October 4, 2023

NAVAIR Excels in Accessibility

Award winners and attendees of the Section 508 program awards ceremony held Oct. 20 at Patuxent River, Md., to recognize NAVAIR employees' hard work making technology accessible to employees with disabilities. Back row - Sherrian Finneran, Amy West, Michelle Trossbach, Jude Dashiell, Wesley Johnston, Jack Summers, Bryan Farrar, Andy Eckley. Middle row - Elizabeth Strandberg, Sandra Sableski, Lora Cheah, Edward Cheah, Nancy Danganan, Johnny Clark, Beth Kokoruda, Ken Chrismond, Chris Staley, Layton Moore, Kevin Smith. Front row - Melanie Mosterd, Frannie Bostich, LuLu Schlosser, Andrea Simonelli, Kent Knott, Lisa Dominiecki, Jimmy McDermott, Julian Bryan. (U.S. Navy photo)

NAVAIR’s Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) recognized 37 NAVAIR employees at an awards ceremony Oct. 20 for their work making technology accessible to employees with disabilities.

“It’s about giving people the tools they need to pave their own way,” Principal Deputy CIO Layton Moore said. “It’s about giving people a hand up.”

These employees’ efforts are part of NAVAIR’s Section 508 program. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974 requires federal agencies to make electronic and information technology (IT) accessible, eliminate barriers in IT, make available new opportunities for people with disabilities and encourage developing technologies to help achieve these goals.

Despite the security constraints of working within a Navy-Marine Corps Intranet environment, NAVAIR’s IT Department works to provide employees with disabilities equal access to information and connect them with the technology they need to perform tasks that can otherwise prove impossible or difficult. IT personnel provide accessible electronic IT to employees, test systems and products to ensure accessibility to and compatibility with assistive technology, and provide adaptive devices to accommodate employees with disabilities.

During the ceremony, Moore and NAVAIR CIO Jack Summers acknowledged 10 teams that investigated problems and found solutions for the NAVAIR workforce and, in some instances, the Department of the Navy. These teams’ efforts ranged from developing telecommunication solutions for the deaf and hard of hearing to helping Web designers ensure Web pages are accessible and usable to the visually impaired.

“These creative and innovative technology-based solutions have helped our employees achieve the dream of living independently and succeeding in the workplace,” Moore said.

Nancy Danganan, NAVAIR’s Individuals with Disabilities program manager, thanked Johanna Marusic, NAVAIR’s Section 508 coordinator, for bringing the right people together to achieve these results. “This was a really nice program that clearly demonstrated the value of working on teams,” she said.

The event, held at NAVAIR Patuxent River, helped commemorate National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month recognizes employees’ abilities, rather than their disabilities, and acknowledges the unique talents, perspectives and contributions people with disabilities bring to the workplace.

“On behalf of our employees with disabilities, I want to thank you for helping to change lives,” Moore told award recipients.

Source: NAVAIR Headquarters

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