Organizations are increasingly recognizing the value of attracting and retaining a diverse workforce and embracing a culture of inclusion is a top priority. As organizations continue to work towards creating more inclusive workplaces, it is important to consider the role of disability inclusion initiatives. Going beyond accessibility adjustments, employers are evolving their policies and practices to create a better work environment for people with disabilities.
Viasat is being recognized by the Disability Equality Index (DEI) as one of 2023’s “Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion.” The company has also won the award in 2019, 2020, and 2022. The DEI is a benchmarking tool to help companies take measurable steps toward disability inclusion and equality.
The company earned 100 out of a possible 100 points on the DEI, scoring strongly for its culture, leadership, recruitment, community engagement, and supplier diversity. It also earned high marks for its education, retention, and advancement of disabled employees.
Reflecting on the path forward
While a 100 out of a possible 100 points on the DEI is technically a perfect score, the Index provides valuable feedback on where we can continue to improve. Due to feedback from last year’s submission, we evaluated our vendors and internal procedures to identify solutions that made platforms more accessible and policies more inclusive for all employees.
This coming year we’re focusing on:
- Equipping and empowering executives at Viasat to continue the conversation on disability inclusion practices and initiatives in our company, industries, and communities.
- Fostering an inclusive culture through implementing disability inclusion practices and initiatives around how we recruit, develop, and support our employees.
- Empowering employees to share their stories and feedback, so together we can expand awareness, create impactful opportunities, and connect better with our employees, customers, and communities.
Our continued support
In 2017, Viasat’s Ability Alliance was formed with a focus on people and allies of those with physical disabilities. Today, this Employee Resource Group (ERG) has evolved and broadened its focus to include less-visible disabilities like autism, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), drawing new members from throughout the company.
Director of People Analytics and Global Lead for the Ability Alliance, Michael Moon, Ph.D., is already looking at ways the ERG can bring on change within the group and the company.
“We are combing through the feedback to look for opportunities or initiatives that we can add to our plans for the upcoming years. One of the recommendations was to do a campaign on ways we can be more inclusive of people with varying abilities in our workdays through some simple practices.”
While Moon recognizes that awareness is a key to fostering inclusivity, she also highlighted other ways we can transform the organization.
“Inclusivity for employees with disabilities centers around a few things. It includes promoting more awareness about what a disability is and how that affects an individual and then creating the right culture which supports removing the stigmas, as well as stereotypes, about different disabilities,” she said.
“It requires us to think about how we can be more inclusive in some of our day-to-day practices such as not using red and green side-by-side in a PowerPoint presentation (for color vision deficiency (CVD)) or turning on the transcript functionality in a Zoom call and sharing that transcript along with a recording for meetings to attendees. This can help the deaf, hard of hearing, people with ADHD, and sometimes for people with executive functioning disorders where information presented too quickly can be hard to digest,” said Moon.
Learn more about DEI at Viasat