Today, on International Women’s Day, the Valuable 500 – the largest network of global CEOs committed to disability inclusion, announces the launch of the Valuable Directory, convening business disability intelligence and experts from across the globe. It is made up of 77 consultants, suppliers and solutions providers all of which have demonstrated that they have extensive experience in their fields and have been highly recommended by thought leaders in the disability space. 52% of the consultants, suppliers, solution partners listed are female founded or led.
Hosted within the Valuable 500’s Digital Hub, the Directory connects members with disability experts around the world to assist them to progress commitments into action. This first iteration showcases 77 businesses that have been vetted by 21 revered thought leaders across the global disability space. This is the first directory of its kind as it has been created by disabled people for disabled people.
The Directory will enable each member of the collective to tap into expertise and introductions facilitated by the Valuable 500. The work on putting the Directory together has already led to some great collaborations including inclusive design specialists, Studio Exception, which has been hired by several Valuable 500 members including Sky, Spotify and Jaguar Land Rover to take on inclusive innovation on their far reaching customer products – making them more inclusive for those with disabilities and better for all customers. They also conduct internal audits, interviewing employees, customers and disability advocates on how they connect with and react to the brands and their offerings.
For years, our community of persons with disabilities have rallied together to engage senior executives in the disability inclusion and accessibility conversations. However, progress has been slow. Corporations need guidance with their disability inclusion efforts. I believe this is the way forward, supporting global brand leaders that are striving to include persons with disabilities in their workforces, driving innovation, providing accessible services, communications, products and technology to all customers.
The Directory is a powerful step for our community, has been vetted by global peers and serves as an effective way of meeting our credo ‘Nothing About Us Without Us.’ We are incredibly proud to be part of the Valuable 500 efforts.
Debra Ruh, CEO, Ruh Global Impact
Last year, the Valuable 500 created a global RFP specifying that successful applicants would need to have a proven track record of adding value to the disability space as well as a referral. Each applicant was asked to submit letters of intent, evidence of their previous deliverables and a supporting statement. Out of 140 initial applicants, 77 were chosen to be featured within the first iteration of the Directory and further members will be added on an annual basis with new applicants undergoing the same vetting process. The Directory includes, but is not limited to, expertise within the realms of:
It is truly exciting to have closely collaborated with our colleagues in the disability community to create this unique community of disability inclusion experts. By creating this global directory, we will be able to further support the Valuable 500 companies in advancing their disability inclusion and accessibility work. The Valuable Directory is a brilliant tool that will continue to evolve to meet their changing needs and reflect the complexity of designing and implementing successful disability inclusion strategies.
Stephane Leblois, Director of Partnerships, the valuable 500
The Valuable 500 has embarked on its transformation programme of embedding disability inclusion within leadership agendas and radically transforming the business system across the whole supply chain for the benefit of all. Its membership includes 36 of the FTSE 100 companies, 48 of the Fortune 500 and 28 of Nikkei. With 70% of its members enjoying a turnover over $1 billion and 52% of those employing over 10,000 people, the Valuable Directory will be available to the collective to utilise and make informed decisions based on expert guidance. As a collective, the organisations committed to taking action towards disability inclusion, have a combined revenue of well over $8 trillion and over 22 million employees operating around the world.
It is estimated that 15% of the global population are people with disabilities and this number significantly increases to 53% when families of those living with disabled people with disability are taken into account with a spending power of $13 trillion per annum. The Valuable Directory is the latest tool provided by the Valuable 500 to assist its members to successfully address this market and benefit from the significant pool of talent, and diversity of thought of people with disabilities as employees and customers.
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