OVERLAND PARK, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--For the second consecutive year, Sprint (NYSE: S) has earned a top score of 100 and the honor of “Best Places to Work” for its commitment to creating a welcoming, inclusive work environment for people with disabilities, according to the 2016 Disability Equality Index (DEI®), a joint initiative between the US Business Leadership Network® (USBLN®) and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). The achievement signifies Sprint’s continued commitment to being an inclusive and accessible company for employees, customers and throughout its supply chain.
The DEI evaluates whether companies have practices in place to promote equal opportunity employment, embrace diversity, encourage people with disabilities to be themselves and have comprehensive policies in place to assist people with disabilities. This year, 83 participating Fortune 1000 companies were judged on four major categories: Culture & Leadership, Enterprise-wide Access, Employment Practices, and Community Engagement & Support Services.
In both the inaugural 2015 report and the 2016 survey, Sprint was listed among the top ranked companies, earning consecutive high DEI® scores of 100 for demonstrating significant business leadership, going beyond compliance activities, and driving business success through leading disability inclusion policies and practices.
“A second consecutive top score for Sprint underscores how our commitment to be a best-in-class organization for disability inclusion practices has created a positive effect on the whole company,” said Mike Ellis, Global Director of Accessibility at Sprint. “Our employees’ unique backgrounds and skills are essential to meeting and exceeding our company goals. When we are representative of the diverse markets we serve, we’re better at understanding and serving their needs.”
"We are proud to see the year over year growth, improvement and results from participating companies,” said Jill Houghton, Executive Director, USBLN. “We know that policies alone don’t always translate into inclusion. The DEI provides a roadmap for advancing disability inclusion by enabling companies to see both strengths and areas of opportunity that exist across their organization, and provides a means to benchmark against their competitors and businesses as a whole. This is only the beginning of what’s to come as companies continue to embrace the DEI and work hard to take their disability inclusion policies and practices to the next level.”
Sprint’s score shows the continued success of a unique culture of diversity and inclusion at the company through initiatives like its employee resource group and the REAL DEAL – Resourceful, Empowering, Awareness, Limitless (REAL) for Disabled Employees Accessing Life (DEAL). REAL DEAL recognizes and celebrates the contributions of people with disabilities, and taps the collective resources, knowledge and experience of Sprint employees who have a disability, or know someone who has a disability.
“As we approach the twenty-sixth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and celebrate our achievements, we also recommit ourselves to ensuring all Americans with disabilities are able to build vibrant futures for themselves and their families, and the DEI can help make that happen," said Helena Berger, President and CEO of AAPD. "The DEI is an effective, non-punitive tool -- as demonstrated by the many returning companies who maintained or increased their score – that builds a partnership between the disability and business communities to ultimately expand employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities and embrace the talents and skills we bring to the workplace."
Sprint (NYSE: S) is a communications services company that creates more and better ways to connect its customers to the things they care about most. Sprint served more than 58.8 million connections as of March 31, 2016 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; leading no-contract brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Sprint has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) North America for the past five years. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
About the Disability Equality Index® (DEI®)
The DEI® is a joint initiative of the USBLN and AAPD. 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 assessment of their overall disability inclusion policies and practices. It is an aspirational, educational, recognition tool that goes far beyond legal compliance, helping companies identify opportunities for continued improvement, while building their reputations as organizations that value diversity and inclusion.
The DEI was first introduced in 2012 and piloted in 2013-2014 with 48 companies prior to the official go-live launch of the inaugural DEI in Fall 2014, which concluded in 2015.
About the US Business Leadership Network® (USBLN®)
The US Business Leadership Network® (USBLN®) is a national non-profit that helps business drive performance by leveraging disability inclusion in the workplace, supply chain, and marketplace. The USBLN serves as the collective voice of nearly 50 Business Leadership Network affiliates across the United States, representing more than 5,000 businesses. Additionally, the USBLN Disability Supplier Diversity Program® (DSDP) is the nation's leading third party certification program for disability-owned businesses, including businesses owned by service-disabled veterans.
About the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is a convener, connector, and catalyst for change, increasing the political and economic power of people with disabilities. As a national cross-disability rights organization AAPD advocates for full civil rights for the 50+ million Americans with disabilities.