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Disability Matters


Disability Matters: Award Descriptions & Methodology

The Disability Matters criteria uses a similar basis for each of the five award categories. They are as follows:


This award is in consideration of a company's programs/initiatives that touch on all aspects of talent acquisition and management, learning and development, human resources and technology. The judges consider how outreach is conducted, to who and how its measured, talent management processes, use and accessibility of technology, the use of internship and mentoring programs, effectiveness of tools, campaigns and much more. They consider purpose of the programs, how they align with a company's overall mission/vision to ensure seamless integration across the enterprise and how they go beyond basic compliance. They also consider commitment to the programs in terms of resources (people and money) and widespread communication of the offerings as well as measurable results such as retention of employees with disabilities and other criteria that a company uses to determine success. With all of these initiatives, the judges are looking for scale, geographic reach and sustainability among other key factors.


This award is in consideration of a company's programs/initiatives that touch on all aspects of accommodations, work-life initiatives, company policies and practices and training. The judges consider the use of reasonable accommodation processes, emergency preparedness programming and assistive technology offerings. They look for the presence and successful execution of a Disability Business Resource Group, its interactions with other BRGs, employee benefits and wellness programs, training, as well as all aspects of workplace standards and practices, accessibility and much more. As with other categories, the judges are looking for scale, geographic reach and sustainability among other key factors.


This award is in consideration of a company's programs/initiatives that focus on the outreach and marketing of products and/or services to consumers who are individuals who either have a disability and/or are have a dependent with special needs. It is also in consideration of a company’s business-to-business initiatives impacting this community. The judges take into account the look, feel and messaging as well as the appropriateness, accessibility and relevance of collateral, advertising, social media, etc. They seek to understand what segment of the disability community is targeted and why and how it relates to the company’s overall marketing strategy and mission. They also seek to understand new product development, event accessibility, research employed and much more.

Employer or Supplier of Choice*

This award is in consideration of companies that have taken their Disability Matters award-winning initiatives to a level where there is complete synergy between mission and achievement. Award consideration requires a company to have received a Disability Matters award- in each of the three categories (Workforce, Workplace, and Marketplace) within the previous three years, illustrating the long-term sustainability of the initiatives and commitment to all parts of the business as it relates to persons with disabilities.
*Previous Employer/Supplier of Choice Honorees must wait at least 3 years before applying for the Employer/Supplier of Choice award again.

Disability Champion Award

This new award recognizes an individual whose advocacy, commitment, and action in support of mainstreaming disability in their workforce, workplace and/or marketplace has greatly contributed to their organizations success in these endeavors. The award recipient is someone whose job description does not specifically include this work yet he/she diligently works to influence others in recognition of:

  • People with disabilities and their families are value-added contributors to an organization’s success both internally and externally.
  • Initiatives to recruit, support and market to the disability community must be strategically linked to business goals and objectives.
  • The understanding and awareness of such issues are directly tied to employee productivity, customer engagement and overall profitability.

Award recipients can be nominated in one of three categories - Executive, Managment, and Associate.

Steps to Success Award

The Steps-to-Success award seeks to identify and celebrate those companies who are beginning on the journey of innovation, action and transformation relative to individuals with disabilities whether as employees, customers or both. This award also seeks to encourage these honorees whose initiative(s) have been in place no less than six months and no more than two years and who demonstrate significant promise of long term success, to have the commitment and perseverance to continue taking the steps necessary to eventually become a Disability Matters Employer or Supplier of Choice, the most prestigious of all Disability Matters Award