NASA’s mission to explore the secrets of the universe for the benefit of all is made possible through the contributions of its diverse workforce, including employees with disabilities. To promote accessibility and inclusion, NASA’s Mission Support Directorate (MSD) released a video in October 2023 for National Disability Employment Awareness Month. MSD fuels NASA’s Mission Support community, which provides the essential services for NASA’s missions and centers to accomplish their work.
Bob Gibbs, the associate administrator of MSD, says the video underscores the importance of accessibility and inclusion at NASA. “People are our special sauce at NASA, and they must have the opportunity to bring who they truly are to work,” says Gibbs. “Inclusion and belonging foster innovation and groundbreaking ideas, and that leads to even greater success.”
Titled Explorers, Adventurers, and Innovators with a Disability at NASA, the video features four NASA employees who share their perspectives on accessibility and inclusion at NASA. Featured employees include Gibbs; Theodore (Ted) Gutman, deputy associate administrator for the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity; Dana Bolles, the NASA responsible official for Science.NASA.gov in the Science Mission Directorate; and Jimmy Acevedo, an education outreach specialist in Exploration and Space Communications.
The video also shares resources for employees and supervisors to learn about the disability community at NASA, how to access information and resources about disability in the workplace, and how to support accessibility and inclusion at NASA. Accessibility focuses on creating an organization in which all people, including people with disabilities, can fully and independently participate. As one of NASA’s core values, inclusion creates an environment where all employees feel welcome, respected, and engaged.
National Disability Employment Awareness Month is an effort to educate the public about the issues related to disability and employment. According to the Library of Congress, it began in 1945 when Congress enacted Public Law 176, declaring the first week of October each year as National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week. In 1962, the word “physically” was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. Some 25 years later, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
Visit the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity to learn about NASA’s Resources for Individuals with Disabilities.
For a deeper understanding of disability in the workplace, the talented disability community at NASA, and to discover how you can champion accessibility and inclusion, explore:
This Item is Courtesy Of NASA