Accessibility Excellence & Return on Disability Certification
Creating Stakeholder Value and a Return on Disability®
Excellence Canada has developed a framework, detailed requirements, and an implementation model that will help organizations to identify opportunities in reaching and serving a larger customer base, attracting talent from a larger labour pool, and increasing productivity.
In association with Fifth Quadrant Analytics LLC, Excellence Canada has built a unique program that assesses organizations to ensure that they are effectively communicating to the public the good work they are already doing on customer and employee inclusion while at the same time identifying opportunities and planning for improvement.
Excellence Canada uses a three-stage approach:
- The current state is assessed against the Accessibility Excellence requirements to identify strengths, opportunities, and a high level plan of action.
- A business case is made for support from senior leadership.
- Policies and processes are developed or amended to ensure that people with disabilities are included as a key demographic group of prospective customers and employees.
- Existing strengths and initiatives are communicated to the public.
- Opportunities are prioritized and a detailed work-plan created for implementation.
- Existing or new metrics are identified and base-line measurements taken.
- Periodic self-assessments are externally validated by Excellence Canada.
The Accessibility Excellence ROD Value Proposition
For publicly-traded companies, the ROD (Return on Disability) FQARODCA index on the Bloomberg Exchange provides highly visible profiling for those progressive organizations that are creating greater shareholder value by welcoming people with disabilities as both customers and employees.
Increase shareholder/stakeholder value:
Increase revenue through:
- universal product/service design
- inclusive approach to customer acquisition and retention
Cost reduction through:
- improved processes
- higher productivity
- improved staff engagement
Outcomes at Each of the Three Stages
At the completion of Stage 1 the client sees:
- leadership commitment in the form of visible involvement
- allocation of funding and resources
- identification of strengths and opportunities
- established KPI’s
- detailed work plans
- external verification and certification by Excellence Canada
At the completion of Stage 2 the client sees:
- advanced implementation of the work plans
- measurable improvement in levels and trends
- widespread awareness of improvement plan and initiatives
- employee involvement and buy-in when problem-solving
- improved ROD score
At the completion of Stage 3 the client sees:
- continued improvement in KPI’s and results
- accessibility and inclusive design embedded in “the way we do business”
- improved ROD score
Client’s Commitments of Resources
People – appointment of an internal champion, reporting to a senior executive, to chair a cross-functional multi-level committee that will monitor and drive the plan, typically 5 to 10 people meeting monthly for half a day
Funding – aside from external consulting, training, and coaching fees, the majority of internal costs are sunk costs, attributable to existing staff that are just doing things differently and better.
Every organization progresses at its own pace. To the greatest extent possible the ROD initiatives are integrated into existing strategic planning and work plans.
Stage 1 may require 3 to 6 months to achieve. Stage 2 may take 18 to 24 months to complete. Stage 3 may take another 12 to 18 months, after which periodic feedback will inform the continual planning and improvements that comprise a journey to excellence.
At each of the three stages, Excellence Canada requires an application, describing how the organization meets the requirements at that level, as well as a site visit. A team of professionals appointed by Excellence Canada will visit the organization for one or two days, depending on the scope and size of the application. As well, if the organization has more than 500 employees, a random sample survey will be required by Excellence Canada. The intention of this brief survey is to ensure broad participation at a basic level to support the verification process. The presentation of the Certificate is often used as an opportunity for employee celebration within the organization.
For more information about how to get started, please contact us today!