Disability Awareness Conversations: Evanjelin Mahmoodi, Intern at MSFC

NASA Internships is highlighting the personal stories of interns and their journeys to their internship – sharing stories and the impact people with disabilities play within our organization, as they add to the inclusive workforce at NASA.

Please join us in welcoming Evanjelin Mahmoodi, Intern at Marshall Space Flight Center!

Proclamation on National Disability Employment Awareness Month, 2020

During National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we recognize the immeasurable contributions that Americans with disabilities make to our workforce.  Their achievements not only strengthen our economy and communities but also exemplify the power of every American to help shape the future of our country.  This month, we recommit to advancing an American workforce where everyone can fully pursue their God-given potential.

Three decades ago, our Nation took a substantial step toward enabling Americans with disabilities to realize their full economic potential.  With passage of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act, these citizens obtained expanded access to employment opportunities, including government and community services.  Since then, our Nation has made great strides to create a more inclusive workforce and secure a future of purpose for every American.  My Administration has built on these successes by delivering unprecedented opportunities for more than 61 million Americans who have a disability.  Due to these efforts, Americans with disabilities had the lowest annual unemployment rate on record last year.  As we continue to restore our economy following the coronavirus pandemic, we will once again ensure historic employment opportunities for this incredible group of people.

Now, more than ever, technology is at the forefront of our evolving national workforce.  Accordingly, my Administration is harnessing emerging technologies that enable Americans with disabilities to work in new ways and in new environments.  The Department of Labor’s Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology developed the Emerging Technology Playbook, which provides step-by-step guidance to ensure accessibility is being built into new technology from the start.  Additionally, the Department of Health and Human Services has convened the Interagency Accessibility Forum to foster best practices in accessibility across the Federal Government.  My Administration is also working with State and local policymakers through the State Exchange on Employment and Disability initiative to build a more disability-inclusive employment landscape.  While there is still progress to be made, I am committed to expanding rewarding, family-sustaining careers to Americans with disabilities in each and every State.

This month, we recognize the talent and skill of Americans with disabilities.  Their resolve and determination strengthen our country and inspire us all.  Together, we will continue to advance and promote an inclusive workforce in which everyone can provide for themselves and their families, achieve the American Dream, and enjoy the prosperity of our great Nation.

The Congress, by Joint Resolution approved August 11, 1945, as amended (36 U.S.C. 121), has designated October of each year as “National Disability Employment Awareness Month.”  Most appropriately, this year’s theme is “Increasing Access and Opportunity.”

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 2020 as National Disability Employment Awareness Month.  I call upon government, employers, labor organizations, and the great people of the United States to recognize the month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities across our land.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.

DONALD J. TRUMP

U.S. Black Engineer Information Technology & NASA News

The U.S. Black Engineer Information Technology magazine, sponsor of the annual Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) and Women of Color Conferences, has posted an article regarding NASA’s decision to name its Headquarters building after the Agency’s first Black female Engineer, Mary W. Jackson. Ms. Jackson’s accomplishments are celebrated in Margot Lee Shetterly’s book, Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, and the movie that followed.

 

Microsoft Teams and Accessibility – Interpreter Services

How do I include an interpreter with video feed in Teams? 

Any external user (non-NASA) can join a Teams meeting by being included as a meeting attendee on the invite. In Teams, an interpreter’s video feed cannot be pinned to remain on the screen while other users are speaking. Due to this limitation, it is recommended that users with these specific accessibility needs utilize WebEx as an alternative. Please visit When to Use What for more information on NASA’s WebEx offering.

How do I use screen readers in Teams? 

Microsoft has a series of articles on using Teams with screen readers starting at:

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/basic-tasks-using-a-screen-reader-with-microsoft-teams-538a8741-f21b-4b04-b575-9df70ed4105d

Note, part of this was written before JAWS changed to turning the virtual pc cursor off by default.  The NASA 508 Compliance Working Group is working with the content writers to get that part updated to not tell people to toggle the virtual pc cursor back on.

A service by Microsoft called the enterprise Disability Answer Desk assists government, business, education and non-governmental organizations  and other enterprise customers with accessibility questions and issue resolution. Reach out to edad@microsoft.com with your questions on Teams for assistance.

There is an issue right now that the Teams product team is working on resolving where it can appear with JAWS or other screen readers that the Teams app is hung because as you tab nothing is read. This most commonly happens after you stop sharing your computer screen but can happen in other scenarios.  If this happens, we have found that pressing Win+up or down arrow to resize the window will resolve the issue.

If this issue is impacting you frequently, using the web version of Teams at http://teams.microsoft.com, is another solution at this time.

Last, you can get a list of shortcuts in Teams by pressing either control and period at any point or control+e to go to the search box and entering/keys.

Introducing NASA’s Just-in-Time Disability Toolkit for Managers

The Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity is offering a useful resource for managers, developed by Cornell University: the NASA Just-in-Time Disability Toolkit for Managers.

The Toolkit contains a wealth of quick tips, print-and-go checklists, and other relevant resources to help managers lead a disability-inclusive workforce – at your fingertips. From hiring individuals with disabilities, to effective reasonable accommodations, to psychiatric disabilities, to performance issues – the Disability Toolkit contains 10 tools for disability issues managers typically encounter and is designed to be used in about 10 minutes.

ODEO is pleased to provide this insightful resource to NASA managers! To access the Disability Toolkit for Managers, contact your Center Disability Program Manager.

NASA Earns Highest Employee Engagement Index in Federal Government for Eight Years Running


Congratulations to NASA for achieving the highest employee engagement index in the Federal Government for all large agencies (for the 8th consecutive year)! Impressively, NASA also achieved the number-one ranking in the inclusion index (New IQ) again this year, as the Agency has for each of the six years in which this index has been measured. The New IQ ranking includes all agencies: small, medium, large, and very large agencies!

The results of the 2019 Government-wide Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey are available at:
OPM FEVS Employee Engagement Indix

and the Government-wide and agency results on the 2019 Inclusion Index is located at:
OPM FEVS Inclusion Index.

Kudos to NASA leadership and the entire NASA team for their commitment to providing Air and Space to all individuals at NASA so our Agency can best accomplish its missions!