Beyond the ADAReflections of the Past and Visions for the Future
The ADA Turns 31
The passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was an historic event that changed the lives of deaf and disabled people forever. Before the ADA, restaurants and businesses could refuse to serve deaf and disabled customers, and businesses could refuse to hire them, or pay them less for the same job a nondisabled person did. Wheelchair users frequently found themselves unable to enter buildings and, without access to public transport and restrooms, and deaf and hard-of-hearing people were be denied interpreters and captions.
Thanks to the activists who fought tirelessly for the ADA itself, and those who continue to advocate for its implementation and enforcement, we’ve seen great strides in access to services and inclusion of deaf and disabled people across society. However, large gaps still remain. Persistent myths and stereotypes about disability mean nondisabled employers hesitate to hire deaf and disabled people. The rapid progress of technology means guidelines for access quickly become outdated. Still other businesses and industries have flat out refused to comply with the law, despite three decades’ worth of time to adjust.
The ADA: Where we’re headed
To honor the anniversary of the ADA, we’ve put together a panel of experts who will cover the importance of access and inclusion for deaf and hard-of-hearing people across all parts of society, including employment, interpersonal communication, customer service, health, and education. Specifically, we’ll be making a deep dive into how going above and beyond today’s standards can benefit all people.
Rather than thinking of band-aid solutions that can provide “functionally equivalent” substitutes to people on the other side of a given barrier, we’ll talk about ways to take down those walls completely, and transform your brand or business in a way that has lasting positive effects.
Diversity and Inclusion is for everybody
D/HH people represent a market value of $86 billion and growing, but it’s a market that’s often overlooked to the detriment of both deaf people, and the businesses themselves. In today’s social justice-focused climate, centering deaf and disabled people in your marketing strategy has a clear ripple effect that can improve customer relations across the board—today’s consumers want to support brands that reflect their values, and diversity and inclusion are a top priority specifically among the younger generations.
Including D/HH people in your recruitment strategy can be similarly valuable. For example, disabled employees show an 85% job-retention rate after one year. And according to new research, companies that show outstanding leadership in disability employment and inclusion have about 28% higher revenue, 30% higher profit margins, and double the net income. Hiring the deaf and disabled people isn’t just “the right thing” to do. It’s the right thing for you.
Ready to go beyond the ADA? Join us for a webinar Friday, July 30th.
Register to join us on Friday, July 30th, from 2-3pm ET, and learn more about how to move your company beyond compliance and toward equity for all. It’s free!
Meet the three panelists of Beyond the ADA: Reflections of the Past and Visions for the Future. This event will be moderated by Michelle Morris, Engagement Analyst at CSD.
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