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News | Nov. 18, 2021

DLA lauded for maximizing communication technology for disabled employees

By Michael Molinaro, DLA Information Operations

The Defense Logistics Agency has received a coveted technology award given to Defense Department components for achievements in employing individuals with disabilities.

In an Oct. 7 ceremony at the Pentagon, DLA was given the “Award for Achievement in Ensuring Accessible Information and Communication Technology in the Workplace” in addition to winning the “Best Mid-sized Component for the Achievement on Employment of Individuals with Disabilities” for the fifth year in a row.

“DLA employees should be proud that they are members of a high-performing team that demonstrates everyday its dedication to teamwork and excellence,” said Richard Harmon, DLA’s chief of enterprise IT accessibility. “This award recognizes our collective commitment to create an environment of maximum inclusion and valued diversity.”

Harmon said DLA’s commitment to accessibility is evident in the software tools it provides for contracting officers as well as web-based content that’s available for all employees. DLA Information Operations also ensures employees have access to assistive technology tools such as Dragon Naturally Speaking, Job Access with Speech and ZoomText.

“At DLA, we proactively and collaboratively work with stakeholders to maximize the accessibility of our information and communication technology to our entire user community,” said Peter Apgar, a program analyst in enterprise IT accessibility. “We are responsive to our customers and quickly address any issues they may encounter, and as an organization we are driven to provide excellence. Our customers are our focus.”

C.J. Johnson, director of the DOD Diversity Management Operations Center, said during the presentation that adaptive and accessible solutions such as telework, virtual meetings and verbal description are relatively new concepts to most DOD employees. Such tools have been used daily by individuals with disabilities for many years, however.

“These are all examples of how the ingenuity of the disability community has improved the workplace for all DOD employees,” he said.