Beyond Disability: 8 Ways IBM Promotes an Inclusive Work Environment

By Todd Wright

As a Person with Disability (PwD), there is no differentiation between what my colleagues and I produce or deliver in IBM. In most circumstances, I am able to do the same work as others, thanks to the support provided. I am grateful that IBM Australia views my deafness as being irrelevant, and has given me many opportunities to succeed professionally.


Here are the 8 ways that IBM sees beyond every disability:

Proactive recruitment

We proactively seek to employ graduates and professionals with a disability. Our recruitment specialists are trained in disability employment and hiring practices and we communicate this focus to our recruitment supplier agencies.

To build and encourage the pipeline of candidates, we participate in an external national wide mentoring program for tertiary students with a disability facilitated by the Australian Employers Network on Disability.

Building accessibility

We are continually improving our premises to ensure all IBM offices are accessible to employees, clients and the general public.

Computer access

We provide modified workstations and specialist IT equipment for employees with disabilities because we are committed to developing and using technology to improve access in the workplace. IBM has several Accessibility Centres around the world and a website (US) dedicated to assistive technology in the workplace.

Communications support

IBM’s instant messaging service helps PwDs to communicate directly with their global colleagues, and vice versa.   Voice messages left on IBM mobiles can be converted to text messages, and the same instant messaging service and email system are also accessible via smart phones used by IBM employees, allowing full communication access anywhere.  For meetings or teleconferences, deaf employees can access  interpreting services through video or online captioning services, which are booked by the employee as required.

Disability Employee Networking Group

With a senior executive as its sponsor, this Group actively supports employees with a disability and provides feedback to the company and the Diversity team.

Disability awareness training

IBM is very active in educating its employees about Diversity when they join the company. Also, when I became a people manager, I was able to request a Deafness Awareness Training workshop for my team. Awareness training is offered to IBM’s Human Resource community, Real Estate, Procurement and Diversity Contact Officers.

Career advancement

We make sure employees with a disability are included in all our high-potential succession planning strategies.

Australian Network on Disability

IBM is a proud platinum member of the Australian Network on Disability.

I’m proud to work for IBM.

IBM is one of the best companies for deaf people to work for, treating everyone equally and providing support to anyone who needs it.

Todd Manages the ESC team for IBM Australia

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