Health employment specialist, APM, has been announced as the West Midland's first Disability Confident Leader employer.
The Birmingham-based organisation joins only a handful of employers nationally that have achieved the new accreditation, launched by the Department for Work and Pensions earlier this month.
The government-backed scheme aims to challenge attitudes towards disability, ensuring that disabled people have the opportunities to fulfil their potential in employment.
It comes at a time when less than half of disabled people are in work compared to 80% of the non-disabled population. Despite a record-breaking labour market, some 4.6 million disabled people and those with long-term health conditions remain out of work.
APM Director for Integrated Health and Care Services, Pat Russell said: "As an employer of disabled people and a provider of employment and training services to people with disabilities and health conditions, we are acutely aware of the barriers many individuals are facing.
"In our experience this accreditation process is incredibly useful in helping to understand what we already do well as an employer, as well as giving us an insight in what we can do more of to support broader efforts to reduce the disability employment gap in the future."
APM was awarded the Disability Confident Leader status following a self-assessment process validated by the Birmingham Disability Resource Centre.
In so doing it demonstrated good policies and behaviours in regard to the recruitment, retention and training of employees, as well as its impressive track record in supporting other employers to become Disability Confident.
Minister for Disabled People, Work and Health, Penny Mordaunt, said: "Through Disability Confident we're encouraging employers to see the value that disabled people bring to the workplace.
"It's great to see businesses like APM supporting this initiative - which I hope will ultimately lead to thousands more disabled people enjoying the benefits of employment and playing a greater role in our economy and society."
An early adopter of the scheme, APM becomes the 14th employer to be recognised as a Disability Confident Leader since the accreditation was formally launched on 2nd November 2016, building on the DWP's Disability symbol Two Tick accreditation.
The company, which is also a member of the Business Disability Forum, is now on a mission to help other employers to do the same.
"Whilst extremely proud of this achievement, we are committed to working in partnership with Birmingham DRC and the Business Disability Forum to support other employers in becoming Disability Confident," added Pat.