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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 773-04
August 13, 2004

DoD Accommodations Program Earns National Recognition

The Department of Defense Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP) received the Best New Ability Communications Award from the New Freedom Foundation, Chicago, Ill., on July 30, 2004. This recognition is based on CAPs development and dissemination of a completely accessible CD-ROM, Real Solutions For Real Needs, as a marketing and educational tool for CAP customers and the general public.

The Real Solutions for Real Needs program is an innovative outreach mechanism because its design exceeds requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act by requiring no additional assistive technology to access information contained on the CD-ROM. By including features such as open captioning and audio description, users can learn in the mode that is most accommodating to their unique disabilities. This flexibility also empowers CAP customers to utilize the training at their convenience.

CAP is a great program and a national leader in providing accommodations to our Federal employees with visual, hearing, dexterity and cognitive disabilities, said James C. Reardon, chief information officer of the military health system. Providing more than 40,000 accommodations since its inception in 1990, CAP became the federal governments assistive technology program in 2000. Now serving federal employees in the Department of Defense and 59 other partner agencies, CAPs executive agent is the Tricare Management Activity, a field activity in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs).

The New Freedom Foundation seeks to inspire the creation of new abilities and improve the quality of life for those people who have a disability through educational programs, public awareness campaigns, research grants, and scholarships. The Best New Ability Communications Award highlights the most effective communication vehicle for providing information in the most useable and accessible format.

CAP is dedicated to ensuring that people with disabilities have equal access to the information environment and opportunities in the Department of Defense and throughout the Federal government in all stages of the employment lifecycle, said CAP Director, Dinah Cohen. The passion for our mission is demonstrated in each step of our accommodation process and reflected in the presentation and accessibility of our message. I thank the New Freedom Foundation for recognizing CAP with this outstanding award and for their cooperation in furthering opportunities for Americans with disabilities.

For more information about CAP, please visit http://www.tricare.osd.mil/cap , or contact, the director, Department of Defense Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program, 5111 Leesburg Pike, Suite 810, Falls Church, VA 22041 or by telephone, (703) 681-8813.