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Walgreens tops on Disability Equality Index

For a third consecutive year, Walgreens has been given the top-score of 100% on the 2019 Disability Equality Index.

DEI is a joint initiative by Disability: IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities, or AAPD. It is considered the most comprehensive benchmarking tool for corporate disability inclusion developed by disability advocates and business leaders, the Deerfield, Ill.-based company said.

“Employees with disabilities bring so much to organizations. They help us foster collaboration and to better connect with customers. They enhance overall employee engagement, and their unique perspectives help us drive innovation,” Carlos Cubia, the VP and global chief diversity officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Walgreens parent company said. “Supporting and employing those with disabilities is the right thing to do, and it’s good business.”

Part of the 2019 DEI inclusion criteria assessed culture and leadership, enterprise-wide access, community engagement, supplier diversity and employment practices.

Walgreens training and job readiness programs that are considered models for the organizations include its Retail Employee Disability Initiative, or REDI, which was established in 2010; and the Transitional Work Group, or TWG, which is a 13-week program that was initiated more than 10 years ago.

In addition, the retailer continues to partner with community organizations to identify opportunities that support hiring of people with disabilities. Organizations the retailer has continued to work with include Turning Pointe Autism Foundation since 2012 and The Chicago Lighthouse for the past two years.

“Walgreens has been at the forefront of disability inclusion efforts for many years,” Carrie Provenzale, Turning Pointe’s executive director said. “Walgreens has created a best practice environment in which our students can learn. And as a result, our students have gained confidence and felt more prepared to enter the workplace.”
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