Whirlpool Corp. employees celebrate and reflect on the importance of ADA on National Disability Independence Day
For people with disabilities, the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) provides and enforces opportunities for more accessibility at work, and granting the ability to request accommodations needed to perform at their best. AVID members describe what ADA means to them, and how AVID is helping promote a more equitable environment for Whirlpool Corp. employees.
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990. Currently, that date is celebrated as National Disability Independence Day. For people with disabilities, this law provides and enforces opportunities for more accessibility at work, and grants the ability to request accommodations needed to perform at their best.
When you’ve experienced disability barriers first hand, that awareness can be uniquely applied to so many aspects of the workplace; from designing the physical accessibility of the products to the consumer-facing interfaces so that everyone can use our products and services.”
Global Information Systems Manager Graham Forsey says, “As a long-time advocate of ADA, it’s encouraging to see the progress companies like Whirlpool Corp. have made to have a more equitable environment. National Disability Independence Day provides us an opportunity, not just to celebrate but also to reflect on how we can foster more opportunities for people with disabilities, as an employer and a consumer goods manufacturer.”
One way Whirlpool Corp. is dedicated to creating an accessible, inclusive workplace for all employees is through the Reasonable Accommodations process — where eligible employees are able to engage in the interactive process for tools or processes that allow them to work effectively.
Information System Analyst Patrick Seypura says, “As a deaf person, being able to receive services such as closed captioning or sign language interpreters, especially while working in remote environments, has been crucial for my role. Access to these essential communication tools has allowed me to more effectively collaborate with my team, weigh in on products, and, ultimately, produce a more successful, meaningful consumer experience.”
Forsey and Seypura volunteer with the Awareness of Visible and Invisible Disabilities Employee Resource Group (AVID ERG) at Whirlpool Corp, an organization that spreads awareness of disabilities within the company to benefit both employees and consumers.
Seypura says, “When you’ve experienced disability barriers first hand, that awareness can be uniquely applied to so many aspects of the workplace; from designing the physical accessibility of the products to the consumer-facing interfaces so that everyone can use our products and services.”
Forsey says, “AVID ERG offers not only engagement opportunities and camaraderie to Whirlpool Corp. employees, but also leads training experiences in consumer empathy, like Disability Immersion Activities. Programming like this is essential in advancing Whirlpool Corp.’s vision of improving life at home for all people.”
This year Whirlpool Corporation has been recognized as a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion” after being awarded a 100 percent score on the 2022 Disability Equality Index (DEI), making this the sixth straight year of receiving this high score. The DEI is the world’s most comprehensive benchmarking tool for Fortune 1000 companies to measure disability workplace inclusion.