Presenters from the Computer Electronic/Accommodations Program came to U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Oct. 27, during National Disability Employment Awareness Month, to raise awareness about the services they offer.
The program’s mission is to provide assistive technology to support individuals with disabilities and wounded, ill and injured service members in accessing information and communication technology, said Kameelah Montgomery, chief, Documentation, Research, Evaluation, Analysis and Management Branch for CAP.
The organization provides free assistive technology and associated training; conducts free comprehensive needs assessments and technology demonstrations; provides training on disability program management and on creating an accessible environment; and supports compliance of federal regulations, said Ron Vitiello, U.S. Army Europe Equal Employment Opportunity specialist and event host.
John Sanders, deputy program manager for CAP, demonstrated a variety of assistive technologies and explained how program representatives determine what type of device a person might need to do his or her job.
“One of the more unique things that we can do is a needs assessment,” he said. During this process, representatives collect data on essential functions a person needs to be successful, functional limitations and what other solutions may have been tried in the past and recommend individualized assistive technology solutions.
What works for one person in a particular position, may not work for another person with the same condition in the same position, so they must take into account the specific limitations each individual has,” he said. “People can experience diagnoses in different ways.”
Col. Matthew Rasmussen, deputy G1 for U.S. Army Europe, who spoke at the start of the presentation, said he feels strongly about the importance of the organization. “My firm belief is that we all want to belong,” he said. “They (CAP) will reach out to help others belong. Disability Awareness Month is about inclusion.”
Accommodation may be provided for dexterity, vision, hearing, cognitive and learning and communication issues, according to Montgomery and Sanders.
Vitiello emphasized the importance of getting information about the CAP program out to people who can benefit from it. “It’s imperative that individuals understand the process and go down the path of reasonable accommodation requirements,” he said.