New York, NY July 20, 2022 -- Macmillan Learning, a privately-held, family-owned education publishing and services company announced today it earned 100% for the second consecutive year on the Disability Equality Index®, the leading nonprofit resource for business disability inclusion worldwide. It is only one of two education publishing companies to earn that distinction. The score reflects the company’s ongoing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion not only for its employees but also for the students who rely on their course materials and educational technology.
The Disability Equality Index, a joint initiative of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and Disability:IN, is a benchmarking tool that allows companies to demonstrate their commitment to disability inclusion and equality. It is modeled off the Corporate Equality Index that highlights LGBTQ-inclusive workplace policies, an index that listed Macmillan Learning as a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality” for the third consecutive year this January.
“It has been a long-time top priority at Macmillan Learning to provide an inclusive and equitable work environment for all of our employees,” said Kristin Peikert, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Macmillan Learning. “Participating in the Disability Equality Index this year demonstrates that ongoing commitment to our employees as we continue efforts to improve disability inclusion in the workplace.”
This year, those efforts included the launch of an Employee Resource Group (ERG) called AVID (Awareness of Visible and Invisible Disabilities), which regularly provides feedback and suggestions to company leadership for improving company culture and best practices. To enhance awareness of how accessibility impacts learners as well as what we can do to help, AVID launched accessibility training opportunities for all employees on topics like use of color and explaining the new standards that will impact the company’s accessibility work. The group is one of several ERGs that have formed over the last few years and it is thriving.
“The work they are doing makes an impact at all levels of the company,” Peikert added.
Macmillan Learning views accessibility for its educational technology and course materials through two different lenses. In the first, the company works towards creating equitable student learning experiences and in the next, it aims to meet or exceed industry-accepted standards. The company’s accessibility work has earned it “Gold Standard” recognition from ASPIRE and earned Accessible Books Consortium’s International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing award in 2020.
The company’s e-books for the fourth consecutive year were recognized as Global Certified Accessible by Benetech. This means that Macmillan Learning provides “born accessible” digital learning options that ensure that all students have the same access to information. The company continues to add new features each year to make its products both more accessible as well as improve on its overall design. One such feature extends image descriptions which could previously only be accessed with a screen reader to all users. These descriptions offer readers with vision impairments and readers with learning disabilities a better sense of the images that they may have otherwise struggled with. They are also a great example of how an action taken to improve accessibility can create a better, more informative experience for all users.
"There is no single best way to practice disability inclusion, however, the companies taking the DEI share the desire to create a workplace that fosters the concept of bringing your whole self to the office," said Maria Town, President and CEO of AAPD. "We look forward to working with all of the participants to help identify meaningful ways to build upon their current practices as we continue on the disability inclusion journey together."
About Macmillan Learning Macmillan Learning is a privately-held, family-owned company that improves lives through learning. By linking research to learning practice, we develop pioneering products and learning materials for students that are highly effective and drive improved outcomes. To learn more, please visit macmillanlearning.com or join our Macmillan Community.
About the Disability Equality Index® The Disability Equality Index (DEI) is a comprehensive benchmarking tool that helps companies build a roadmap of measurable, tangible actions that they can take to achieve disability inclusion and equality. Each company receives a score, on a scale of zero (0) to 100, with those earning 80 and above recognized as a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion.”
The DEI is a joint initiative of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), the nation’s largest disability rights organization, and Disability:IN, the global business disability inclusion network, to collectively advance the inclusion of people with disabilities. The organizations are complementary and bring unique strengths that make the project relevant and credible to corporations and the disability community. The tool was developed by the DEI Advisory Committee, a diverse group of business leaders, policy experts, and disability advocates. Learn more at: www.DisabilityEqualityIndex.org.
About the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) AAPD is a convener, connector, and catalyst for change, increasing the political and economic power for people with disabilities. As a national cross-disability rights organization AAPD advocates for full civil rights for the 60+ million Americans with disabilities. Learn more at: www.aapd.com.
About Disability:IN® Disability:IN is a global organization driving disability inclusion and equality in business. More than 400 corporations partner with Disability:IN to create long-term business and social impact through the world’s most comprehensive disability inclusion benchmarking and reporting tool, the Disability Equality Index (DEI); best-in-class conferences and programs; expert counsel and engagement; and public policy leadership. Join us at disabilityin.org/AreYouIN #AreYouIN.