Shepherd Center Highlighted as a Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion
Shepherd Center announced today that it has been named a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion” by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and Disability:IN. Shepherd Center earned this recognition with a score of 90 out of a possible 100 on the Disability Equality Index® (DEI), the world’s most comprehensive benchmarking tool for measuring disability inclusion in the workplace.
“This recognition by American Association of People with Disabilities and Disability:IN underscores Shepherd Center’s commitment to its mission, which is to help people with disabilities rebuild their lives with hope, independence and dignity, while advocating for their full inclusion in all aspects of community life,” said Sarah Morrison, PT, MBA, MHA, president and CEO of Shepherd Center. “We’re honored by this recognition and will continue to expand our efforts to increase inclusion and celebrate the unique talents and perspectives our team brings to Shepherd Center and the community.”
Of the 272 businesses to qualify for the Disability Equality Index in 2021 with scores of 80 or above, Shepherd Center was one of 58 companies to earn a score of 90 or higher. Shepherd Center is one of only a few hospitals to receive a score of 90 or above.
“The Disability Equality Index shines a spotlight on companies that believe they have a stake in creating a more equitable society for people with disabilities,” said Maria Town, president and CEO of AAPD. “It is a conduit for our work championing disability rights for the 60 million Americans with disabilities and knocking down barriers to employment, technology and healthcare, and we're thrilled to see the progress being made today.”
A company’s 2021 DEI score is based on their self-reported inclusion practices, policies and hiring commitment for people with disabilities during the calendar year 2020. The DEI participants invest time and resources to build inclusive programs and policies across six areas, including culture and leadership, enterprise-wide access, employment practices (e.g., benefits, recruitment, employment, education, retention and advancement, and accommodations), community engagement and supplier diversity.
This year’s DEI was modernized to ask companies new questions that account for the evolving workplace following COVID-19. These questions address things such as their investments in innovative technology to advance digital accessibility, the availability of mental health and wellness benefits, paid caregiver leave, supplemental long-term disability insurance, accessible remote and in-person conferencing technologies, and flexible work options for people with disabilities.
You can view the entire Disability Equality Index here.
About the Disability Equality Index®
The Disability Equality Index (DEI) is a comprehensive benchmarking tool that helps companies build a roadmap of measurable, tangible actions that they can take to achieve disability inclusion and equality. Each company receives a score, on a scale of zero (0) to 100, with those earning 80 and above recognized as a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion.”
The DEI is a joint initiative of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), the nation’s largest disability rights organization, and Disability:IN, the global business disability inclusion network, to collectively advance the inclusion of people with disabilities. The organizations are complementary and bring unique strengths that make the project relevant and credible to corporations and the disability community. The tool was developed by the DEI Advisory Committee, a diverse group of business leaders, policy experts, and disability advocates. Learn more at: www.DisabilityEqualityIndex.org.
Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neuromuscular conditions. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. In its more than four decades, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed hospital that treats more than 740 inpatients, nearly 280 day program patients and more than 7,100 outpatients each year in more than 46,000 visits.