Speech Recognition Software

Most of us have speech recognition software on our cell phones and computers (Siri, Cortana or Google Assistant). But did you know that speech recognition software can be used to help people with disabilities at work?

Individuals with dyslexia, limited hand/finger movement, learning disabilities and more can benefit from the use of speech recognition software. Check out this brief video from the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) to learn more about speech recognition software.

It is often beneficial to test assistive technology before purchase. The Texas Technology Access Program provides 30-day assistive technology loans to help match users with the technology that best fits their needs.

If you have any questions, please contact NASA’s Disability Program Manager: Denise Hendricks, sandra.d.hendricks@nasa.gov, 202.358.2321.

 

The Workforce Recruitment Program Provides Easy Access to Highly Qualified Potential Employees


The Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) is a recruitment and referral program that connects Federal employers nationwide with highly motivated college students and recent graduates with disabilities who are eager to prove their abilities in the workplace through summer or permanent jobs.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy and the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Diversity Management & Equal Opportunity manage the program, which continues to be successful with the participation of many other Federal agencies and sub-agencies. Since the program’s expansion in 1995, over 7,000 students and recent graduates have received temporary and permanent employment opportunities through the WRP.

NASA volunteers support WRP by conducting interviews with these individuals. NASA also can access the WRP database and benefit by the hiring of highly qualified individuals through Schedule A hiring authority. The 2019 WRP database is now available at www.wrp.gov!

Any Federal employee may request access to this fantastic resource of over 2,100 college students, graduate students, and recent graduates with disabilities from over 360 schools nationwide who are seeking summer or permanent employment in Federal agencies and private companies worldwide. Every candidate is Schedule A eligible and ready to work for you. You are welcome to register as a Federal employer and encouraged to share this information with your agency and larger networks! You can register for a 2019 employer account by clicking the “Employer Registration” button at www.wrp.gov.

NASA Retains Standing in “2018 Best Places to Work in Federal Government” Score


For the seventh consecutive year, NASA increased its Best Places to Work in Federal Government score and has retained its standing as the number one large Federal agency. NASA’s employee satisfaction score is 81.2%, a 0.3-point increase from 2017.

For a breakdown by Centers: Best Place to Work in Federal Government.

Thanks for another great infographic, Patrick Feeney!

Welcome, Vince Patterson – ODEO Manager, Diversity and Data/Analytics (DAD) Division


Mr. Vincent Patterson reported to National Aeronautics and Space Administration Headquarters on November 26, 2018.

Prior to his current position, Mr. Patterson served as the Director, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) at Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) from April 2014 to November 2018. In this role, he led EEO and D&I program management for the enterprise, inclusive of CNIC Headquarters and 10 regional commands servicing approximately 37,000 employees worldwide. Prior to assuming the CNIC position, he worked in the private sector as a Senior Equal Employment Consultant.

Mr. Patterson also served as an Equal Employment Manager at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard Civil Rights Directorate from August 2006 – January 2012. He managed the National Affirmative Employment Program and developed initiatives to educate the workforce regarding legal requirements under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Sections 501 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Mr. Patterson was directly responsible for coordinating and leading the agency’s cross-functional taskforce in establishing a Model EEO program under the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Management Directive 715. In addition, he was responsible for EEO policy development and strategic implementation of agency procedures related to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. An expert program evaluator, he conducted numerous EEO technical assistance assessments at the district and field unit levels.

Mr. Patterson is a retired commissioned officer of the United States Coast Guard. He served on active duty from October 1984 to July 2006. During his military career, Mr. Patterson held key leadership positions such as Commanding Officer and Executive Officer at multi-mission operational commands and served as Ethnic Policy Advisor to the Commandant (Agency Head) where he provided expert guidance on Coast Guard D&I initiatives. He earned several military awards that included the Meritorious Service Medal, three Coast Guard Commendation Medals (with operational distinguishing device), Department of Transportation 9/11 Medal, Coast Guard Achievement Medal, and numerous other medals and decorations. Mr. Patterson is also a recipient of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Director’s Award for “Exceptional Service in the Public Interest” for his leadership and collaboration in joint federal operations.

Mr. Patterson earned a Master of Science in Human Resources Administration and graduate certificates in both Public Administration and Leadership from Central Michigan University. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Resources Management, an Associate in Applied Science in Management Studies, and a Certificate of Mastery in Diversity & Inclusion. Mr. Patterson is also a graduate of the Leadership Development Program at the highly rated Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, NC.

Introducing Janet Sellars, ODEO’s Director of Diversity and Data/Analytics


Ms. Janet E. Sellars is NASA’s Director of Diversity and Data/Analytics, where she serves as the principal advisor to the NASA Associate Administrator for Diversity and Equal Opportunity on matters concerning the achievement and management of a diverse and inclusive workforce, to include but not limited to: NASA’s diversity and inclusion programs, the Model Agency EEO Plan and Annual Update under the EEOC’s Management Directive 715, and special emphasis programs. Ms. Sellars also provides executive direction in the administration of business intelligence tools to inform strategy and solutions for program-related operational goals and objectives to assist NASA in fulfilling its strategic mission and goals.

Prior to her current role, Ms. Sellars served as the Workforce Strategy and Planning Officer at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia where she developed and managed Langley’s strategic workforce plans, conducted analysis, and provided oversight of the implementation of Langley Research Center’s workforce strategy.

During the Presidential transition, Ms. Sellars served as the Acting Associate Administrator for Diversity and Equal Opportunity at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In this role she was the principal advisor to NASA’s Administrator and Deputy Administrator on diversity and equal opportunity matters for NASA.

Ms. Sellars previously served as NASA Langley Research Center’s Director of Education where her responsibilities included coordinating educational program efforts for national programs, building relationships with members of the education community and creating initiatives to develop outreach and collaborative efforts with the education community, other agencies, universities and industry.

Ms. Sellars has also served as the EEO and Diversity Director for NASA Langley Research Center. Her responsibilities included ensuring employees were empowered to rise to their highest potential and be valuable contributors to the NASA mission by promoting an inclusive work environment, free from unlawful discrimination and harassment. Ms. Sellars was the recipient of NASA’s Honor Award Medal for Equal Employment Opportunity for outstanding leadership in promoting NASA’s EEO and diversity and inclusion efforts during her tenure.

Ms. Sellars completed her undergraduate degree at the University of the State of New York (Regents College). She earned a master’s degree in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma as well as completed post-graduate work in Educational Leadership at Liberty University.

Ms. Sellars has also served in the United States Air Force as a paralegal and has worked as a college administrator for two graduate degree programs as well as taught paralegal studies at the undergraduate level.

Ms. Sellars was a 2012 recipient of the Women of Distinction – Government award from the YWCA of the Virginia Peninsula. Ms. Sellars was selected for the Black Engineer of the Year Award for Corporate Promotion of Education for 2017 and she is a 2018 recipient of NASA’s Honor Award for Outstanding Leadership.

Black Engineer of the Year Awards at Ames Research Center


Proudly announcing Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) for Ames Research Center (ARC) Employees:

Dr. Wendy Okolo has been selected to receive the Most Promising Engineer in Government Award at the 2019 BEYA STEM Global Competitiveness Conference. She will be honored at the BEYA Gala on Saturday, February 9.

Dr. Marcus Johnson was selected as a 2019 Modern-Day Technology Leader.

Mr. Kevin Jones was selected as a 2019 Science Spectrum Trailblazer.

Mr. Kenneth Freeman was selected as a 2019 Science Spectrum Trailblazer.

Marcus Johnson, Kevin Jones, and Kenneth Freeman will receive awards at the BEYA STEM Conference Technology Recognition Luncheon featuring Modern-Day Technology Leaders and Science Spectrum Trailblazers on Friday, February 8.

Congratulations, all!

Johnson Space Center Hosts High School Student Tour and Info Session


On Thursday, December 6, 2018, Johnson Space Center (JSC) invited high school students from the Vocational Rehabilitation Services program of Texas Workforce Solutions to tour the Neutral Buoyancy Lab (NBL). The students learned about the 6.2 million gallon pool from NBL scuba divers, used virtual reality to glimpse what an astronaut in underwater training sees, and even got to participate in a few science experiments!

The students also heard from a number of representatives regarding student programs at JSC, including High School Aerospace Scholars, the Pathways Internship Program (including a testimony from a current Pathways Intern), Schedule A Hiring, and the JSC No Boundaries Employee Resource Group.

NASA Participates in Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (oSTEM) Conference


From November 15-18, 2018, NASA participated in the Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (oSTEM) Conference at the Westin Galleria in Houston, TX. Since 2011, the oSTEM Annual Conference has brought together diverse students and professionals from various STEM fields in the interest of professional development and the creation of safe and inviting places to study and work in the sciences. During the 2018 conference, the NASA team interacted with more than 800 students and professionals who were in attendance.