In the direction of a Incapacity-Good World: Methods for World Incapacity Inclusion

Author: Business Disability Forum (i): Contact:

Published: 07/08/2020

Table of contents and important points:

Towards a Disabled World: The development of a global study on strategy for integrating people with disabilities draws on evidence and case studies from organizations such as Shell, Unilever, HSBC, Accenture and Microsoft.

As recent times have shown, we live in a global world, and more than ever, companies need to respond to the inclusion of disabilities at the company-wide level.

We hope that through collaboration and partnership, this research on best practices will make a difference and help companies develop global strategies to do more for people with disabilities.

Main digestion

The study, entitled “Towards a Disabled World: Developing a Global Strategy for Inclusion of People with Disabilities”, was carried out by the Business Disability Forum in collaboration with the energy company Royal Dutch Shell. It draws on evidence and case studies from the experience of organizations such as Shell, Unilever, HSBC, Accenture and Microsoft.

The results

The report shows that:

  • More than 90 percent of the respondents say that “Inclusion of disabilities is the right thing at a global level”.
  • More than 80 percent say they gain access to a larger talent pool, drive employee motivation, impact sales and opportunities, and support business goals.

While more than 80 percent of respondents stated that their organization had one or more centralized disability inclusion commitments, only around 20 percent of respondents had a global disability inclusion strategy.

The business meeting illustration shows 4 people sitting in blue chairs behind a dark blue table.

The study identifies several common barriers to developing a global disability inclusion strategy. These include:

  • Cultural differences in understanding disability.
  • Degree of commitment to disability and accessibility in some countries.
  • Different legal requirements between countries.
  • Resources and systematic data collection.
  • Win the commitment of local champions and managers.

For companies that have worked to overcome these challenges, the benefits are obvious: Over 80 percent report improvements for disabled colleagues and customers on a global basis. Over 90 percent said early buy-in at the highest levels is critical to engagement, traction, and greater accountability at the local level.

Diane Lightfoot, CEO of the Business Disability Forum said:

“As recently demonstrated, we live in a global world and there is more than ever a need for companies to respond to disability inclusion at the company-wide level. This study shows that companies recognize this need, but are often common Obstacles in responding to it. “

“Based on the experiences of 120 leading global brands, we aim to provide companies with practical advice on how to meet these challenges and achieve positive change for their workforce and customers alike.”

Lyn Lee, Shell’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer said:

“While most organization leaders believe disability inclusion is the right thing to do, there are challenges and obstacles that many need to address. We hope that this exploration of best practice, collectively through collaboration and partnership, will have an impact and benefit businesses in the process comes developing global strategies to do more for people with disabilities. “


The study shows that, alongside recruiting and onboarding, workplace adjustments are the areas where companies have made the greatest advances in disability inclusion.

Buildings and built environments followed; Digital technology; and employee retention and development.

Communication and marketing; Customer or customer experience; Procurement and the supply chain were the areas where there is the least evidence of progress.

Basic lessons

The study draws on respondents’ feedback and case studies to provide some basic lessons for organizations that want to develop their own global disability integration strategy and provide a practical roadmap for others.

  • Don’t underestimate the complexity of a global disability inclusion strategy and how long it could take. Focus on intent rather than perfection.
  • Don’t be overwhelmed. Start small by focusing on one or two activities and locations. Gather evidence, then scale it up.
  • Engage leaders and people with disabilities at regional and local levels to gather insights and share the global strategy. By working together, colleagues can interpret and carry out global disability obligations in a way that is culturally and legally appropriate for their country.
  • Identify a high-level global advocate for disability inclusion early on to advance the strategy.
  • The disability affects all areas of the organization. Bring together colleagues with primary responsibility for strategic functions in human resources, recruiting, built environment, and technology.

Diane Lightfoot said:

“Disabled people are expected to be more disadvantaged by the effects of Covid-19 than non-disabled people, especially in developing countries. This is an opportunity for global companies to make a positive difference. The implementation of a company-wide policy for disability inclusion is a reasonable place to start, and the roadmap included in this report is designed to help companies get on the right track.

The study “Towards a Disabled World: Developing a Global Disability Inclusion Strategy” ( -report) /),

The associated roadmap can be downloaded from the Knowledge Hub of the Business Disability Forum (

(i) Source / Reference: Business Disability Forum. Disabled World makes no guarantees or warranties in connection therewith. Content may have been edited for style, clarity, or length.

Associated documents


• • Disabled World is a news and information website only and is provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The materials presented are in no way intended to be, and should not be construed as, a substitute for professional medical care provided by a qualified physician. Offers or advertising from third-party providers on do not constitute approval by Disabled World. Please report outdated or inaccurate information to us.

Page quote:

Journal: Disabled World. Language: English. Author: Business Disability Forum. Electronic publication date: 2020-07-08. Last revised date: 2020-07-08. Reference Title: “Towards a Disabled World: Strategies for the Global Disability Inclusion” Source: Towards a Disabled World: Strategies for the Global Disability Inclusion. Summary: Towards a Disabled World: The development of a global disability inclusion strategy study draws on evidence and case studies from organizations such as Shell, Unilever, HSBC, Accenture and Microsoft. Retrieved on December 20, 2020 from – reference category number: DW # 37-13859.

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