Diversity at GM

Creating Possibilities for People with Disabilities

“Is there enough gas in my car? Is there traffic today?” These are questions most drivers ask themselves on a daily basis. But what if your feet couldn’t reach the gas or brake pedal, or you couldn’t hear the OnStar operator? What if you couldn’t open the door to walk into your workplace everyday? All of a sudden, questions concerning gas and traffic seem minor. The People With Disabilities (PWD) Employee Resource Group ensures GM addresses these “what ifs” in all facets of the business.

What We Do:

  • Enhance Products: Work on a continual basis with OnStar to  improve the customer experience for those who are hearing impaired
  • Recruit Employees: Work with GM’s Talent Acquisition team on recruitment and employment of people with disabilities.
  • Increase Disability Awareness: Provide GM employees, friends and family of GM employees, and community organizations with support and information on disability issues in the work environment. This includes speaking at internal company events and serving as panelists during community-sponsored events on disability awareness.
  • Rebuild the Workplace: Help architects improve accessibility to locations such as the redesign of the Detroit Riverfront and Renaissance Center Marriott to include wheelchair ramps and automatic doors for better accessibility. PWD also helped GM facility management develop an evacuation procedure for people with disabilities, including testing the Evacuation Chair.  PWD has also counseled GM facility management on developing parking plans for people with disabilities and improving transportation services on the Tech Center grounds.
  • Improve GM’s Technology Systems: Serve as beta testers for IT enhancements to ensure they are accessible for GM employees with disabilities. This includes all operating system changes to intranet and all internal communications services (email, IM, etc.).
  • Volunteer & Give Back to the Community: Volunteer  at the May 2012 Special Olympics Summer Games of Michigan, an event that was proudly sponsored by our GMC brand.
  • Improve Customer Experience: Consult with GM Mobility on Universal Design training for GM Dealerships. This training has helped prepare dealerships meet the needs of customers who may have a disability.  

Our Journey:
Since the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law on July 26, 1990, GM instituted the GM President’s Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities. The committee began to create awareness of employees with disabilities, serve as a support group and promote the need for GM vehicles that benefit people with disabilities. Most importantly, the committee helped develop, deploy and manage the GM Mobility Program  – now a fundamental function within GM. The GM Mobility Reimbursement Program offers to reimburse customers up to $1,0001 when they buy a new eligible GM vehicle and adapt it with one or more of the 35 eligible aftermarket mobility equipment modifications such as hand controls or ramps. For more information about the GM Mobility Reimbursement Program visit http://www.gmmobility.com.

Today, the committee continues to serve GM employees and customers and our community to find ways to improve conditions for people with disabilities.

Our Future:
The PWD Employee Resource Group strives for continued success in helping make GM a Workplace of Choice for employees with disabilities.  PWD also helps GM employees who are caregivers to someone with a disability find resources and products, including GM cars and trucks, that create independence and mobility.  The team hopes that the group’s efforts will one day allow any person with a disability to enter a car in the morning with only the minor worries in mind. “Is there enough gas in my car? Is there traffic today?”

1. Limit $1,000 total reimbursement per eligible vehicle ($1,200 for eligible Chevy Express and GMC Savana vans). Ineligible vehicles - Buick Encore and Verano, Chevrolet Caprice, Captiva Sport, Spark, Volt, and all Cadillac vehicles.