Survey reveals impact of pandemic-driven remote-work trends on disability-inclusion initiatives
UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group), a leading global provider of HCM, payroll, HR service delivery, and workforce management solutions, announced “The State of Workplace Disability Inclusion & Digital Accessibility,” a report on how an increase in remote work caused by COVID-19 has affected companies’ efforts to improve digital accessibility for employees with disabilities.
“Although this may seem like a ‘pause’ in the way we work, we will soon see which companies have taken action now, positioning themselves for a more resilient, sustainable, and innovative future ahead.”
An estimated one billion people around the world live with a disability, including nearly 61 million American adults. People with disabilities have historically faced more barriers in the workplace, with unemployment rates for disabled populations ranging from 50% to 90% globally. COVID-19 has further complicated the job market, as many employers grapple with tighter budgets and the need to keep employees working from home instead of in the office. In 2019, only about 20% of the U.S. workforce worked remotely at least some of the time. Today, that figure has more than doubled, with nearly half of employees working from home full time.
In collaboration with disability inclusion non-profit Disability:IN, UKG surveyed 1,000 managers at U.S. companies with more than 150 employees to understand whether leaders are well-equipped to effectively support direct reports with disabilities, especially as the pandemic has driven more companies to adapt to remote work.
On the heels of the 75th National Disability Employment Awareness month, and the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the survey showed that employers today are taking disability inclusion seriously, and highlighted some unexpected benefits of the sudden shift to remote work. Overall, many employers are making policy adjustments that allow for broader acceptance of reasonable workplace adaptations, improving the work lives of employees both with and without disabilities.