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Ethisphere Aligns With Disability Equality Index to Drive Awareness and Expertise

Ethisphere to collaborate with the American Association of People with Disabilities and Disability:IN to demonstrate how inclusion drives business success

Ethisphere, a global leader in defining and advancing standards of ethical business practices, announced today that it will collaborate with the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and Disability:IN to bring data, research and tools to the business community with the goal of promoting disability inclusion in the workforce.

Research shows that when companies adopt best practices for hiring people with disabilities, they outperform their peers among numerous financial metrics, as reported in “Getting to Equal: The Disability Inclusion Advantage,” a report published in 2018 by Accenture, Disability:IN and AAPD. The report was based on data from the Disability Equality Index (DEI), a national, transparent benchmarking tool that offers businesses an opportunity to receive an objective score, on a scale of zero to 100, on their disability inclusion policies is increasingly looked to by employees, customers, investors, regulators and legislators.

For this alliance, Ethisphere will advance the work of AAPD and Disability:IN through its platforms, including the Business Ethics Leadership Alliance (BELA), a 275+-member strong, globally recognized organization of leading companies collaborating together to share best practices in governance, risk management, compliance and ethics.

Ethisphere Chief Executive Officer Tim Erblich stated that disability inclusion in the workplace plays an important role in business success. “The data is clear; companies that embrace an inclusive workforce can improve their financial performance. We are proud to align our efforts with AAPD and Disability:IN to elevate the focus on workplace disability inclusion—this is a natural alliance with our BELA community, which is dedicated to advancing business integrity. I am encouraged by the data and look forward to the next step.”

AAPD Board Chair Ted Kennedy, Jr. lauded Ethisphere for the decision. “We are proud to collaborate with Ethisphere in advancing AAPD’s mission of economic independence and workforce participation for millions of Americans with disabilities,” said Kennedy, Jr., a bone cancer survivor and amputee, who co-chairs the DEI. “Many leading companies who participate in the DEI already recognize the unique value that people with disabilities can offer, including labor-force diversity, insights into a large consumer market, and greater profitability and shareholder returns, but far too many people with disabilities still face enormous barriers to self-determination and equal employment opportunities. By partnering with Ethisphere, the DEI and disability community will be able to accelerate our goal of inclusion and equal opportunity for all.”

To date, investors representing more than $2.1 trillion in combined assets, led by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read, have called on companies that they invest in to create inclusive workplaces that can benefit from employing the millions of talented people with disabilities, who remain underrepresented in the workforce. Signatories to a joint statement included New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs, the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS), Bank of America and Fortune 500 retirement and investment management company ​Voya Financial.

“As a company that has earned recognition as a World’s Most Ethical Company every year since our establishment and has earned inclusion on the Disability Equality Index, we applaud the collaboration between Ethisphere, AAPD and Disability:IN,” said Rodney O. MartinJr., chairman and CEO of Voya Financial. “Diversity, inclusion and equality for people with disabilities is an important aspect of ethical business practices.”

Disability:IN President and CEO Jill Houghton noted the alignment of Ethisphere’s focus on “Good. Smart. Business. Profit” and the 2018 research findings. “As our data reflected, disability inclusion provides businesses with a great opportunity to improve their bottom lines, while fostering innovative workplaces that benefit from different perspectives,” said Houghton.  “Companies looking to get started on or advance in their disability inclusion journey should attend the Disability:IN Annual Conference on July 13-16 in Orlando, Florida, and/or register for the 2020 DEI. These opportunities will allow companies to benchmark and network with their industry peers to advance their inclusion efforts.”

Join Kennedy, Jr. and more than 500 company leaders at the 12th Annual Global Ethics Summit in New York on April 1-2, 2020, the premier assembly for the convergence of pivotal issues such as corporate integrity, values, culture, ESG, diversity and more. At the upcoming Summit, Kennedy, Jr., will lead a distinguished plenary panel on the business case for inclusion, new data, and the impact on corporate performance and talent. To register, click here.

About Ethisphere 

The Ethisphere® Institute is the global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices that fuel corporate character, marketplace trust and business success. Ethisphere has deep expertise in measuring and defining core ethics standards using data-driven insights that help companies enhance corporate character. Ethisphere honors superior achievement through its World’s Most Ethical Companies recognition program, provides a community of industry experts with the Business Ethics Leadership Alliance (BELA) and showcases trends and best practices in ethics with Ethisphere Magazine. More information about Ethisphere can be found at

About the Business Ethics Leadership Alliance

Founded by Ethisphere, the Business Ethics Leadership Alliance (BELA) is a globally recognized organization of leading companies collaborating together to share best practices in governance, risk management, compliance and ethics. Learn more about BELA by visiting To nominate a company to join BELA, contact Director of Member Engagement Sarah Neumann at [email protected].

About the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)

AAPD is a convener, connector, and catalyst for change, increasing the political and economic power of people with disabilities. As one of the leading national cross-disability civil rights organizations, AAPD advocates for the full recognition of rights for the over 60 million Americans with disabilities. Learn more at:

About Disability:IN

Disability:IN, formerly known as the US Business Leadership Network, is the leading nonprofit resource for business disability inclusion worldwide. Partnering with more than 185 corporations, Disability:IN expands opportunities for people with disabilities across enterprises. The organization and 31 affiliates raise a collective voice of positive change for people with disabilities in business. Through its programs and services, Disability:IN empowers businesses to achieve disability inclusion and equality, with the goal of advancing inclusion to the point when the organization is no longer necessary. Learn more at:

About the Disability Equality Index (DEI)

The Disability Equality Index (DEI) is a joint initiative of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and Disability:IN. Developed by the DEI Advisory Committee, a diverse group of business leaders, policy experts, and disability advocates, the DEI is a national, transparent, annual benchmarking tool for disability inclusion that offers businesses an opportunity to receive an objective score and help companies identify opportunities for continued improvement and help build a company’s reputation as an employer of choice. 2020 DEI registration is open until Jan. 31, 2020, at


Media contacts 

Aarti Maharaj​
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Elaine Kubik
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