You might be #Diversish if . . .

Cartoon with six identical white men with the first one saying to the second “Diversity is Good. Pass it Down”

(with apologies to Jeff Foxworthy)

‘Diversish’ is a satirical term for businesses that call themselves diverse, but overlook, ignore or postpone anything having to do with disabilities. If you haven’t heard the word Diversish before, you probably need to watch this video. Warning: Install your “British Humour” filter first.

How do you know if your company is making an authentic commitment to disabilities or if you are diversish? Your company might be diversish if:

  1. There is a diversity and inclusion program with no disability component.
  2. There are many employee resource groups (example: LGBTQIA, young professionals, veterans, working parent) but doesn’t have a disability employee resource group.
  3. There are claims that disability is part of the corporate diversity and inclusion program, but no targeted recruiting for employees with disabilities is done.
  4. There is no centralized budget for either accessibility or reasonable accommodations.
  5. A token employee with a visible disability shows up in every print or digital article touting inclusive practices.
  6. Employee tools for expenses, travel, and training aren’t accessible to blind or keyboard-only users, despite proud claims of inclusion.
  7. You are in a retail environment and your company thinks it’s more important to put its limited resources into selling a new product rather than fixing WCAG Level A defects.
  8. Your management thinks they don’t have accessibility problem because they haven’t received with any complaints.
  9. Your company waits until it gets sued before addressing accessibility in any meaningful way.
  10. After being sued, your company only addresses the elements complained about in the lawsuit rather than looking at the issue holistically.
  11. Your company doesn’t investigate or address any accessibility issues beyond those addressed in the WCAG 2.0 Level AA guidelines.
  12. Customers with disabilities are not included in user research.

Lest you think this article be completely satire, I’ve personally experienced every single one of the above in my accessibility career.

Four thoughts to close with:

  1. People with disabilities are the largest minority in the United States.
  2. If you aren’t part of the solution, you are definitely part of the problem. If you have a disability and you aren’t speaking up about the atrocious practices that go in to being #Diversish, you are also part of the problem.
  3. Companies who are leaders in employment and inclusion practices that specifically include disabilities achieve: 28% higher revenue; 2x higher net income; and 30% higher economic profit margin.
  4. You can’t be “half-in” on disabilities and expect full results.