Before the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, was passed in 1990, people with disabilities faced challenges in employment, transportation and other areas critical to their everyday lives. The ADA was enacted to prohibit discrimination based on disability across the United States. This month, CVS Health celebrates the 30th anniversary of ADA, and the company’s abiding work to create opportunities for meaningful employment for people with disabilities.
Fostering a culture of inclusion is a critical priority for CVS Health. The company has invested in its Workforce Initiatives and its highly successful Abilities in Abundance program, which breaks down the employment barriers people with disabilities face every day.
Over the last two decades, more than 55 Abilities in Abundance programs nationwide have helped thousands of people with disabilities find meaningful employment opportunities within CVS pharmacies and other CVS Health locations. In collaboration with the National Consortium of State-Operated Comprehensive Rehabilitation Centers, schools and non-profits, individuals with disabilities have the opportunity to work closely with trained staff to gain experience in customer service, in-store and pharmacy technician positions. Through the program, each participant receives classroom and hands-on training in mock pharmacies, which provides a holistic view of daily responsibilities.
Inclusion is deeply rooted in CVS Health’s purpose of helping people on their path to better health and continues to permeate the company’s innovation strategy. Recently, CVS Health launched Spoken Rx™, a new feature of the CVS Pharmacy app that can read a specific type of label for patients with visual impairments and those who cannot read standard print labels. Spoken Rx is the first in-app prescription reader application to be developed by a national retail pharmacy.
Additionally, 2020 was the fourth consecutive year that CVS Health earned a top score of 100 on the Disability Equality Index (DEI). The DEI, which launched in 2015 as a joint initiative between Diversity:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities, is recognized as the most extensive disability inclusion assessment tool designed and embraced by both business leaders and disability advocates.
David Casey, Vice President, Workforce Strategies & Chief Diversity Officer at CVS Health, had the opportunity to speak at this year’s Annual Disability:IN Conference to underscore CVS Health’s inclusive workplace culture and the comprehensive work the company does to support and recruit individuals with disabilities.
“I believe our diversified workforce is the cornerstone of our business, and for CVS Health to thrive, we need different worldviews, races and ethnicities, backgrounds, abilities and ages,” said Casey. “As we move forward into the next decade of our Abilities in Abundance program and beyond, we’re continually looking at other ways to break down employment barriers that individuals with disabilities continue to face.”