Novant Health named nationally among ‘Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion’

Published 10:25 am Monday, July 27, 2020

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WINSTON-SALEM — On the 30th year anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Novant Health has been named as one of the “Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion” by Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). This recognition comes after completing the Disability Equality Index (DEI) for the first time, which is a prominent benchmarking tool to gauge an organization’s level of disability workplace inclusion relative to other businesses in such areas as culture, accessibility, employment practices, community engagement and supplier diversity.

“This recognition demonstrates how we’re living out our core value of diversity and inclusion at Novant Health,” said Tanya S. Blackmon, chief diversity, inclusion and equity officer. “We are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all patients and team members, including those with disabilities.”

Novant Health scored an 80% on the 2020 survey. Top-scoring businesses — those who score 80% or higher — are recognized as “Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion.”

Here are a few ways Novant Health is creating an inclusive environment for individuals with disabilities:

  • After identifying, during the COVID-19 pandemic, that masks create communication challenges for patients who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, 5,000 clear masks were ordered for team members to wear when delivering care.
  • Formation of the Persons with Abilities Business Resource Group to help us understand the needs of persons with disabilities in our workforce, patient population and communities served
  • Communication aid kits and interpreter services are available at acute care facilities and clinics to help patients with special communications needs.
  • Novant has partnered with the Amputee Coalition to provide peer support and education for patients.
  • Recruiting individuals with disabilities.
  • Through a partnership with Project SEARCH, Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center will offer an internship experience for students ages 18 to 21 with developmental disabilities. Novant Health UVA Health System Prince William Center has also supported training and hiring interns through the program.
  • Last year, Novant launched a pilot program to provide volunteer opportunities to teens and adults with disabilities.

On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the ADA — a comprehensive civil rights statute that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in employment and access to government services and public accommodations. The law was amended in 2008, resulting in significant changes to the definition of “disability” under the ADA.