SHRM Announces New Accessibility Best Practice Standards on National Disability Independence Day

July 26, 2022
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Alexandria, VA —SHRM (the Society for Human Resource Management) joins millions around the country today in recognition of National Disability Independence Day. The day commemorates the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) signed into law on July 26, 1990, opening the door and breaking down barriers that individuals with disabilities faced every day. 

As the nation commemorates today, we at SHRM are focusing on providing greater accessibility standards for how content is delivered in our programs, products and on shrm.org for those with disabilities so that organizations, managers and employees can build capacity to create more inclusive workplaces.

Only 13% of HR professionals reported that their organizations had disability inclusion initiatives, and 17% didn't know if their organizations had disability inclusion initiatives. Nearly twice as many managers (56%) didn't know whether their organizations had disability inclusion initiatives. (Source: Employing Abilities @Work 2019 Research Report, SHRM Foundation in partnership with the Workplace Initiative.)

 "As accessibility improves, the world continues to change for the better. Ensuring that every organization provides full access to those with disabilities is a moral imperative and a cornerstone of DE&I [diversity, equity and inclusion]," said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, SHRM president and chief executive officer. "SHRM's focus is to prioritize and create a road map of standards and initiatives for members and nonmembers to ensure accessibility for all, today and for future generations."

SHRM is evaluating and raising accessibility standards for how content is delivered in our programs, products and on shrm.org . These changes will include our accessibility statements, policies and processes for individuals to access specific accommodation requests on our website and other public locations. SHRM recently settled a lawsuit with three individuals: Ms. Tiffany Ruffa ($16,000), Ms. Kathryn Canfield ($16,000) and Mr. Isidore Niyongabo ($4,500). SHRM is taking the opportunity to actively engage in meaningful dialogue with the Deaf community, and further analyze how its products and offerings can benefit from technological advancements in captioning and audio-video content.

While SHRM has and continues to fully comply with all applicable accessibility laws, SHRM used this insight to spark where and how it can do better. As a result, SHRM is adding accessibility elements to our website, programs and products that will be standard, such as captioning, transcripts and American Sign Language interpreters at our conferences. SHRM continues to explore what additional standard accommodations to offer to elevate accessibility standards for all.

Taylor added, "SHRM is committed to its mission of creating a world of work by building more inclusive, equitable and diverse workplaces, including the hiring of individuals with disabilities. Advancing our mission demands that we not only look for ways where we can improve the workplace, but also in how all of our members and chapters can access our services, consume our content and participate in our conferences."

INCLUSION 2022
SHRM General Counsel James L. Banks Jr. will present a session, "Accessibility: What Are the Current Challenges and How to Make Sure We Do the Right Thing," during the SHRM INCLUSION 2022 conference taking place October 24-26 in San Diego. Over the three-day conference, attendees will hear insights from experts on how to build relationships with like-minded HR professionals on the importance of belonging and the critical role it plays in DE&I. 

Employee Abilities @Work Certificate
In January 2020, the SHRM Foundation, in partnership with the Workplace Initiative, launched the Employing Abilities @Work Certificate to teach HR professionals and managers how to cultivate a workplace that is inclusive of all disabilities. The program is free and open to all, and upon completion, participants receive a print and digital certificate of their participation.

RSVP: Media interested in covering the upcoming INCLUSION 2022 conference can contact the media affairs team at press@shrm.org 

About SHRM

SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, creates better workplaces where employers and employees thrive together. As the voice of all things work, workers and the workplace, SHRM is the foremost expert, convener and thought leader on issues impacting today's evolving workplaces. More than 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies rely on SHRM to be their go-to resource for all things work and their business partner in creating next-generation workplaces. With 300,000+ HR and business executive members in 165 countries, SHRM impacts the lives of more than 115 million workers and families globally. Learn more at SHRM.org and on Twitter @SHRM.


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