October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, making it the ideal time to reflect on Delta's commitment to inclusivity in the workplace as well as the airline's goal to become the carrier of choice for customers with disabilities.
Earlier this year, Delta was named a "Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion" for the third consecutive year, receiving the top score of 100 percent on the 2018 Disability Equality Index. This recognition reinforces the airline's commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace as it continues to support employees and customers living with disabilities.
ABLE is Delta's disability business resource group (BRG) and one of the organizations working to enhance inclusion at the airline. ABLE's mission is to continue to make Delta a great place to work for all employees by promoting inclusion, respect for differences, equal opportunity and diversity in the workplace. By hosting events and meetings throughout the year, the organization gives Delta people the opportunity to network, experience disability in its different forms and promote understanding through accessibility, barrier elimination, leadership and education.
In addition to promoting diversity and inclusion, Delta's BRGs focus on professional development, recruitment, employee retention, business solutions and community engagement, and are also leveraged throughout the organization for the unique perspective they bring to the business. With ABLE's guidance and input, Delta has recently started encouraging employees and customers with disabilities to self-identify for their own personal safety while flying.
"Many Delta employees are not aware of the powerful role BRGs play a within the company," said Ryan Di Giovanni, Delta Senior Analyst – Revenue Management and Vice President of ABLE. "When a BRG has an innovative idea or improvement for our workplace, Delta's leadership team not only listens but often turns suggestions into action. This is one of the reasons that Delta culture is unique and helps to make the Delta difference for employees."
In addition to ABLE, Delta regularly receives input from its Advisory Board on Disability (ABD), a group of 13 influencers and decision makers from various groups within the disability community who are also Delta frequent flyers.
In September, Delta hosted its 10th annual Advisory Board on Disability meeting where Delta employees and board members met to discuss and share recommendations on compliance, training, policies, procedures and anything impacting the travel experience of people with disabilities. Recently, the board offered recommendations for Delta's assistive device damage reduction strategy, service animal policies and inclusive marketing tactics, resulting in new policies and solutions to improve the travel experiences of customers with disabilities.
Beyond compliance, ABLE and the ABD aim for people with disabilities to see themselves reflected in the culture of Delta.
"Between seeking counsel from people with disabilities to creating inclusive marketing materials, the Delta difference is clear," said John Laughter, Delta's Senior Vice President of Corporate Safety, Security and Compliance. "Delta is continuously making strides to become more inclusive by engaging people with disabilities and addressing their concerns, opposition or support."
Customers interested in learning more about Delta's disability policies and services can find more information on the accessible travel services page on delta.com.