If your organization has diversity and inclusion standards or goals, event planners can support those efforts in a number of ways. The first step towards working towards diversity and inclusion when event planning is assessing your current practices and goals.

Two indices that can help with this process are:

The Disability Equality Index (DEI) is a program created by the American Association of People with Disabilities and Disability:IN, a world-wide business disability inclusion network. The DEI is a benchmarking tool that provides a score on an organization’s self-reported disability policies and practices. It 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 “Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion.”

The DEI measures a range of criteria within six (6) categories.

  • Culture & Leadership (30 points) – a sustained, visible cultural commitment to disability inclusion and demonstrate visible leadership commitment to disability inclusion throughout the organization;
  • Enterprise-Wide Access (10 points) – demonstrating the commitment to workplace accessibility;
  • Employment Practices (40 points) – the commitment to benefits, recruitment practices, employment practices, and accommodation practices that fully incorporate and include individuals with disabilities;
  • Community Engagement (10 points) – demonstrating public engagement practices that celebrate and support individuals with disabilities;
  • Supplier Diversity (10 points) – a commitment to supplier diversity practices that fully include and utilize disability owned, veteran–disability owned businesses and service-disabled veteran owned businesses; and,
  • Non-U.S. Operations (Not Weighted) – Businesses commit to and demonstrate non-U.S. practices that fully incorporate and include individuals with disabilities.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index is a national benchmarking tool to assess corporate practices of importance to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer employees.

Along with help in assessing an organization’s current policies and practices, there are a number of other benefits to using these indices. A high score can reinforce your commitment to these principles with potential and current employees, investors, and customers – including those with disabilities and their friends and families; regularly using the indices will help ensure sustainable results in policy planning; and, participating companies who wish to increase their score can receive customized consulting.