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Novant Health recognized as a ‘Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion’ for 2nd straight year

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Novant Health announced today that it has been recognized for the second straight year as one of the “Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion” by Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). The health care system received a perfect score on the Disability Equality Index (DEI), a comprehensive benchmarking tool that gauges an organization’s level of disability workplace inclusion relative to other businesses.

“Novant Health is committed to providing remarkable health care to its communities, which starts with creating an inclusive environment for all patients and team members,” said Tanya S. Blackmon, executive vice president and chief diversity, inclusion and equity officer. “Globally, people with disabilities represent over 1 billion people. This recognition signals that we are following through on the promise that everyone – including people with disabilities – is a priority at Novant Health and that extraordinary care is truly commonplace for anyone who steps into one of our facilities.”

“It’s so important to value the perspectives and life experiences of each person, including those with disabilities,” said Melissa Parker, Novant Health senior vice president, patient advocacy officer and executive sponsor of the Persons with Abilities business resource group (BRG). “I’m so proud of this recognition because it demonstrates how everything we do to create an inclusive environment is making a profound difference for our patients, team members and community.”

Novant Health received a score of 100% in 2021, an improvement from a score of 80 in 2020.

Examples of what Novant Health is doing to create an inclusive environment for individuals with disabilities include the following:

  • Using clear masks when communicating with individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.
  • Forming the Persons with Abilities business resource group to help understand the needs of persons with disabilities in our workforce, patient population and the communities we serve.
  • Making communication aid kits and interpreter services available at our acute care facilities and clinics to help patients with special communications needs.
  • Offering an internship experience for students ages 18 to 21 with developmental disabilities at Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center through a partnership with Project SEARCH.
  • Launching a pilot program to provide volunteer opportunities to teens and adults with disabilities.
  • Creating a companywide digital accessibility policy committed to making digital properties like the Novant Health website accessible to persons with disabilities.


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:

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 50+ million Americans with disabilities. Learn more at:

About Disability:IN®

Disability:IN is a global organization driving disability inclusion and equality in business. More than 270 corporations trust Disability:IN to activate and achieve disability inclusion across their enterprise and in the broader corporate mainstream. Through the world’s most comprehensive disability inclusion benchmarking; best-in-class conferences and programs; and expert counsel and engagement, Disability:IN works with leading businesses to create long-term business and societal impact. Join us at #AreYouIN

Posted on Tuesday, July 13, 2021