Ted Kennedy, Jr., on making disability inclusion part of the national conversation

Industry leaders discuss business disability inclusion at the 2022 Disability:IN Conference

“I was 12 years old when I was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer and had my right leg amputated above the knee. And that introduced me into the community of people with disabilities,” says Ted Kennedy, Jr., co-chair of the Disability Equality Index and past chair and board member of the American Association of People with Disabilities.

“Little did I know at the time, but that was the really the defining moment of my life,” he says.

WorkingNation sat down with Kennedy at 2022 Disability:IN Conference in Dallas.

As co-chair of the DEI, Kennedy says corporate inclusion of people with disabilities makes companies more sustainable. 

“Many studies over decades have looked at hiring people with disabilities – looking at things like absenteeism and turnover and those kinds of measurable employee or labor force statistics – and have repeatedly shown that people with disabilities are dedicated employees that stay with companies,” says Kennedy.

“We are trying to make disability part of that national conversation on diversity and inclusion, part of that national conversation on income inequality that we continuously hear about. It’s a national issue. There’s no group that’s a more stark example of income inequality than individuals with disabilities who face enormous barriers to economic independence.”

Learn more about the Disability Equality Index.
Learn more about the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD).
Watch more interviews from the Disability:IN conference.