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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 565-06
June 20, 2006

CAP Program Named 2006 Recipient of EEOC "Freedom to Compete Award"

The Department of Defense Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP) has won the

Cari M. Dominguez, chair of the EEOC, presented the second annual award to CAP  Director Dinah F.B. Cohen, at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, June 14, recognizing employers, organizations and individuals for initiatives that promote fair and open competition in the workplace.

“At a time when our uniformed medical professionals are saving more lives than ever before in the Global War on Terror, the CAP program provides wounded and disabled service members and other federal employees a wonderful opportunity to live and work better with assistive technology,” Dr. William Winkenwerder Jr., assistant secretary of defense for health affairs said.  “Thanks to Dinah Cohen and her team, CAP is a tremendously valuable program that gets our men and women back to work.”

CAP is a Tricare Management Activity program providing technology to allow federal employees and military service members with disabilities to access electronic and information technology assistance.  The Freedom to Compete Award honors organizations that have made extraordinary efforts to further the mission of equal opportunity for all employees.

CAP is a centrally-funded technology program that buys and delivers the hardware, software, and services that people with disabilities need to function in the workplace.

CAP frees individuals to compete by eliminating the cost and nuisance factors that have often kept accommodations from being made.  The technology makes the electronic environment accessible to and usable by individuals with hearing, visual, dexterity, cognitive, and communications disabilities,” Cohen said.

Since its inception in 1990, CAP has filled more than 50,000 requests for accommodations.  In addition to serving military departments and defense agencies, CAP partners with 64 other federal agencies, including the EEOC.  In fiscal 2005, CAP filled 5,542 requests:  3,218 for DoD personnel and offices and 2,324 for federal partner agencies, including 347 accommodations for wounded service members.

CAP also trains organizations to promote understanding of CAP’s mission and services in support of federal goals to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities.  This training provides instruction on how to integrate disability issues into President Bush’s Management Agenda and how to create and manage essential elements of disability employment programs, including recruitment, placement, promotion and retention of people with disabilities.

More information on the CAP Program can be found at http://www.tricare.osd.mil/cap/.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Freedom to Compete Award for 2006.  CAP is the first federal recipient of the award.  Seven recipients were honored today, covering industries and professions including food services, public utilities, healthcare, construction and engineering, federal government, and disability advocacy.

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