Weyerhaeuser, a staple of the Pacific Northwest for more than a century, has actively recruited people with disabilities and created a culture of inclusiveness for years.
It starts with a strong commitment among the company’s leaders. A member of the senior management team is involved with each of the company’s diversity business networks. These are employee resource groups, like Awareness that Conquers Challenges while Ensuring Safety and Support (ACCESS) that focuses on people with disabilities and their families. The senior manager or sponsor can then provide feedback to the leadership team on the group’s efforts.
The company has a strong inclusion strategy for how to hire people with disabilities. Weyerhaeuser is very involved with programs like “Hire America’s Heroes” and the “Wounded Warriors Project” and has participated in various events to hire disabled veterans.
They have hosted educational programs help teach employees appropriate ways to interact with those with disabilities. This helps to foster a culture of respect at Weyerhaeuser.
Weyerhaeuser has looked at its facilities and tried to make its buildings more accessible. For instance, at the corporate campus a visually impaired employee brought a guide dog to work to help her navigate in the building. The company has also provided assistive tools, such as speech recognition software, to help their disabled employees.
Creating a culture of disability awareness doesn’t stop with its employees and corporate campus. Weyerhaeuser also encourages its builders to be aware of accessibility in their designs. Weyerhaeuser’s Winchester Homes division incorporates Universal Design, a design concept which makes homes more accessible to those with disabilities, into the homes they build.