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Held each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities.
The Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students and Recent Graduates is a federal-wide recruitment and referral program.
Flickr Album: 2016 Workforce Recruitment Program Awards
Download the Flier
The Annual Disability Awards Ceremony honors Defense Department components for outstanding achievements in the hiring, retention and advancement of individuals with disabilities. It also highlights the accomplishments and abilities of employees and service members with disabilities who have made significant contributions to and best demonstrate the core values of their respective organizations.
36th Annual Disability Awards Ceremony Program
Full Event: Carter Hosts Disability Awards Ceremony
2016 DoD Disability Awards Album
Kirk M. Bauer, JD, has been CEO of Disabled Sports USA since 1982. A combat wounded veteran from the Vietnam war, he was twice awarded the Bronze Star for heroism and is the recipient of the Purple Heart for wounds in combat, which resulted in amputation of his left leg above the knee.
Bauer firmly believes that the military philosophy of leadership by example is the most effective way to inspire others to dream big and achieve their goals. True to this philosophy, at 68, he regularly participates in mountain climbing; cycling, including the one day, 100 mile “Three Notch Century Ride”; skiing; golf; and hiking, including the annual Bataan Memorial Death March, a 26.2 mile Marathon hike in the deserts of southern New Mexico.
On September 10, 2016, he again completed the “Three Notch Century Ride”, riding “100-miles-in-one-day-on-one-leg” as his message reads. In 2010, Bauer led a team of amputee veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars on a successful summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, which at 19,341 feet is the highest mountain in Africa. The team included double leg amputees, with Bauer having the only good leg between them. In 2015, he led an all wounded veteran team up Mt. Aconcagua, which at 23,000’ elevation, is the tallest in South America. Part of the team reached the summit with Bauer turning back at 20,000’.
Throughout his life, Bauer has been dedicated to promoting sports for people with disabilities. For his work, he has received the “Lifetime Achievement” award from the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, & Nutrition; “The George Steinbrenner Sports Leadership Award” from the U.S. Olympic Committee for lifelong contribution to Olympic/Paralympic Sport; and in 2006 received a Presidential Appointment to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. Bauer was appointed by President Bush to represent the USA in the 2006 Winter Paralympic Games in Torino and the 2008 Summer Paralympic Games in Beijing.
For his work and personal feats, Bauer has been featured on programs such as HBO "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel"; ESPN "Outside the Lines"; NBC Nightly News "Making a Difference"; CBS Early Show; National Public Television and National Public Radio; Armed Forces Network; FOX and Friends; and CNN. He has also been featured in various articles published in numerous newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, and New York Times.
Kirk holds a Doctorate of Law Degree from Boston University School of Law and a BA in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a native of Oakland, California and now lives near Baltimore, Maryland. His son, Joshua, is 30 and works for DoD.
Presented to the
Department of the Air Force
Deborah Lee James
Secretary of the Air Force
The Air Force is recognized with “The Secretary of Defense Award for Achievements in Employment of Individuals with Disabilities” for the fifth consecutive year. The Air Force achieved leading scores related to the employment of individuals with targeted, significant, disabilities, with the highest participation rate and new permanent hire percentage of the three military departments.
To facilitate achievement of these positive employment outcomes, the Air Force has adopted many effective strategies, including recruiting widely for positions in all pay plans, occupations, and levels; effective use of Schedule A excepted hiring authority; resurveying its workforce’s OPM SF-256 Self-Identification of Disability status codes; adopting a written reasonable accommodations policy for qualified applicants and employees with disabilities; and providing appropriate training to senior leadership and managers.
The Air Force was created when President Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947. This made the Air Force a separate military service and ended a 40-year association with the Army. The Air Force thus entered a new era in which airpower became firmly established as a major element of the nation’s defense and one of its chief hopes for deterring war. The mission of the Air Force is “to fly, fight and win … in air, space and cyberspace.” To achieve that mission, the Air Force has a vision of global vigilance, reach and power.
Presented to the
Defense Finance and Accounting Service
Director, Defense Finance and Accounting Service
This is the third year in a row that the Defense Finance and Accounting Service is recognized with the Best Mid-Sized Component award. For the second consecutive year, DFAS exceeded DoD’s longstanding goal that two percent of its workforce be individuals with targeted, significant, disabilities, with a participation rate of 2.15 percent. DFAS led all mid-sized components in the percentage of permanent hires comprised of individuals with targeted disabilities.
In addition to demonstrating positive employment outcomes, DFAS was the only mid-sized component to submit documentation of an administrative mechanism or centralized source of expertise for establishing a comprehensive reasonable accommodations program.
DFAS was created by the defense secretary in 1991 to standardize, consolidate, and improve accounting and financial functions throughout DoD. The intent was to reduce the cost of the department's finance and accounting operations while strengthening its financial management.
The DFAS leadership and workforce are dedicated to achieving the agency’s vital mission every day: "Lead DoD in finance and accounting by ensuring the delivery of efficient, exceptional quality pay and financial information." To accomplish this and to guide our way to the future, the agency has adopted a vision that challenges us to build upon past accomplishments to reach higher: "To be a recognized leader in DoD's financial management by consistently delivering first-class service and products."
Presented to the
Washington Headquarters Services
Director, Washington Headquarters Services
Washington Headquarters Services is recognized with the 2016 Best Small-Sized Component award.
WHS performed well in most statistical categories, and was the lead small-sized component in the participation rate of individuals with targeted disabilities. WHS earned points for demonstrating it had resurveyed its workforce’s OPM SF-256 Self-Identification of Disability status codes and submitting documentation of an administrative mechanism or centralized source of expertise for establishing a comprehensive reasonable accommodations program.
WHS was created in 1977 to provide administrative and management support to multiple DoD components and military departments. WHS supports agencies, organizations, and personnel in the National Capital Region working with administration, buildings, facilities, finances, information technology, human resources, security, and transportation. The WHS team consists of more than 2,300 civilian and military employees dedicated to providing world class service to its customers. WHS is committed to support the mission of DoD, and its offices and agencies. This commitment drives various administrative, human resources, and personal support initiatives administered by WHS, in support of the diverse DoD team of more than 64,000 personnel.
Presented to the
National Security Agency
Navy Adm. Michael S. Rogers
Director, National Security Agency
This is the third year in a row the National Security Agency is recognized as the Best Intelligence Component. NSA achieved the top score among intelligence components in the participation rate and new permanent hire percentage of individuals with targeted disabilities. NSA submitted documentation of a comprehensive operational plan for funding supplies, equipment, and services critical to provide reasonable accommodations.
NSA stood out for its exemplary program to ensure accessible information and communication technology for its employees with disabilities. Instead of determining whether NSA was required by law to ensure accessible information and communication technology, agency leadership made a commitment that access to technology would be part of its mission. NSA proactively adopted comprehensive accessibility standards to ensure their employees with disabilities have equal access to information and communication technology.
Established in 1952, NSA has provided timely information to U.S. decision makers and military leaders for more than half a century. The Central Security Service was established by presidential directive in 1972 to promote full partnership between NSA and the service cryptologic components of the U.S. armed forces. This new command created a more unified cryptologic effort by combining NSA and CSS. The director of NSA is also the chief of CSS.
NSA/CSS is unique among the U.S. defense agencies because of its government-wide responsibilities. NSA/CSS provides products and services to DoD, the intelligence community, government agencies, industry partners, and select allies and coalition partners. In addition, NSA delivers critical strategic and tactical information to war planners and war fighters.
Presented to the
Missile Defense Agency
Navy Vice Adm. James D. Syring
Director, Missile Defense Agency
The Missile Defense Agency is honored with the Secretary of Defense Award for Achievements in Ensuring Accessible Information and Communication Technology in the Workplace.
MDA is recognized for its exemplary efforts to implement a program that ensures that its employees with disabilities have equal access to information and communication technology. MDA has taken proactive steps to allocate resources to fund a full-time section 508 coordinator position. The MDA section 508 coordinator works directly with the Equal Opportunity Office to establish agency-wide policy to ensure the accessibility of information and communication technology for individuals with disabilities. MDA established a program to ensure adherence to federal accessibility standards and usability guidelines. This model has proven successful in ensuring accessible information and communication technology for MDA employees with disabilities.
MDA is a research, development, and acquisition agency within the DoD. MDA is responsible for managing, directing, and executing the Ballistic Missile Defense program. MDA’s mission is to develop and deploy a layered BMD system to defend the United States, its deployed forces, allies, and friends from ballistic missile attacks of all ranges in all phases of flight. MDA coordinates with the combatant commanders, other DoD components and federal agencies, foreign governments, international organizations, and others as authorized.
MDA’s total government civilian workforce at the end of fiscal year 2015 included 2,334 civilian employees and 115 military service members located in five states and international locations. The MDA vision is to “earn our nation’s confidence in developing effective homeland and regional missile defense.” To “foster a supportive environment for a diverse and professional workforce” remains one of MDA’s top strategic organizational goals. MDA’s continued dedication to establishing and upholding its status as a model employer is demonstrated in its longstanding commitment to ensuring opportunities are available to everyone.
Alec Forsman leads a team that designs, develops, operates, and maintains post-processing...
Staff Sgt. Adam Leblanc enlisted in the Marine Corps as an infantryman in July 2000...
Brent Hare served at the National Security Agency as a mission watch officer...
Christina Pate began her career at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division...
Deborah Worek distinguished herself in her duties as the agency budget analyst for the ...
Eric James Belliveau is a disabled veteran, having served as a Marine in Vietnam...
Frank E. Moses, Jr., is the task management tracker expert for human resources (J1) at the Defense Logistics Agency...
When Hiromi Allen was almost three years old, she was struck by a car and suffered severe nerve damage...
Joseph Atalig, a wounded soldier who sustained several service-connected physical injuries -- post-traumatic stress disorder...
Tech. Sgt. Jason Caswell is vital to accomplishing the aircraft maintenance mission at Little Rock...
Jacqueline Spiller was born in Middletown, Ohio, and moved to Chicago, Illinois, when she was six months old...
Jeremy Tuck joined the Missile Defense Agency in April 2012 through the Missile Defense Civilian Development Program...
Ken Kramer’s outstanding efforts have directly contributed to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service’s ability....
Kevin K. Truong is a senior auditor with the New York Branch Office, and since the age of 22, has had muscular...
Robert Schenk Jr., a U.S. government employee assigned to Yokota Air Base, Japan, serves as the...
Scott Zessin has been working at the surveys, mapping, and geographic information system section of the Geotechnical Sciences...
Terry O. McMurry serves in the Defense Threat Reduction Agency Special Programs Office as the assistant network...
Army Maj. Tim Tatem, an outstanding Army officer, has served his country for over 17 years...
Alec Forsman leads a team that designs, develops, operates, and maintains post-processing optical and photogrammetric systems and provides quality data to Navy test programs. He is a nationally recognized flight test photogrammetry expert for weapons separations, ship suitability, ballistics, and mishap reconstruction. He develops new photogrammetric techniques and his solutions consistently exceed program expectations in spite of resource limitations. He is called upon to complete test and evaluation assessments for naval aircraft and weapons systems. His technical excellence has benefitted F-35, P-8, P-3, E-2C, and F-18 aircraft test programs, the Joint Precision Approach and Landing System, Joint Direct Attack Munition, Advanced Target Forward Looking Infrared, Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Response, and classified projects.
Initiatives include developing the next-generation “TrackEye” system, which ensures successful ship suitability testing for aircraft, reduces data processing turnaround time, improves automatic tracking for range customers, and reduces the time and cost of providing photogrammetric analysis. He has improved photogrammetric techniques for more efficient weapon separation testing and participated on projects that resulted in faster tracking, analysis, and data delivery. He identified major improvements and efficiencies, including reduced cycle time and labor costs associated with data reduction, plus annual cost savings, and reduced overtime for test programs. He co-authored a book and researched improvements to photogrammetric target acquisition, tracking, and analysis funded by the Naval Innovative Research and Engineering Program. He has presented numerous papers at national and international technical conferences and symposia.
He received the 2008 United Way Light of St. Mary’s County award, participated in Naval Air Systems Command’s disability mentoring day, and has previously served on the Southern Maryland National Alliance on Mental Illness board of directors. Forsman refuses to let life’s obstacles prevent him from achieving his personal and professional goals. He motivates his team through his actions, work ethic, and determination. He sets a good example through his technical leadership and dedication to the Navy mission.
Staff Sgt. Adam Leblanc enlisted in the Marine Corps as an infantryman in July 2000. He deployed to Okinawa, Japan, from April to October 2001. Shortly after returning, he was deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2002. Upon returning from Cuba, he was reassigned to become a marksmanship instructor in Quantico, Virgina.. In 2003, he was deployed to Iraq with Task Force Tarawa 3 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. While in Weapons Training Battalion, he volunteered to join Combat Replacement Company 3 in order to fill billets in units that have sustained heavy losses in combat. He was selected to join 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, as a sniper, and deployed in 2004 in support of Operation Phantom Fury to secure Fallujah, Iraq. After returning from his assignment, he was deployed to Afghanistan as a company gunnery sergeant with 1st Battalion, 25th Marines Regiment, and was sent to Wounded Warrior Battalion-East in November 2015 to recover from his medical conditions. Leblanc has degenerative disc disease, which resulted in extensive operations in his lower back, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.
As a recovering service member at the Wounded Warrior Battalion, Leblanc has been an active volunteer in the community. He frequently volunteers to support Habitat for Humanity, the local Special Olympics, and the Boy Scout Association Troop 90. He is an active participant in competitive events for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans, and has competed in the 2016 Marine Corps trials and in the Royal Marine Triathlon, which was hosted in the United Kingdom. Leblanc has had a distinguished 16-year career in the Marine Corps as an infantryman. He was deployed nine times: four to Iraq, two to Afghanistan, and three on unit deployments around the world. Despite serious medical challenges, he maintains an infectious optimism and contributes to his community.
Brent Hare served at the National Security Agency as a mission watch
officer from May 2014 to January 2016. During his time as an MWO, he contributed to countless successful computer network exploitation operations within the Tailored Access Operations organization.
As a watch team lead, Hare trained his own team and then assisted with training at least two other teams, rotating duties among team members so that each person had an opportunity to diversify his/her skills and gain experience while encouraging knowledge sharing. He worked with multiple teams to help members complete their job qualification standard training, mentoring them so team members qualified on the tools and processes used on the watch floor. He mentored civilians, contractors, and military personnel alike. His peers regard him as an expert in his field, and he is known for his "team-first" attitude.
Upon completing his tour as an MWO, Hare assisted with developing the MWO JQS, defining the standards and methods that will be used as a guide to train future MWOs. His other duties included direct mission impacts through troubleshooting dataflow requests and collaborating with other divisions across TAO to mitigate outages. Hare took the knowledge he gained during his tenure on the watch floor and has trained approximately 18 watch officers. Hare uses a wheelchair, but at no time does his disability impact his work or stop him from taking on new task. His dedication to the job and mission is unparalleled. As a tier 1 emergency designated employee, he worked his rotational shift position without missing a shift. This included times of snowstorms as well as superstorm Sandy, and it sometimes resulted in his needing to sleep at Fort Meade, Maryland, when his relief could not make it in.
As a result of Hare's professionalism and dedication to the mission, the leadership of the Mission Infrastructure Technologies Operations Center selected Hare to spearhead the development of the newly formed strategic and tactical operations investigation team. Hare thrives on challenge, and whenever issues come up, as they often do, he runs toward the problem, rather than running from it. In his new role, he is charged with solving the hard problems that impact CNE operations. Part of his responsibilities includes identifying potential network degradation issues and mitigating them before they impact the network. Hare is one of those rare individuals with both strong leadership skills and technical capabilities, and he truly enjoys sharing with other people. His accomplishments reflect great credit upon him, the NSA, and the DoD.
Christina Pate began her career at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division, in 1982 as a temporary student aid, working her way up over the course of the 33 years through a variety of positions to inventory management specialist. As the site subject matter expert for the General Services Administration Global Supply Program, she worked with counterparts at GSA to accomplish an overhaul of the program by encouraging their online program to interface with local internal systems, resulting in savings. She has served on quality process teams, and has received a variety of awards over the course of her career. Examples include the Meritorious Award for Support of Desert Storm Operations, 1992, for support in requisitioning parts to be shipped to the warfighter and using the best price practices for ensuring competition of lower costs and gaining expeditiously shipped orders; Meritorious Unit Commendation , 2008-2013; participation in the Naval Supply Systems Command Price Challenge Hotline Program,2009, reporting price challenging discrepancies and providing the government refunds which resulted in savings to the local projects; on-the-spot awards for support in expediting acquisitions in support of Deployable Joint Command and Control Hurricane Katrina efforts.
Pate plays an instrumental role at the command and in the community, serving as the Equal Employment Opportunity Diversity Council chair, 2010 to present; participating as a member of the children's christmas party committee for over 25 years; serving as the Employee Welfare Association president, 2003-2005. In 2012, Pate was instrumental in attracting Bill Klein, a reality television personality, as the guest speaker for the National Disability Employment Awareness Month event, and in 2016 she established Special Emphasis Program Manager comanagers.
Pate selflessly gives her personal time and talent as santa's helper when the children's christmas party committee hosts 100 local disadvantaged children from local elementary schools.
Pate proudly supports the programs where she volunteers. She never lets being born with the rare Robinow syndrome, or being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, stand in her way. Pate's cancer remains in remission and she continues performing her duties and tasks with the same eagerness and exuberance she did for the previous 33 plus years.
Deborah Worek distinguished herself in her duties as the agency budget analyst for the U.S. Army Force Management Support Agency since joining the agency in June 2012. Worek demonstrates excellence in mastering the complex General Fund Enterprise Business System. Her meticulous attention to detail directly improved the agency's management of limited financial resources in an austere budgetary environment. Worek's efficient budget tracking methods and compilation of the biweekly payroll reports facilitated accurate on-demand budgetary snapshots for agency leaders. Worek played an instrumental role in compiling and documenting the Program Objective Memorandum cycles for the agency, ensuring sound fiscal resource projections by providing vital input into the POM development and the Commander's Narrative Assessment. Her ability to seamlessly navigate through Army and DoD budget systems enables the Agency to shrewdly manage limited resources and accurately forecast future fiscal requirements.
Nowhere is Worek's exemplary attention to detail more evident and visible than in the periodic DoD budgetary joint reviews which serve as a check and balance for her daily, monthly, and quarterly performance. In these joint reviews, OA22 budget analysts always praise Worek's care and attention to even the minutest details, and her unparalleled knowledge of all budget items.
Worek consistently demonstrates expertise with the Defense Travel System. Reliance upon efficient DTS management is essential for Usafmsa. Worek's day-to-day management of DTS consistently keeps the Agency's travel requirements flowing in accordance with approved travel guidance and budgetary constraints. Worek's exemplary DTS expertise is critical to agency success.
Worek continues to set the standard for all members of the agency to follow.
Her work product is exceptional day in and day out. She is the definition of a team player.
Eric James Belliveau is a disabled veteran, having served as a Marine in Vietnam from 1968-1969. Belliveau is proud of his service at the Defense Contract Management Agency as part of the overall effort to support the warfighter with high quality products and services that support the mission of the U.S. military while ensuring value for American taxpayer dollars.
While pursuing a graduate degree in economics at San Jose State University, California, Belliveau was enrolled in a DoD disabled veteran job placement program. In May 2008, he was referred to DCMA Lockheed Martin Sunnyvale for a temporary assignment to the Contract Management Office Summer Intern Program. During his brief tenure, Belliveau found himself very much at home in a diverse military/civilian environment in direct support of deployed warfighters. It was at this time that the DCMA Keystone Program was presented as a possible entry point for permanent employment.
In 2010, Belliveau’s skills, abilities, background, and performance resulted in an offer of employment as a DCMA Keystone intern. Given Belliveau’s broad experience in the high tech industry, he selected his career track to be that of a 2210 software specialist.
While still a Keystone intern, Belliveau was selected to assist in standing up the agency’s Tier II Leadership Development Program. He tailored the DCMA program to local CMO requirements, assisted in recruiting leadership candidates and graduated from the two-year program.
In 2013, Belliveau joined the DCMA Journeyman Program and served with distinction as software lead on two ACAT I satellite programs. The caliber of his work stood the test of a management review team in July 2015 with no findings. Belliveau has performed oversight for over a billion dollars in software development acquisitions at various times. These programs include the management of distributed software teams from the east coast to the west coast. These are highly visible programs with high risks to software development. Three of the programs relate to satellite constellations and two of the programs regard missile defense.
Belliveau was detailed to the Agency Process Working Group , a strategic enterprise application effort. The mission of the PWG is to streamline DCMA processes across the organization so that policies and enabling systems are aligned. His special information technology skills and expertise from working in the private sector are paying huge dividends to DCMA’s PWG.
Frank E. Moses, Jr., is the task management tracker expert for human resources (J1) at the Defense Logistics Agency, Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He analyzes all J1 taskers and distributes them to the appropriate offices in a timely manner. No matter the subject, Moses is able to route the suspense to the correct office 99 percent of the time. He constantly monitors the status of all J1 TMT taskers to ensure that they are completed by their suspense date. In addition, Frank volunteers his time to train employees new to TMT or new to the J1 team, ensuring J1’s high standards of excellence are consistent across the organization. Moses is very diligent with regard to ensuring all suspenses are completed on time. He is very proactive and follows up with warnings when suspenses are due. He is the primary troubleshooter to address any TMT system issues. He ensures that all policy and issuance taskers are in the proper format/writing in accordance with the DLA Manual 5025.01, Writing and Managing Policies and Procedures. Frank is a critical part of a team that ensures J1 enjoys a fine reputation within DLA for suspense management and outstanding staff work.
In addition to his duties managing suspenses and the flow of correspondence, Moses continues to do an outstanding job as the J1 DLA facility manager, along with helping to manage the security and safety monitoring programs. He is responsible for performing monthly safety inspections for DLA headquarters J1 offices. Frank takes a diligent approach when conducting these inspections, safeguarding J1 employees and property, and ensuring that J1 is in compliance with DLA instructions. As the J1 DLA facility manager, Moses makes certain that all safety and fire marshals meet mandatory training requirements. As the TMT expert, Moses goes above and beyond his responsibilities by conducting one-on-one training for anyone who might need additional training to understand the TMT process. Moses goes out of his way to help any customer even if it does not pertain to his duties or responsibilities. He is a great example of a teammate who is willing to go above and beyond for the benefit of the organization and his peers.
Recently Moses completed the "Yellow Belt Lean Six Sigma" certification, displaying his determination to learn a new skill in order to assist J1 in building a foundation that facilitates continuous process improvement capabilities. This is a skill that is outside of his normal day to day functions but he did not shy away from it. He is loyal, flexible, reliable, and willing to assist anyone with anything. He’s an informal leader who makes good things happen.
When Hiromi Allen was almost three years old, she was struck by a car and suffered severe nerve damage in her right arm and hand. After graduating from high school, she went to a foreign language business school to learn economics while studying English.
In 2005, Allen was hired as a temporary part-time senior store associate in the shoe department, then moved to regular part-time store associate. In 2007, she worked with the operations squad and in October 2011, Allen was selected to fill the shift supervisor in softlines. Allen quickly reorganized the department by setting clear goals for her associates. She allowed her crew to take ownership of their areas and help them develop personally and professionally. She set up displays and products which coincided with exchange promotions and targeted holidays. Allen was selected to attend the retail management academy and was temporarily promoted to shift manager at the express store when a manager resigned.
Allen was selected as the permanent manager for the position but missed working in the main store. She graciously declined and returned to the supervisor position in the softlines department. Allen is considered the “go to” supervisor and often willingly switches her schedule to help accommodate unforeseen problems. Allen has been selected as employee of the month on three occasions. She has been recognized with four “Thanks for Caring and Sharing” awards, one “Thanks for Making it Better” award, one “Excellence” award, and five “Special Recognition” awards.
Allen volunteers at the Family Readiness Center, where she helps run the Airmen’s Attic. While there, Allen mentors high school students, and several were so inspired by her dedication to the service members and their families, they decided to join the exchange family. Two of the individuals have become supervisors themselves. Allen has been praised by several commanders and has been recognized multiple times as the volunteer of the quarter. She epitomizes the value of “families serving families,” out-performs her peers with sheer work ethic, and has an unmatched personal drive, giving all to the “greatest customers” in the world.
Joseph Atalig, a wounded soldier who sustained several service-connected physical injuries -- post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries during a 2004 deployment in Iraq -- has proven himself to be an outstanding performer, effective leader, and mentor to other wounded soldiers.
Atalig began his career with the federal government in September 2008 as a supply technician-forklift operator, YB-02 (GS-7 equivalent), at U.S. Army South logistics directorate. Later he was promoted to the position of logistics management specialist-supply support activity accountable officer, GS-0346-11. He is a subject matter expert on maintenance, supply, and Standard Army Retail Supply System-Level I by his peers and personnel from other agencies. From April 2011 to May 2012, Atalig saved Arsouth and customer commands over 400,000 dollars in turn-ins, unnecessary shipping charges, and hundreds of hours in processing supply requirements. He did this through his technical expertise, leadership skills, and ingenuity.
Atalig is a firm believer in equal opportunity. He is an active supporter of the VA Non Paid Work Experience Program, DoD Workforce Recruitment Program, and the Wounded Warriors Project. He has made attempts through these programs to place an individual with a disability to work with him as a supply technician GS-0346-7 in the logistics automation branch warehouse.
He is spearheading efforts for Arsouth to participate in the Wounded Warriors Project TRACK Program.
The Air Force Wounded Warrior Program selected Caswell to brief Laura Junor, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, about issues concerning the DoD Warrior Games. The intent of the briefing was to justify the necessity of the Warrior Games, which is an adaptive sports competition for ill, wounded and injured service members. He participated in several events during the 2015 Warrior Games. Caswell competed in volleyball, throwing shot put, and was selected as an Air Force team captain. While studying in the Non-Commissioned Officer Academy at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Caswell volunteered to speak at a base resiliency event, sharing his personal experience of becoming an amputee and the will it takes to return to active duty service. He has been a guest speaker for multiple amputee support groups in both Wichita Falls, Texas, and Jacksonville, Arkansas. He is an outstanding role model.
Jacqueline Spiller was born in Middletown, Ohio, and moved to Chicago, Illinois, when she was six months old, where she spent most of her childhood. When Spiller was 14 years old, she was diagnosed with transverse myelitis, which destroyed the nerve roots in her spinal cord, impairing the use of her legs.
Spiller attended Southern Illinois University-Carbondale majoring in public relations. In 1985, she began work as the executive secretary in charge of Medicare purchasing and billing services for Blue Cross-Blue Shield.
Spiller is the mother of two boys and has served as secretary for Red Cross activities in southern Illinois during the early 1990s. She became part of the administrative support staff of the United Way of Marion, Illinois. Spiller started the PTO at her son’s school and then later served as its president.
In January 2012, Spiller joined the Defense Commissary Agency working for the Richards-Gebaur Commissary located in Missouri. She serves as an outstanding store associate.
Jeremy Tuck joined the Missile Defense Agency in April 2012 through the Missile
Defense Civilian Development Program, an internship program that provides a hands-on approach through rotational assignments, education, and on-the-job training. Before joining MDA, he worked as a software engineer for seven years at a government contracting company and interned as a website designer at the Marshall Space Flight Center. Tuck is a system and
software engineer with a strong work ethic, who analyzes and assesses his team’s needs in order
to creatively develop new resources and methods to improve their efficiency and effectiveness.
During his five years at MDA, Tuck has worked as a system and software engineer in the
Terminal High Altitude Area Defense Software Division under the chief engineer.
Tuck consistently and actively pursues new solutions, opportunities, and products to improve the ability of the THAAD Software Division to accomplish its mission in a more effective and efficient manner.
Tuck tracks and assesses all potential and anticipated challenges in regards to THAAD
systems. He delivers the findings to all respective THAAD team stakeholders. His efforts in
tracking and communicating the potential and anticipated challenges have increased the THAAD
team’s situational awareness, resulting in a team-wide increase in productivity and improved
working relationships. This supports the MDA core value of teamwork as well as the
MDA goal of a team approach for agency operations.
Tuck supported THAAD modeling and simulation by working with the respective contracting company to determine and forecast software issues for the Post Engagement Ground Effects Model and Parametric Endo/Exoatmospheric Lethality Simulation.
Tuck’s approach to the task, consistent communication, and work efforts provided the contracting company with near-real-time solutions and an entirely new capability to utilize for future software builds to support MDA. This supports the MDA core values of dedication, professionalism, respect, and teamwork as well as the MDA Goal to continue developing and fielding the Ballistic Missile Defense System for homeland and regional defense.
Ken Kramer’s outstanding efforts have directly contributed to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service’s ability to achieve and sustain audit readiness. He routinely finds innovative solutions to difficult or sometimes impossible problems, and he is the organization’s subject matter expert on the budget execution process. Additionally, Kramer is the advocate for departmental reporting, ensuring that data is complete and accurate before reports are finalized every month.
During the latest Attestation Standard 801 review, the DFAS was required to provide auditable support of accountant reviews of budget execution reports. This requirement involved the use of at least 100 different checklists. Kramer developed an automated, consolidated checklist, saving the DFAS both time and money, while reducing chances of human error. The automated checklist has been shared with Army departmental reporting, and has greatly reduced the number of hours associated with completing the requirements of the AT 801 review.
Kramer created additional automated checks for the monthly budget execution reports and the quarterly financial statements for all departmental organizations. His reconciliations save countless hours for the budget execution team during the monthly and quarterly reporting cycles. The reconciliations verify fund balance with treasury, collections, disbursements, and appropriations received, which are critical to the overall financial improvement and audit readiness plan for Treasury Department Index Number 097 financial reports.
Kramer served as the head varsity girls basketball coach at the Indiana School for the Deaf from 1998 to 2003. His 1998-1999 and 1999-2000 teams were recognized as “National Team of the Year” by several prominent deaf publishers. Kramer’s expertise and dedication make him an invaluable asset and his efforts reflect great credit upon departmental reporting, DFAS, and the DoD.
Kevin K. Truong is a senior auditor with the New York Branch Office, and since the age of 22, has had muscular dystrophy. Truong has excelled as an auditor at the NYBO. Truong has been lead auditor in various complex incurred cost audits and other assignments. He has performed well in all of his audit assignments and is always willing to take on more to expand his knowledge. This was evident in his audits of a government contractor in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
The 2008 audit resulted in $480,000 in questioned costs, and the 2009 audit resulted in questioned costs of $1.1 million. Truong completed complex risk assessments of a government contractor with minimal input from his supervisor. The 2010 incurred cost audit risk and final report were handled independently and the audit program steps were accurate, complete, and precise. His dedication and commitment to his assignments are exemplary.
Truong has an exceptional relationship with his team peers and others in his office. He works effectively at building and maintaining team participation through active involvement at meetings and staff conferences. Truong builds good working relationships across the agency through his daily interactions in response to numerous requests. He addressed requests and audit concerns regarding a government contractor network encompassing over 70 working divisions. Truong has a good working relationship with the contractor’s liaison. His assistance in negotiations greatly benefited finalizing agreements. While still performing his duties, he pursued and completed an online master’s degree with high honors.
Truong is always willing to help other auditors and to participate in office activities. He served as acting supervisory auditor. He worked on incurred cost audits, forward pricing audits, as well as special projects which benefitted other audit offices. He performs mobile audits at various contractor locations and participates in the audit negotiations. His assistance at negotiations greatly benefited the finalizing of agreements.
Robert Schenk Jr., a U.S. government employee assigned to Yokota Air Base, Japan, serves as the installation deployment officer and chief of Plans and Integration. As the installation deployment officer, he directs all contingency, emergency and expeditionary deployments and receptions for the installation while ensuring legal compliance to meet U.S. Pacific Command inter-agency needs. He manages the installation’s Support Agreement Program in which he oversees more than 60 active host and tenant agreements as well as 13 international agreements with Japan. Schenk’s exceptional knowledge of logistics was crucial during ExerciseVigilant Ace, where he led his team in the deployment of 12 C-130 aircraft that generated 186 sorties, ultimately enabling numerous combat training scenarios between the United States and South Korean forces. His efforts to integrate Air National Guard members into these training missions played a vital role in accomplishing the exercise through flawlessly receiving and processing more than 338 tons of cargo and 1,200 military members to the local theater.
Schenk guided the logistics planning and execution of Operation Christmas Drop, the longest running DoD humanitarian aid mission. The 374th Airlift Wing demonstrated its ability to rapidly execute a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operation alongside the Royal Australian Air Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force -- a first in the 64 year history of the operation. Schenk’s meticulous logistics planning skills, in conjunction with the Royal Australian Air Force and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, ensured the uninterrupted preparation and delivery of 32,224 pounds of life sustaining aid to the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Schenk is ultimately responsible for maintaining the primary airlift hub for all U.S. forces in the Western Pacific. His steadfast management and oversight directly affects the 374th Airlift Wing’s ability to provide trained and ready expeditionary forces anywhere in the world. Schenk epitomizes the qualities and core values of the Air Force as evident through his achievement of this year’s Zenko-kai Award, which is awarded by Japan, to an individual who has made a positive impact on the local community.
Scott Zessin has been working at the surveys, mapping, and geographic information system section of the Geotechnical Sciences and Engineering Branch in Omaha, Nebraska, for more than 11 years. Zessin started with the Omaha district under the Workforce Recruitment Program in 2004. Zessin has received outstanding ratings for nearly each of his 11 years of federal service.
Zessin is asked for by name due to his reliability and his geospatial expertise. This includes his experience executing a plethora of projects on a variety of product delivery teams. Projects include but are not limited to: unexploded ordinance, flood control, environmental clean-up, recreation, real estate, military construction, operations and maintenance, flood mitigation, formerly used defense sites, real estate, light detection and ranging, pavement maintenance management system data development, and inventory. He has taken on a team lead role in several of these projects managing funding and scheduling of team members. Zessin receives accolades from his peers and his staff.
In addition to his geospatial duties, Zessin has taken on purchasing credit card duties. He supports the section and branch in purchasing supplies, equipment, repairs, maintenance, training, and utility locating services. He has not had any ratifications or errors while executing these duties.
Terry O. McMurry serves in the Defense Threat Reduction Agency Special Programs Office as the assistant network operations center manager and property book custodian for the U.S. Special Operations Command’s Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Support Program.
McMurry demonstrated exceptional knowledge and skills as the assistant network operations chief and is leading efforts to successfully implement four security upgrades of the Dynamic Picture of the Operating Environment a $20 million cloud-based research and development system supporting deliberate and operational planning. McMurry’s outstanding efforts driving security upgrades resulted in no loss of connectivity to more than 800 users worldwide. His thorough understanding of software coding and IT systems maintenance is exemplary and continues to demonstrate a positive impact on the mission.
Accounting for more than $7 million in government property, McMurry orchestrated a complete unclassified and secret computer system upgrade of his facility, replacing more than 200 individual work stations. Working closely with the DTRA chief of information operations, McMurry supported the scheduling, shipment, delivery, unpacking, imaging, and installation of 204 computers in less than 30 days. During initial installation, McMurry was instrumental in identifying critical software configuration issues that made them inoperable. He worked closely with the vendor, a team of contractors, the DTRA information technology support staff and his Network Operations Center team, and they were able to repair the problem quickly resulting in no loss in computer connectivity for 128 people supporting the commander, Socom. An outstanding effort!
McMurry is an active member of the Cross Friendly Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and is a devoted husband and father of two children.
Army Maj. Tim Tatem, an outstanding Army officer, has served his country for over 17 years. For the past year, as a member of the Defense Intelligence Agency's Defense Combating Terrorism Center support division, he has continued to serve as he leads and manages programs that provide DCTC personnel with the capabilities and services they need and deserve as they engage the nation's most critical intelligence mission areas. As the DCTC lead for DIA's transition from the DoD Intelligence Information System to the Common Operating Environment domain, Tatem took on the critical and challenging job of moving DCTC personnel to the new Intelligence Community Information Technology Enterprise-compliant initiative enacted by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Using his project management skills, Tatem helped transition all of DCTC in just three months. Throughout this period, as more than 1,000 accounts were moved to this new domain, DCTC experienced no mission failure of its numerous terrorist fighting initiatives as Tatem transitioned personnel from five locations as well as four Joint Reserve Intelligence Centers, hosting more than 150 reservists in a highly successful migration.
Tatem has put his program management skills to work in other critical areas to ensure awareness, training, and access for DCTC divisions and personnel desiring to use misattribution accounts. Coordinating across DIA and with DCTC leaders, he ensured all mission areas had access to this capability by organizing, training, and brokering the creation of nearly 80 DCTC accounts enabling mission growth. Tatem contributes to the community, helping to shape our young people through his involvement with the Boy Scouts of America since 2013. Already this year, Tatem has led over 300 scouts and scout supporters on more than 15 hikes.
Tatem’s Bronze Star, two Meritorious Service Medals, and numerous other awards are a testament to his outstanding service to the nation as an officer of the highest regard. He has provided expert-level skills and acumen while displaying a humble demeanor that belies his knowledge and a work ethic that are second to none.
"This month, we recognize the significant progress our country has made for those living with disabilities, and we honor the lasting contributions and diverse skills they bring to our workforce."
"#InclusionWorks" has been chosen as the theme for the 2016 National Disability Employment Awareness Month. The Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy said that this year’s theme seeks to inspire social media awareness of workers with disabilities.
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, service animals are dogs trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities. This includes guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, and calming a person with post-traumatic stress disorder during an anxiety attack. The tasks a dog has been trained to perform must be directly related to the person’s disability.
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires that when federal agencies develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology, federal employees and the general public with disabilities have access to and use of information that is comparable to access to and use of information by people without disabilities.
Photographer Dorothea Lange walked with a limp as a result of contracting polio as a child. She said of her disability, “I think it was perhaps the most important thing that happened to me. It formed me, guided me, instructed me, helped me, and humiliated me -- all those things at once. I've never gotten over it, and I am aware of the force and power of it.”
to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, about 1 in 68 children have been identified with autism spectrum disorder, which occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. It is almost five times more common among boys, 1 in 42, than among girls, 1 in 189.
In the 1950s, veterans with disabilities and other people with disabilities began the barrier-free movement. The combined efforts of the U.S. Veterans Administration, the President's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped and the National Easter Seals Society, among others, result in the development of national standards for "barrier-free" buildings.
The 2016 Paralympics, the 15th Summer Paralympic Games, were held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and introduced two new sports to the competition: canoeing and the paratriathlon.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps updated information about national labor force statistics with demographic characteristics available from the Current Population Survey (CPS).
The effort to educate the American public about disability and employment began in 1945 when Congress declared the first week in October "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." In 1962, "physically" was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of all individuals with disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to "National Disability Employment Awareness Month."
In 1932, Franklin Roosevelt was elected the 32nd President of the United States. Roosevelt used a wheelchair as a result of contracting polio in 1921. He inspired and directed the March of Dimes program that eventually funded the polio vaccine.
On June 22, 1999, the Supreme Court ruled in Olmstead vs. L.C. that unjustified segregation of persons with disabilities constitutes discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The plaintiffs were two women who had mental illness and developmental disabilities. They had been voluntarily admitted to the psychiatric unit of a state-run hospital but were held for several years after their initial treatment.
In 1935, the League for the Physically Handicapped formed in New York City to protest discrimination by the Works Progress Administration. The 300 members — most with disabilities caused by polio and cerebral palsy — had been denied WPA jobs because the Home Relief Bureau of New York City had stamped their applications “PH” for physically handicapped. League members held sit-ins and eventually generated thousands of jobs nationwide.
About 27 million women in the United States have disabilities, and the number is growing. More than 50 percent of women older than 65 are living with a disability. The most common cause of disability for women is arthritis or rheumatism.
The Disability History Museum provides visitors an array of tools to help deepen the understanding of human variation and difference, and to expand appreciation of how vital to our common life the experiences of people with disabilities have always been. The website is located at disabilitymuseum.org.
The first Special Olympics Global Development Summit was held in 2013 to explore ways to "End the Cycle of Poverty and Exclusion for People with Intellectual Disabilities." Participants in the summit included government officials and human rights activists, as well as leaders from the sports and business world. There's no easy answer to the questions raised, but as one activist noted, "when we bring our skills together, we are unstoppable."
The Road To Freedom tour kicked off on Nov. 15, 2006. This 50-state bus tour and photographic exhibit chronicled the history of the grassroots movement that led to passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The Disabled American Veterans was founded in 1920 by disabled veterans from World War I to represent their special interests. In 1932, the DAV was congressionally chartered as the official voice of the nation’s wartime disabled veterans.
Jim Langevin was the first quadriplegic to serve in the House of Representatives. At 16, he was injured while in the Boy Scout Explorer program working with a local police department and was hit by a bullet and paralyzed when a gun accidentally discharged. Inspired by the community support he received, he decided to enter public service. In 1994, he became the nation’s youngest Secretary of State, and in 2000, he was elected to the House of Representatives.
Daniel Inouye was born and raised in Hawaii. In 1942, he enlisted in the Army’s 442nd Regimental Combat team, made up of soldiers of Japanese ancestry. After losing his right arm in battle in 1945, he was honorably discharged in 1947, earning the Medal of Honor and a Purple Heart, among other awards. He became Hawaii’s first congressman when it became a state in 1959. In 1962, he was elected to the Senate, where he served for almost 50 years.
In 2004, the Supreme Court heard Tennessee vs. Lane, a case in which individuals sued the state of Tennessee for failing to ensure that courthouses were accessible to people with disabilities. One plaintiff was arrested when he refused to crawl or be carried upstairs. The state argued that they could not be sued under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Supreme Court was in favor of people with disabilities, however, ruled that Tennessee could be sued for damages under Title II for failing to provide access to the courts.
In 1935, Congress passed and President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act, establishing federal old-age benefits and grants to the states for assistance to blind individuals and children with disabilities. The act also extends the already existing vocational rehabilitation programs established by earlier legislation.
Thomas Edison lost almost all his hearing when he was about 12 years old. This may have been caused by scarlet fever, but he believed it resulted from being grabbed by the ears and lifted onto a moving train. He often regarded his disability as an asset that allowed him to concentrate on his experiments and research. He became a renowned inventor who acquired 1,093 patents, and whose inventions included the light bulb and the phonograph.
Down syndrome remains the most common chromosomal condition diagnosed in the United States. Each year, about 6,000 babies born in the United States have Down syndrome. This means that Down syndrome occurs in about 1 out of every 700 babies.
The BARD mobile app provides access to Braille and talking books directly from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped with the Braille and Audio Reading Download. BARD contains nearly 80,000 books, magazines, and music scores in audio and braille formats, with new selections added daily.
In 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law. Modeled on the Civil Rights Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the ADA stems from collective efforts by advocates in the preceding decades and is the most comprehensive disability rights legislation in history.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is a law ensuring services to children with disabilities. The IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities.
Over the past 25 years, Boy Scouts Troop 409, whose members have had various physical and mental disabilities, have earned 1,000 merit badges and produced eight Eagle Scouts. Scoutmaster Richard Coleman, a former Air Force sergeant said, "To me they aren't disabled -- they're scouts -- and that's how I treat them." The troop has 22 members, including seven of its ten charter members who are still involved because age limits don’t apply to scouts with permanent disabilities.
In the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, Marla Runyan finished eighth in the 1,500-meter run, the highest finish by an American woman in that event. Runyan, who holds American women’s records in several running events, was the first legally blind person to compete in the Olympics.
In 2010, President Barack Obama signed Executive Order 13548, to increase federal employment of people with disabilities. The Office of Personnel Management released model strategies to help agencies meet their obligations. The DoD employs about 52,000 individuals with disabilities, defining them as current employees who have elected to identify themselves as an individual with a disability.
One of the common misconceptions about individuals who are visually impaired or blind is the belief that they can read and write Braille. In actuality, only about ten percent of people who are blind can read and write Braille.
The last "ugly law" was repealed in Chicago in 1974. These laws allowed police to arrest and jail people with "apparent" disabilities for no reason other than being disfigured or demonstrating some type of disability.
Anne's Story: Taking Advantage of Challenges
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