Delta received the top score of 100 on the 2016 Disability Equality Index (DEI) this week and was honored as a “2016 DEI Best Place to Work.” The DEI is a joint initiative between the U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN) and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)The DEI gives companies an opportunity to evaluate their policies and practices and determine where the company stands in regards to being a best in class organization for disability inclusion practices. Companies are graded on four major categories: Culture and Leadership, Enterprise-wide Access, Employment Practices and Community Engagement Support Services.
“Delta has made a long-term commitment to global diversity, which is a core value in our Rules of the Road,” said Stephanie Asbury, Vice President – Global Talent, Diversity & Engagement. “Making sure that Delta is a welcoming place for all individuals, whatever their abilities, is an important part in creating a work environment where everyone can thrive. We always try to work with our employees to provide them the tools they need to succeed.”
Delta has also placed a focus on inclusion internally through its ABLE Network on Disability, a business resource group committed to making Delta the best place to work for employees with disabilities by promoting inclusion, respect for differences, equal opportunity, and diversity in the workplace.
“Providing an accessible and supportive work environment is a key component in meeting our goals of diversity and inclusion,” Asbury said. “And, it’s an area where we are committed to continuous improvement. ABLE supports Delta in this commitment by offering opportunities to network and promoting understanding through education and outreach.”The high DEI score also recognizes the hard work Delta employees have contributed toward supporting disability causes, such as the multi-sensory room at the Atlanta airport to support Autism Awareness, as well as improvements Delta has made in offering a best in class travel experience for customers with disabilities.
“Receiving a perfect score from USBLN on their Disabilities Equality Index is a huge step in the right direction of achieving an airline that reaches all our passengers, including those with disabilities,” said David Martin, Program Manager – Disabilities, DOT Compliance and Delta Liaison to the Advisory Board on Disability.
For the past eight years, the Delta Advisory Board on Disability has worked to promote accessibility for all customers, with the goal of making Delta the airline of choice for those with disabilities. The group, comprised mostly of Delta customers with disabilities, works on solutions for how the airline can make travel more accessible, such as adding closed captioning on in-flight entertainment systems, updating lavatories and enhancing delta.com and kiosks. The board will discuss further feedback and ideas during its upcoming annual meeting in Austin, Texas this August.
“Achieving this score reflects the hard work and spirit of Delta people who have become Delta to every passenger they come in contact with,” Martin said. “Still, we have more work to do to achieve our goal of being the top choice for people with disabilities – that is something that must be earned consistently on every flight, every day.”
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 that offers businesses an opportunity to receive an objective score on their disability inclusion policies and practices. This is the second year the survey has been conducted and the first year Delta participated