Sprint has been in the news a lot lately – mostly about their poor wireless services and the improvements that need to be made in order to make it more competitive with the other big four carriers…Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. They even have had a cash flow problem in order to get their network expanded and updated. One area they did excel in, and received a top score of 100, is in the Disability Equality Index (DEI). The top score was awarded because of Sprint's longtime commitment of including people with disabilities within the workspace, customer base and even in their supply chain practices.
The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and the U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN) sponsor this DEI study as part of their initiative to assist companies in improving their disability inclusion polices. Mike Ellis, national director of Sprint Relay at Sprint said that, "Sprint has consistently strived to create an internal and external environment of equality and inclusion for all employees, customers and supply networks. Achieving a top score in the DEISM survey strengthens the company's dedication to further advance its disability inclusion policies and practices. Doing so helps Sprint deliver innovative solutions to help improve the quality of life for people with disabilities."
Participants are judged in four categories – Culture and Leadership, Enterprise-Wide Access, Employment Practices (benefits, recruitment, and advancement), and Community Engagement and Support Services. The survey questions look at whether the company is an EOE (Equal Opportunity Employer), do they encourage people with disabilities to "be themselves," do they truly embrace diversity and if they have policies to help assist people with disabilities. Jani Willis, DEISM program manager at USBLN said, "By becoming a first adopter of this groundbreaking index, Sprint has taken an important step in ensuring that the company can maximize its business results through full inclusion of people with disabilities. We look forward to Sprint's continued partnership and leadership in moving the needle to drive business success through disability inclusion."
Sprint is not only a leader as an employer of those with disabilities, but also in assisting their customers. Sprint has the "largest and most advanced" Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS), providing 25 years of helping those customers that are deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or have a mobility, cognitive or speech disability. Sprint should be highly commended for providing an environment, both in and out of the workplace, in an area that most people never even think about until they need it.