Disclo aims to inspire inclusive workplaces

CEO and Co-Founder of Disclo Hannah Olson was diagnosed with Lyme disease while she was in college. At the time, she didn’t really consider herself disabled, even though it meant spending hours a day hooked up to an IV.

When she started working, she soon faced difficulties in finding out, disclosing, and asking for assistance about her condition. “I don’t know anything about the process, but I’ve seen firsthand how frustrating it is.” That lack of understanding is what would kickstart her entire entrepreneurial journey – from spending time as a disability employment consultant, to building her first company, potentially chronicwith a former boss, Kai Keane.

Chronically Capable helps people with disabilities and chronic illnesses find flexible work, and now, after scaling for nearly five years, the founding duo have built another company that’s an earlier step in the business. a similar world. disclosurean Atlanta-based startup that is building software to help employees claim workplace accommodations, while empowering employers to collect, verify, and manage personal details. disclose employee health and accommodation requirements in a manner that is HIPAA and SOC2 compliant.

Image credits: disclosure

Investors say it is addressing a real need in the market, with General Catlyst leading a $5 million seed round in Disclo, along with Y Combinator, Bain Capital Ventures and Lerer Hippeau. With a total of $6.5 million in known funding to date, Disclo has also managed to garner chronic ability beneath its umbrella thanks to synergies between the two. While Chronically Capable focuses on recruiting talent with diverse needs, Disclo helps startups ensure that they put the right placement process in place from the start to support their recruitment. Surname.

Keane, chief product officer (Olson is CEO), says the problem isn’t that startups have to think hard. It’s about following established regulations.

“We don’t see this as going too far – it’s a matter of compliance,” he said. “You’re complying with the law and a lot of companies don’t know how to do it or they simply don’t,” he said.

At the same time, Disclo hopes its mere existence will raise awareness of these regulations, for the benefit of all involved. “There is some stigma and silence about asking for things in the workplace, and [employers] does not advertise how to request accommodation at work. Disclo’s job, in Keane’s view, is to help employees understand what their rights are and protect employers by recording and standardizing a conversation that is often unstructured.

Adoption is especially important in times like these, argued Olson, who noted that based on data from the last recession, tech outfits are more likely to emerge. employees sue more often and for higher amounts because they have more financial incentive to do so.

Even as the economy recovers quickly, remote work is creating pressure around employers looking for better technology to support distributed teams. Olson says there’s been a 61% increase in accommodation requests from employees – a statistic she thinks shows employers need to take disability requests more seriously .

An important aspect of Disclo’s software is that it anonymizes an employee’s disability, instead letting the employer know that the individual has filed a disability notice and can use it. the following aids to feel more supported at work. This can be helpful because not all disabilities are visible and not all people with disabilities are comfortable claiming they have a disability.

Olson’s personal experience has highlighted how difficult it is to navigate the disclosure process and find a company that “takes care” of what she needs. Disclo does not force startups to provide certain amenities, but sets out a framework for companies to be more aware of and able to support their employees.

Speaking of the disorganization that regulates many startups, one might question why a large number of HR tech startups have not sought to disrupt the workings of the human accommodation aspect. disabilities. Some startups, Olsen said, are forced to use sticky notes and boxes because the law restricts information from being stored inside the HR platform, while large companies use insurance companies. disability insurance.

“A lot of companies think about adjustments from a claims perspective, but adjustments include more than just things in the insurance sector,” she says, such as reschedule, carry your pet or ask for closed captioning tools. “These requests often require a conversation with a manager, and we are here to help facilitate.”

In that case, perhaps the technology is too late in the game. Steve O’Hear, former TechCrunch reporter, wrote about the lack of disability reporting by tech companies in 2016.

“At its best, technology acts as a facilitator for people with disabilities, helping to level the playing field and thus can be a real driver of social mobility.” O’Hear wrote at the time. “However, since disability is not included in most tech companies’ public diversity reports, what we don’t know is how well the tech industry itself is doing for the number of people. number of PWDs they use and how does this compare company to company. Recognizing challenges with inadequate reporting and a general lack of transparency around companies, he called on the tech industry to “find ways to be more accountable. “

Disclo believes it is the first software company working in this particular area. Let’s see if the technology is ready to be an early adopter.

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