TDS Telecom (TDS®) was named Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion, earning a score of 90 on the Disability Equality Index (DEI).
“TDS is thrilled to be among the Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion. This is our first time participating in this award and we are proud to see the progress we have made in creating an accessible and inclusive workplace,” said Lauren Lins, manager of Talent Acquisition & Retention at TDS.
The DEI is a joint initiative between Disability:IN and the American Association for Persons with Disabilities (AAPD). It is the world’s most comprehensive benchmarking tool for Fortune 1000 companies and an objective assessment of their disability inclusion policies and practices.
By taking the DEI, companies can demonstrate their commitment to disability inclusion and equality, as well as broader social issues. In its seventh year, the DEI continues to see an increase in participation by businesses.
“We are so pleased to partner with 319 companies this year on the Disability Equality Index. Part of a corporate commitment to disability inclusion is recognizing your stance and using it as an ‘aha moment’ to drive the business investments needed to scale change. Inclusion and accessibility cuts across the enterprise,” said Jill Houghton, President & Chief Executive Officer, Disability:IN.
In 2021, 319 corporations, including 67 Fortune 100, 164 Fortune 500, and 180 Fortune 1000 utilized the DEI to benchmark their disability inclusion efforts. This year, 191 companies received a score of 100; 58 companies received a score of 90 and 23 companies received a score of 80.
The 2021 DEI measured: Culture & Leadership; Enterprise-Wide Access; Employment Practices (Benefits, Recruitment, Employment, Education, Retention & Advancement, Accommodations); Community Engagement; Supplier Diversity; Non-U.S. Operations (Non-Weighted).
In 2021, following the global pandemic, the DEI was modernized to add new non-weighted questions about innovative technology to advance digital and remote accessibility; mental wellness benefits; services for Deaf and hard of hearing employees; and flexible work options.
Each year, the DEI takes about 40 hours to complete. It is modeled off the Corporate Equality Index that highlights LGBTQ-inclusive workplace policies.
Globally, people with disabilities represent over one billion people. Disability is a natural part of the human experience, and it crosses lines of age, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and religion.
“In 2021 and beyond, TDS and its ABLE Associate Resource Group will continue our commitment to many of the disability inclusion practices featured in the DEI,” said Lins.
TDS is pleased to join UScellular in the DEI rankings, which earned a score of 100 for the second year in a row.
For more information on the 2021 Corporate Equality Index, or to download a free copy of the report, visit Disability Equality Index 2021 Annual Report (disabilityin-bulk.s3.amazonaws.com).