(July 15, 2020, Washington, DC) — For the third consecutive year, Steptoe has been named one of the Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion by the Disability Equality Index® (DEI). The firm again achieved a high score of 90% to be recognized on the list.
The DEI is a joint initiative of Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). Launched in 2015, the DEI is the most comprehensive disability inclusion assessment tool designed and embraced by both business leaders and disability advocates. The DEI gives businesses the tools they need to analyze their environment, identify opportunities for improvement, and utilize their disability inclusion strategy as a competitive advantage. The 2020 DEI measured inclusion criteria including: culture & leadership; enterprise-wide access; employment practices (benefits, recruitment, employment, education, retention & advancement, accommodations); community engagement; and supplier diversity.
Steptoe's flagship Washington office integrates accessibility best practices throughout its design. Every floor of the LEED Silver compliant space is single-planed with elevators, permanent ramps and multiple mobility and egress measures in place. They include height-adjustable desks, wide passageways, accessible facilities and restrooms, some that are private and gender-neutral, and an advanced building emergency management system with detailed plans and crisis team members on each floor who can alert first responders of individuals who may require additional assistance during a fire evacuation or other emergency.
All of Steptoe's workspaces are in professionally managed buildings that are ADA compliant. The firm exceeds that baseline by having an ergonomics program in place, and providing additional assistive technologies, software and hardware as needed.
Steptoe's pro bono program also provides legal services that specifically focus on disability. The firm's lawyers regularly work with clients suffering from disabling mental and physical health conditions to obtain public benefits crucial to securing and maintaining housing, an adequate food supply, and other life necessities.
"The Disability Equality Index top scoring companies represent those businesses that have invested in accessibility and inclusion across their enterprise. As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the ADA, it is wonderful to see the progress made by these companies, and we hope to see continued progress and support for the DEI over the next 30 years," said Maria Town, president and CEO of AAPD.
Jill Houghton, president & CEO of Disability:IN said: "The best way to attract, retain and grow talent with disabilities is to create an accessible, inclusive workplace. This year's top scoring Disability Equality Index companies are demonstrating their commitment to many of the numerous leading disability inclusion practices featured in the DEI, recognizing that there's still room for improvement. We are proud to have developed strong partnerships with corporate allies who are committed to advancing disability inclusion and equality across their businesses in the United States and around the world."
Now in its sixth year, the DEI continues to see an increase in year-over-year participation, with the number of top-scoring companies more than quadrupling to 205 in 2020 as compared to 43 in 2015.
For more information, please visit the Disability Equality Index website.
In more than 100 years of practice, Steptoe has earned an international reputation for vigorous representation of clients before governmental agencies, successful advocacy in litigation and arbitration, and creative and practical advice in structuring business transactions. Steptoe has more than 500 lawyers and other professional staff across offices in Beijing, Brussels, Chicago, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington. For more information, visit www.steptoe.com.