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Computer Accommodations Program Marks 25th Anniversary

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

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WASHINGTON, Oct. 14, 2014 — A Defense Department initiative that has provided assistance and support to people with disabilities throughout the federal government marked its 25th anniversary yesterday.

Established Oct. 13, 1989, the Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program assists wounded service members and federal employees with disabilities by providing assistive technology to help in resolving employment barriers.

Since the program’s inception, program officials said, more than 140,000 technologies and devices have been made available to support CAP customers. In fiscal year 2014, the program set a record, providing 12,789 assistive technologies.

“This one-of-a-kind program showcases DoD’s leadership in the disability community, and its impact extends well beyond the number of accommodations provided,” said Stephen M. King, the program’s director. “By providing accommodations to support federal employees at DoD and partnering 68 agencies, and to our wounded, ill and injured service members, CAP also supports its customers’ families and the communities in which they live.”

Items provided as part of the program include ergonomic keyboards and monitor risers for people with dexterity issues, recording devices and memory queuing aids for those with cognitive issues, and text magnification software for people with low vision.

Recognizing that the cost of technology often has been a barrier to employment, officials said, the Defense Department originally established CAP to provide assistive technology and support services to DoD civilian employees with disabilities at no cost to employing offices.

In 2000, with the signing of the National Defense Authorization Act, CAP expanded to provide assistance to employees at other federal agencies. In 2004, CAP began providing assistive technology to military treatment facilities to increase accessibility and opportunities for wounded, ill, and injured service members.