a key pillar. The plan continues our efforts to drive full inclusion and accessibility across the technology industry, expanding the pipeline of talent by creating and implementing a Global Inclusion Index with common metrics to drive accountability for progress. Additionally, Intel aims to do more to attract and retain talent who self-identify as having a disability, pledging to increase the percentage of employees who self-identify as having a disability to 10% of our workforce over the next decade.
3. Accessibility is part of Intel’s vision to be the most inclusive company on the planet.
Accessibility is the design of products, services, and environments for use by all people—including people with disabilities—making it central to Intel’s drive to create world-changing technology that enriches the lives of every person on Earth. That’s why Intel has a holistic accessibility strategy to drive a sustained culture of accessibility, focused on eliminating barriers, fostering innovation, better serving customers, and empowering all people to reach their full potential.
4. Intel provides resources for managing disabilities at work.
If Intel employees need support to manage a disability in the workplace, processes are in place for reasonable accommodation or workplace adjustment. Within the United States, reasonable accommodations are determined by an ADA case manager through the interactive process with employee, manager, and healthcare provider, if needed. Outside the U.S., workplace adjustments are handled by an HR business partner.
5. Engaging with Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) helps connect colleagues and fosters inclusion.
Intel offers more than 30 ERGs and seven leadership councils that connect over 22,000 blue badge employees. The Intel Disability and Accessibility Network (IDAN) ERG has nearly 1,000 members globally and offers resources and networking opportunities with the goal of making the world a better place for people with disabilities by influencing innovation, fostering an inclusive and accessible environment, and empowering employees to realize their full potential.
6. Intel understands that every employee plays an essential role in creating an environment where everyone is inspired to innovate, achieve their best, and feel a sense of belonging.
An important part of this process is language. Each individual may have different terms or comfort levels when speaking about their disability. If employees decide to disclose their disability, ask how you can best support them in their day-to-day work. Listening is the best way to learn. Allow employees with disabilities to lead the conversation, and if you are a manager, help them navigate Intel resources. The hope is that employees feel supported, confident, and empowered in self-identifying as having a disability.
7. Self-identifying helps create a more inclusive and accessible Intel.
Intel encourages employees with disabilities who are based in the United States to self-identify via Workday; efforts are underway to expand self-identification globally. Self-identification is voluntary and confidential, and individual disabilities are not disclosed. Intel encourages all employees who feel comfortable self-identifying to do so, as then they can provide the support needed to create an accessible and inclusive culture.