Disability: IN and American Association of Persons with Disabilities say Nasdaq’s new board diversity rule is a missed opportunity for people with disabilities


WASHINGTON–(COMMERCIAL THREAD) –Disability: EN, the global organization that promotes inclusion and equality of people with disabilities in business, and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), are deeply disappointed that today the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of The United States declined to recommend that the Nasdaq include people with disabilities in a draft rule, Release No. 34-90574, which requires companies listed in the United States to meet certain diversity goals and to report on the composition of their staff. the administration’s advice. Disability: IN believes the Nasdaq missed an important opportunity to demonstrate to U.S. businesses that people with disabilities matter in diversity measures and that disclosure of disability is a significant issue for investors.

Disability: IN, the American Association of Persons with Disabilities, institutional investors and more than 200 leading civil rights organizations have strongly advocated for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the proposed rule, which in its current form, includes women, racial and ethnic minorities, and LGBTQ +.

“The disability community includes 1.3 billion people worldwide, including nearly 33 million Americans of working age, and should be included in corporate diversity initiatives and in the national conversation on diversity and legality. We have repeatedly engaged the Nasdaq and the SEC to argue that people with disabilities are a marginalized minority group similar to women, racial and ethnic minorities, and LGBTQ + people. While these populations have been rightly included, people with disabilities have been wrongly excluded, ”said Ted Kennedy, Jr., co-chair of the Disability Equality Index, a joint initiative of Disability: IN and AAPD. “By omitting people with disabilities, the Nasdaq is sending the message to American businesses that people with disabilities do not count in diversity measures, unlike the growing number of civil rights organizations, CEOs, businesses, institutional investors and shareholders who say so. imported.

In February, Handicap: IN and AAPD sent a letter to the SEC as well as the CEO of Nasdaq Adena friedman concerning the omission of persons with disabilities in their diversity proposal of the board of directors. New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli also sent a letter to the SEC. Handicap: IN and AAPD submitted a subsequent letter to the SEC describing how there is economic evidence, investor interest, benefits to corporate culture, similar existing regulation, and the ease of compliance to include people with disabilities in the definition. The letter places a strong emphasis on how inclusion helps investors.

In addition, the Leaders’ Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of more than 200 civil and human rights organizations, wrote a letter to the SEC, and the Nasdaq received a common letter of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, National Veteran-Owned Business Association, US Black Chamber, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce, Women Impacting Public Policy and Out & Equal, expressing their support for inclusion of disability in the Nasdaq initiative.

“In July, we celebrated the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the civil rights law recognizing people with disabilities as a discrete minority who have been discriminated against and denied access to employment. based on myths, fears and stereotypes, leading to extreme economic and social inequalities, ”said Jill Houghton, President and CEO, Disability: IN. “The ADA defines disability as a physical or mental impairment that significantly limits one or more major activities in an individual’s life. It is precisely these experiences that make people with disabilities essential board assets: Boards govern best when members can use their diverse abilities and perspectives. In fact, disability is the very definition of diversity, as it does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age or nationality.

More than 65 CEOs have signed the Disability: IN Letter from the CEO on disability inclusion, citing an independent analysis of an Accenture report, “Achieving Equality: The Advantage of Inclusion of People with Disabilities,” which found that companies that include more people with disabilities create more profits and value for people with disabilities. long term. Over a four-year period, these companies reported 28% higher revenues, double net income and 30% higher profit margins as well as higher total returns to shareholders.

Disability: IN will continue to work with the Nasdaq, the SEC, and other exchanges and organizations on future initiatives that positively impact board diversity. Advocacy on behalf of the billion people with disabilities, alongside 280 corporate partners and many allies, is at the heart of the organization’s goal of building an inclusive global economy.

About disability: IN®

Disability: IN is a global organization that promotes the inclusion and equality of people with disabilities in business. More than 280 companies trust Disability: IN to activate and achieve disability inclusion in their company and in all companies. Through the world’s most comprehensive disability inclusion benchmarking; top notch conferences and programs; and expert advice and engagement, Disability: IN works with leading companies to create long-term business and societal impact. Join us on handicapin.org/AreYouIN #AreYouIN

About the American Association of Persons with Disabilities (AAPD)

AAPD is a unifier, connector and catalyst for change, increasing the political and economic power of people with disabilities. As the national disability rights organization, the AAPD advocates for the full civil rights of the more than 50 million Americans with disabilities. Learn more about aapd.com.

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