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How To Develop Disability Workplace Reports & Reporting Frameworks

January 7, 2024
Author: AO Editor

Disability Workplace Reporting Introduction

This content is designed to support HR leaders looking to improve disability employment programs, specifically focusing on creating a disability workplace reporting framework, how to engage with employees, execute data collection, and overcome various barriers in the process.

Beyond theoretical and conceptual, This article outlines practical and actionable steps to implement right away.

Additionally, the article demonstrates sensitivity towards the complexities of disability in the workplace, acknowledging challenges faced by individuals with disabilities.

If you find this article helpful, please take 1 moment and share it via email or on social so other HR professionals can benefit.

Importance For Advancing Disability Inclusion In The Workplace

The largest economic, political, military powerhouse in the world maintains embarrassingly low Disability unemployment rates. In the United States, there are over 60 million people with a disability-the largest demographic and the largest minority group for the home of the brave.

Fascinating, especially given more and more organisations are generally realizing two things.

  1. Corporate social responsibility is important.
  2. Good things happen when you execute good disability employment programs.

Despite the inclusion and empathy shift, people with disabilities (PWD) face significant prejudice and unconscious bias in the corporate world. Effects are seen across job application, interviewing, and hiring processes as well as cultural and workplace accessibility barriers.

How To Systematically Make Improvements In Disability Employment Programs

“What gets measured gets improved.” – Peter Drucker

How else would you know if things get better? Or worse?

But how do you measure something not visible or tangible?

More details are below, but at a high level, do 2 things:

  1. Execute Disability Workplace inclusion surveys and interviews.
  2. Synthesize the data into actionable Reports.

Remember this as hard-working HR professionals helping our employees with disabilities to achieve and maintain their highest professional potential.
PWD may not want to disclose their disability nor specifics about their disability or disabilities.

It’s about people at the end of the day. The effort to develop rapport is worth it.

Your brand will either be damaged or improved by the negative and positive experiences that PWD, their friends, and families have with your organization.

How To Get Started Creating A Disability Workplace Report

There are several components to effectively executing Disability Workplace Reporting practices. We will introduce the core components if you are just getting started.

For additional support in creating a comprehensive Disability Workplace Reporting Framework at your company, including each component, step, stakeholder responsibilities, and more, please set up time to talk and reference this article’s URL in the meeting request notes.

To get started developing Your Company’s Disability Workplace Reporting Policy and Process Framework, you want to include the following 4 components:

    1. Intentions, Goals, and ObjectivesThe first step is to establish clear intentions and your objectives for the disability workforce reporting framework. When you get started, having this in place will help focus individuals and teams, align everyone with goals, and help integrate the new process into the organization.These are not written in stone. Expect your Disability Workplace Reporting Framework, policies, and processes to change over time. You will learn as you execute.

      Your intentions, goals, and objectives may sound like improve the recruitment and interview processes for disabled candidates, determine desire for career advancement by employees with disabilities, or increase disability representation at senior and director levels.

    2. Plan and Engage with All EmployeesInvolving employees with lived experiences as a person with disability is a no-brainer. However, do not overlook the value or importance of all employees contributing within your Disability Workplace Reporting Framework, from entry level to leadership.Comprehensiveness and representation goes beyond lived experience. To truly understand culture holistically and between departments, involving and developing resources who are accessibility champions, critical support personnel, and coordinating interdepartmental communication systems for your disability inclusion efforts will create better outcomes for everyone.

      Ensure there is clear and consistent communication about the Disability Workplace Reporting Framework’s purpose. Employee feedback on the reporting plan should be sought, managers should be involved in the process, and the executive champion needs to be on top of each step as the framework develops. Retaining visibility and accountability with your executive champion cannot be understated.

    3. Gathering and Reviewing The DataCollect both quantitative (numerical) and qualitative (descriptive) data. Methods include anonymous surveys, employee engagement surveys, HR systems data, focus groups, and gathering information on recruitment, promotion, pay, and provision of reasonable adjustments. The data collection should be inclusive and accessible.Use the initial data to create a baseline for future comparison. Analyze the data for trends, patterns, and key insights, focusing on engagement and satisfaction levels of disabled employees, experiences at different employment stages, overall experiences within the organization, barriers faced, representation levels, and the effectiveness of supports and adjustments.
    4. Communicate Your Disability Workplace Inclusion, Culture, and Accessibility FindingsConsistently communicate your Disability Workplace Reporting results both internally and externally. Through various channels like newsletters, intranets, company websites, emails, blogs, and briefings, you can demonstrate how your business is investing in disability inclusion, the changes your company is making culturally, departmentally, and organizationally, improving your brand in the process.While the data, statistics, and numbers can lose attention quickly, your report data should be Accompanied by a corporate disability inclusion narrative and action plan. This will bring life, context, and relatable meaning to the Disability Workplace Report data. For the narrative, consider addressing issues and challenges you have identified, and for the action plan, incorporate the disability initiatives, intentions, and objectives your company will be executing now and in the future.

      If not obvious, you want this data to be readily available and accessible to all. . Ensure your Disability Workplace Reports are digitally accessible and do not reveal individual identities.

How To Overcome Employee Reluctance To Share Disability and Health Information

Various challenges, barriers, and obstacles must be overcome by companies in order to be effective in your disability workplace reporting efforts. It’s also important to recognize why employees may be hesitant to disclose disabilities or health information. Concerns about stigma, discrimination, or lack of accommodation can be significant barriers.

Here are 5 ways to overcome these problems and create meaningful change in your organization.

      1. Build Trust Through Transparency.Disclosure starts with trust. Gaps in employee trust lead to ineffective reporting frameworks, regardless of disability.To begin improving your cultural trust and transparency, clearly communicate the purpose of data collection, how it will be used, and the measures in place to protect privacy. Assure employees that disclosing this information is entirely voluntary and that their employment rights will be protected regardless of their decision to share or not share their personal information.
      2. Education and Awareness Campaigns.Ongoing awareness campaigns educating staff about disabilities, cultural inclusion, and your organizational commitment to employment diversity goes beyond words. It communicates organizational values, focus, and what is important to leadership.One effective mechanism for executing awareness campaigns includes sharing success stories within your company, or from other companies if internal stories do not yet exist. You can highlight instances where disability reporting or employment programs led to any number of positive changes, including but not limited to productivity, performance, and financials like revenue or profitability. Success stories help in normalizing the conversation around disabilities and disabled employees in the workplace.
      3. Involve Employees in the Process.Approaches in developing your reporting framework that foster participation and representation of employees with disabilities are more likely to be successful than those that exclude employees with disabilities.Participation and representation can be done in various forms, such as conducting surveys, leading focus groups, or leading a committee that includes representation from employees with disabilities. Their collective contributions and input will elevate the effectiveness of these initiatives and help tailor your disability workplace reporting framework to address specific concerns and needs.

        After implementing the reporting framework, gather feedback from employees about the process. Use this feedback to make ongoing adjustments. Show that you are responsive to their concerns and willing to make changes based on their input.

      4. Create Opportunities For Disclosure Across Multiple Channels.Provide various channels for employees to disclose their disability and or health status, including but not limited to online forms, in-person meetings with HR, or anonymous reporting options. Providing multiple avenues ensures that employees can choose the method they feel most comfortable with.However you collect data and make your reports available, ensure that all your procedures comply with relevant laws and regulations regarding employee privacy and data protection. It’s also beneficial to look into industry best practices and possibly obtain certifications that demonstrate your commitment to protecting employee information.
      5. Recognize the complexity of sharing disability or health information.This is a personal decision influenced by various factors, including historical trauma, discrimination, as well as cultural and religious reasons.We cannot lose consciousness of social and professional implications of being labeled as “handicapped” or “disabled.” Being perceived as weak, incapable, or less productive is likely damaging to an employee’s brand, social and political equity, as well as career advancement opportunity.

        In other words, empower employees with agency. Encouraging your employees to disclose is an effective strategy. Not only does it demonstrate a level of trust across the employee and employer dynamic, but it enables opportunity for helpful accommodations to be identified that lead to increase employee loyalty, morale, and retention.

How You Implement Disability Workplace Reporting Frameworks Without Budget To Do It

Not all organizations have the systems or resources for detailed data gathering and action plans. That’s ok.

Smaller organizations with limited resources should still engage in reporting to the highest extent possible, if the intention is to improve disability inclusion, disability-readiness, and a culture that empowers all employees.

Even if your budget only allows for a Microsoft or Google Form that every employee takes, that is better than nothing. If you can take it a step further by conducting 20–30-minute interviews with key stakeholders across the organization, your findings will get even better. Outside of payroll and time, these components within a Disability Workplace Reporting Framework are exponentially better than not having any data on your company’s disability inclusion, cultural inclusion, and disability-readiness.

What Strategy Can I Use To Gain Senior Management Buy-In of Disability Workplace Reporting?

Engaged leadership is crucial for successful inclusion initiatives. And leadership is highly interested in understanding the outcomes of the strategies, policies, and procedures they champion.

Use language they can relate to. Instead of using language like:

“Here’s the importance and benefits of disability workforce reporting…”

A more leadership focused approach may look like:

“I think we should implement mechanisms for evaluating the return on investment of our disability employment initiatives. We can collect data relatively quickly and efficiently through a Disability Workplace Reporting Framework that will accurately inform our strategic decision-making process. What do you think we should implement to evaluate our strategy’s effectiveness for disability recruiting, hiring, and employment programs?”

From consistent communications internally and externally, to understanding other intangible benefits realized by the company, leadership buy-in is about advancing their interests while minimizing the effort required to make an impact.

If your leadership is unaware of the various benefits of robust disability inclusion and employment programs, share the data with them that is relevant to their prioritized organizational objectives.

For example, Accenture’s report with Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities revealed that organizations with disability-inclusive policies tend to outperform their peers financially. Over five years, these companies experienced the following quantitative business impacts:

      • 1.6 times more revenue.
      • 2.6 times more net income.
      • 2 times more economic profit.

Execute these things well and leadership buy-in will transform to ownership.

4 Top Corporate Best Practices For Disability Inclusion Programs

      1. Strong BenefitsTop-scoring companies often provide comprehensive Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) and both short-term and long-term disability coverage. These practices are crucial for attracting and retaining talent with disabilities.
      2. Disability Recruitment and Talent AcquisitionSuccessful companies work with talent sourcing partners who offer niche staffing and recruiting solutions for people with disabilities. When a company chooses a partner who exclusively focuses on staffing and recruiting for people with disabilities, the outcomes include better matches for the company and more meaningful job opportunities for disabled candidates.
      3. Disabled Employee Retention and DevelopmentTop disability inclusive companies focus on developing, reskilling, retraining, and mentoring employees with disabilities. They create customized programs tailored to the needs of these employees.
      4. Accommodation Policy and ProcessA key aspect to successful disability employment programs is providing reasonable accommodations or productivity tools to help employees with disabilities access technology and information, thereby enabling them to perform their essential job functions effectively.

Next Steps For Developing Disability Workplace Reporting Frameworks

The first next step is to get started. If you have already begun, begin analyzing the effectiveness of your Disability Workplace Reportiieng Framework.

Accurate data is a powerful asset to have. It helps the business be better in innumerous aspects, but only if the quality of that data is strong, not overly difficult to gather, and is accurately informing the strategic decision-making process.

Advancing positive change across your disability employment programs is easier and more effective when you are guided by a strategic partner. For assistance in advancing your disability employment programs and corporate disability-readiness, please set up time to talk with one of are disability inclusion experts.


    1. Case study on the effects of a disability inclusive mindset in a large biotechnology company | Emerald Insight (
    2. Business Case for Disability Inclusion – Disability:IN (
    3. The hidden value of disability inclusion: 5 benefits that can help your company (
    4. 2024 Workplace Trends and People with Disabilities (
    5. Employment Rate Rising for People with Disabilities – SHRM (
    6. Employment–population ratio for people with a disability increases to 21.3 percent in 2022 – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (
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