More than 58 companies have signed up to the pledge, including West Ham United Football Club, Sainsbury’s, KPMG, Bloomberg, Microsoft and Unilever.
Founded by campaigner and social entrepreneur Caroline Casey, who is also legally blind, she said:
“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Jaguar Land Rover as the first automotive company to sign up to The Valuable 500. The first of a number of global automotive firms who will join our movement in creating leadership accountability that will take a definitive stand on disability inclusion in business.”
Prof Sir Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover CEO, said: “We are proud to join The Valuable 500 because Jaguar Land Rover understands the importance of making our business and our products more inclusive.
“We are committed to creating experiences people love for life – and that absolutely includes people with disabilities. Everyone at Jaguar Land Rover is hugely passionate about that and now we pledge to do even more through The Valuable 500.”
Engineers are already working on concepts that could benefit the disabled community. One example is a prototype mobility door that opens automatically as the driver approaches – which could assist people with disabilities who use a car as their main form of transport.
To celebrate the announcement, Caroline and her sister Hilary, who also has the genetic visual impairment ocular albinism, got the opportunity to drive for the first time.
Trying a Range Rover Velar at Land Rover Experience’s flagship centre at Eastnor Castle, the sisters got the chance to try Land Rover’s famous off-road ability first hand, with the help of an instructor.
Caroline said: “We need things to change and the way to do that is to have business leadership remove the barriers for people with disabilities and their families, so they can be valuable customers, suppliers, employees and members of the community. I greatly respect Jaguar Land Rover’s commitment to this journey of continuous improvement.
“We would also love to see other industry sectors focus on this huge opportunity and join The Valuable 500 to end disability exclusion in business once and for all.”