Assessing Potential Employers for Disability Inclusion
There are several ways that you can assess if a potential employer is disability-friendly and make an informed decision about your place of work.
Review the Employer’s Website
You can clue yourself into an employer’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) by looking at their website for the following design features:
- Images provide alternative text that explain or identify the image.
- Graphics with embedded text provide a transcript so the screen reader can follow the graphic in logical order.
- Website navigation is possible using only a keyboard.
- Website functions are communicated in plain language and do not rely on color-coding.
- Videos provide captioning.
- Assessments in the application process are not timed.
Utilize Your Network
Your personal or professional network can be a great way to get the inside scoop on a company’s inclusive practices. Start with your personal network — do you have a family member, friend, or classmate who works there that you can speak to directly? If not, try tools like the Alumni Advisors Hub or LinkedIn to connect with MIT graduates for informational interviewing.
Assess the Job Application Process
Start by reviewing language in job postings and hiring policies. Do company policies protect against discrimination due to a disability? Do application materials include disclosure forms or surveys? Note: Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) data collected during the job application process is confidential and does not impact your candidacy. It is completely up to you whether or not to disclose a disability at this point of the application process.
Another way to assess an employer during the application process is through the interview. Consider asking your interviewer pointed questions about diversity and disability-inclusion initiatives. Here are some examples:
- How do you prioritize diversity and inclusion practices in your hiring process?
- What are some current diversity and inclusion initiatives you can tell me about?
- Can you share any data on your organization’s diversity?
- How does the organization hold itself accountable to diversity and inclusion measures?
It is also important to know which questions an employer can NEVER ask you during an interview.
Online Tools for Assessing Employers
Use Glassdoor’s features to assess potential employers: 1) read current and/or previous employees’ experiences with diversity & inclusion, 2) view and filter company reviews by demographics, and 3) review diversity-specific FAQ’s.
The Disability Equality Index (DEI) is a prominent bench-marking tool for the Fortune 1000 and America’s top 200 revenue grossing law firms (Am Law 200) to gauge their level of disability workplace inclusion against competitors. Over the course of the DEI, the number of employers has increased from 48 to 247, with a total workforce of 11 million people.
Using Handshake to look for opportunities? Learn about how to use affinity/identity-specific labels for finding inclusive employers.
Have any questions or would like to discuss this topic further? Book an appointment with someone from our Career Advising team!