Disability Inclusion Maturity Model

Be #PeopleSmart’s Disability Inclusion Maturity Model© provides organisations, of any size or sector, a tool to:

  • Assess their current position with regards being disability inclusive and accessible, for their staff and customers.
  • To identify their target maturity levels; and
  • To determine the actions needed to get there.

Be #PeopleSmart created this model, with the support of a global disability inclusion and accessibility professional review panel. Our vision is to provide the most robust model possible. We want to enable organisations who genuinely care about their staff and customers, and who want to future proof the success of their business, to succeed.

There are other maturity models available. However, we’ve heard and addressed your concerns, such as:

  • Key business areas aren’t included e.g., health and safety.
  • Many do not provide sufficient data to define maturity with confidence and to support growth.

We also heard those who said they weren’t yet ready to join a membership organisation, with some models only being available to members.

We listened. We have created this model for you to use, free of charge. Be #PeopeSmart retains the copyright, however you are free to use the model internally for organisational purposes and to retain a copy that you can add your own notes to.

This model has been created, along with this guidance, to make it as simple as possible for an organisation to self-assess their maturity and set their targets independently. However, if you would prefer some consultancy along the way please contact the Be #PeopleSmart team. We would love to be a bigger part of your journey.

It’s important to note that this maturity model is based on an organisation striving to be fully inclusive for all. To reach your goals it is likely you will go above and beyond legislative requirements in some locations, but we see that as a good thing. To us, it’s about human centricity, not ticking boxes.

Set of 5 steps numbered 1-5. Each step as a face, 1-5 go sad, neutral, smiling, grinning, grinning with stars for eyes. There is a Be #PeopleSmart flag at the top and the words Disability Inclusion maturity model.

Getting Started

Walk before you run (metaphorically). Don’t feel like you should be a maximum score of 5 in all areas, in fact you may never reach 5 in some and that’s ok.

Although this model can be a great benchmarking tool, don’t worry too much about how well your peers are doing, certainly not to start with anyway. Concentrate on improving, and with genuine intent, you’ll either catch up with your peers or surpass them. We always advise that the priority should be inclusion and equity, rather than competition.

Team Effort

Agree who will take overall ownership of the model. This is a co-ordinator role. However, it is often carried out by an accountable person from one of the business areas noted on the maturity model.

Appoint someone with the necessary knowledge and senior level support in each business area to complete their scores. Accountability is key. Agree on timelines for completion. It’s also important to note the need for collaboration. For example, there may be ‘Digital Solutions’ installed by those who manage the ‘Built Environment’.

Assessment is simple when ways of working are consistent across your organisation, with policies and procedures the same in all locations. However, wherever this differs by locations, possibly due to legislation e.g., recruitment laws, then it may be necessary to appoint multiple accountable people for some business areas.

We strongly recommend to secure executive level sponsorship within each business area. Depending on the structure of your organisation, this may mean one sponsor for each business area, or fewer sponsors who are accountable for multiple functions.

Current Scores

If you are assessing all or any business area across your whole organisation, then you simply review the criteria on each sheet, there is one for each business area, and there is a space to add your current score at the top of the sheet. To help you keep track, you can also add the date of your current assessment, where it shows MM/YYYY beneath “current score”.

If you’re firmly between 2 scores then add a .5. It all helps to show progress, there’s quite a difference between a 1 and a 1.5.

If assessments are by location, you will need to decide how you calculate the organisational maturity scores. There are 3 ways to do this:

  1. Based on the lowest score (only recommended for mature organisations).
    • This may help to gain support to achieve improvements, however it can also have a negative impact on those locations where they are achieving much more than scores suggest.
  2. Based on the average score (recommended).
    • This tends to be the fairest way of demonstrating where you are and not losing recognition where deserved. However, it’s important to keep note of location scores to ensure actions can be targeted as needed.
  3. Based on maximum scores achieved (not recommended).
    • This can give a false indication of how inclusive the organisation is overall. If one location is excelling, they deserve recognition, however the scores can detract from where focus is really needed.

If any points noted in the criteria cannot apply to your organisation, note them as not applicable (N/A). However, it’s important not to disregard something as ‘too difficult’, that’s where maturity plays its part.

If you find you are marking ‘yes’ against criteria in multiple maturity levels, you will need to decide which fairly reflects your status. We suggest:

  • If you score yes in all, or most (80%+), of one maturity level, that should be your current score. Note any ‘yes’ points at lower maturity as priority actions.
  • If scores are evenly spaced, select the lowest level of maturity with the addition of a 0.5 to denote the progress already made.

Target Scores

Work out where you want to aim for each business area based on the maturity criteria. We suggest annually by calendar year, although fiscal year may make sense in some cases.

Be realistic. Don’t feel you need to aim high for all lines. In fact, to start, it’s often more beneficial to pick 2-4 priority business areas where you want to reach a score of between 3.5-5. If you feel you can mature on all lines, even if some changes will be marginal, then it’s always great to see progress across the board.

Also, flag the ultimate score you aim to achieve on each line within 3 years. While it may not be feasible to reach a score of 5, aim as high as you realistically can. Scores of 4 are certainly something to be proud of and any 5s you can achieve deserve a celebration when you get there.

Take Action

Look at the gaps between your current maturity scores and what you need to achieve to reach your target scores.

Now you can document a detailed action plan, with accountability and realistic timelines. If you aren’t sure what actions you should be taking, then you may need some support from a disability inclusion specialist and if that’s the case we hope you will reach out to our team.  

The maturity model co-ordinator should engage with all accountable parties to check on progress as the year progresses.

We always recommend reviewing progress against actions on a quarterly (3-monthly) basis as a minimum. It is also beneficial to produce a report for relevant senior executives following your first maturity assessment, and to provide an update as you progress (annually as a minimum).

We will update this maturity model following feedback, and with the introduction of new enabling solutions. To ensure you are advised of updates, please register your organisation’s use of the model. You can also register via email.

It’s also important to note that although this maturity model has been designed to be as thorough as possible, to demonstrate organisational maturity and steps to improve, the criteria is not finite and there may be more steps needed to achieve true inclusion.

If you need the support of a disability inclusion consultant at any time, we’d love to hear from you. Please reach out to our team to discuss your needs. We offer a free 30-minute consultancy call for all new enquiries. No strings attached. You are free to use that time as you wish.

Be #PeopleSmart Disability Inclusion Maturity Model © 2022 by Be #PeopleSmart Ltd is licensed under Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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