At Citi, disability inclusion means changing perceptions of people with disabilities. This requires action, not just words, and developing solutions that work for everyone. Today, with the beginning of National Disability Employment Awareness Month in the U.S., we are excited to announce the launch of a campaign to highlight and, more importantly, advance disability inclusion efforts across Citi.
For the past few months, colleagues from a broad range of functions, including Global Public Affairs, Global Diversity and Talent Management, U.S. Consumer Digital Accessibility and the Disability Affinity: Enabling Diverse Abilities, have worked to maximize the impact and visibility of disability inclusion programs and resources at Citi. This effort is reflective of the teamwork needed to continue to build a respectful and inclusive culture across our firm. Throughout October, a series of initiatives and an internal website launch will anchor the campaign:
- Citi Accessibility Resource Website (Global, October 1): launch of a new internal webpage that will serve as a hub for Citi employees to access disability inclusion and accessibility resources.
- Disabled Athlete Sports Association/Citi Paralympic Sports Day (St. Louis, Missouri, October 8): a come and try event for colleagues featuring wheelchair basketball, power wheelchair soccer, hand cycling and blindfold obstacle course stations.
- Empathy Labs (Irving, Texas, October 8; Pune, India, October 14; Jacksonville, Florida, October 15; 388 Greenwich, New York City, October 22): interactive events to learn about and experience digital accessibility tools used by people with disabilities.
- Disability Etiquette Training (388 Greenwich, New York City, October 15): a one-hour training on inclusive language and interactions with people with disabilities led by the New York City Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities.
- Team Citi USA Paralympic Athlete Town Hall (388 Greenwich, New York City, October 17): a conversation with Team Citi athletes Trevon Jennifer (wheelchair basketball) and Nicky Nieves (seated volleyball).
- Gaining Perspective: A Conversation with Extreme Athlete and Disability Rights Advocate, Rebecca Alexander (388 Greenwich, New York City, October 29; livestreams to U.S. and Canada): a discussion between Ida Liu, Head of Citi Private Bank, North America, and Rebecca Alexander, an award-winning author, psychotherapist and extreme athlete who has a disability, focused on mental well-being and resilience.
- EmpoweredNYC Campaign (New York City, October): an awareness campaign launched by the City of New York to promote EmpoweredNYC financial counseling services for people with disabilities, co-developed with Citi Community Development.
Although they take place in October, these initiatives offer us an opportunity to reaffirm our ongoing commitment to disability inclusion. Beyond providing resources and education to advance Citi's efforts in this area, the campaign aims to build empathy and inclusion of people with disabilities among Citi colleagues. By inviting our colleagues to participate throughout the month, we hope to effect a meaningful change in mindsets and perceptions across our firm.
Mark Carawan is Citi's Chief Compliance Officer and Jennifer Lowney is Head of Corporate Communications.