About

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility at Benchmark Human Services

Benchmark was founded in 1960 with one predominant goal – to find better opportunities for independence and inclusion for people with disabilities who had, for decades, been marginalized and shut out of everyday society, locked in institutions, and disregarded. As our organization has grown, our employees have helped thousands of individuals work toward realizing their full potential and thriving in the communities in which they live, work, and play. And yet, more than 60 years in, we are constantly reminded that there is still work to be done to ensure full inclusion for those we serve. This is true of all marginalized groups, and in 2020, in the wake of several events, including the murder of George Floyd and a global pandemic that further disenfranchised poor, disabled, and BIPOC communities, Benchmark leadership recognized it was time to formally examine our Company’s efforts to ensure diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility at all levels of the organization. A DEIA Committee was formed to work toward that end.

The Committee has and continues its work identifying what Benchmark does well and where we can improve. A recent engagement with an outside consultation firm included a thorough assessment of our DEIA culture and practices, and the results of that assessment have translated into strategic goals that align with the mission and vision of our DEIA work:

Our Mission
Benchmark Human Services believes in the potential of all people. Our mission is to foster a culture that recognizes and honors the unique set of experiences and perspectives of our employees, as well as the individuals we support. We will strive for full inclusion at all levels of the organization. Benchmark is committed to maximizing both individual contributions and organizational effectiveness through the diversity of our workforce.

Our Vision
Our vision is to create a diverse and equitable environment where individuals of all backgrounds and experiences have a voice and participate in making decisions that help Benchmark Human Services fulfill its mission to drive person-centered outcomes for individuals served.

We realize we have much to learn – and far to go, but as was our focus over six decades ago when the organization was formed, Benchmark is committed to working toward equity and inclusion for all and fostering an environment that honors the unique voices and experiences of our team members, those in our care, and the communities we serve.

Benchmark Human Services Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Committee

Antoinette N. T. Thornton, Ph.D., LCSW, CCTP
DEIA Committee Chair

Courtney Heiser
Chief Culture Officer

Doug Beebe
CEO

 

Eric Weeks
Vice President of Human Resources

Howard Smith
Director, Early Intervention, Missouri

Karen Shollenberger
Vice President

Marmiko DeCeita
Program Manager, Tandem

 

Antoinette N. T. Thornton, Ph.D., LCSW, CCTP
DEIA Committee Chair

Courtney Heiser
Chief Culture Officer

Doug Beebe
CEO

Eric Weeks
VP of Human Resources

Howard Smith
Director Early Intervention, Missouri

Karen Shollenberger
Vice President

Marmiko DeCeita
Program Manager, Tandem


Cultural Competency Plan
Benchmark Human Services (Benchmark) is dedicated to serving and employing diverse populations across the United States. We recognize that we are a stronger organization, better able to carry out our mission when we understand, value, and affirm the worth of each individual we serve and employ. Benchmark has developed this Cultural Competency Plan to ensure the cultural and linguistic needs of those we serve and our employees are met, and that each person we touch is met with dignity and respect.

Inclusive Language Guide
Benchmark has developed an inclusive language guide to help educate and guide Benchmark staff on ways to use language that shows respect and is free of stereotypes, prejudice, discriminatory views, or bias. You can view the guide here: Inclusive Language Guide 2023-2024.

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