CAP: Providing access

The Defense Department established the Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program in 1990 to allow the department to partner with other agencies to help federal employees with disabilities do their jobs effectively.

In October 2000, the National Defense Authorization Act granted CAP the authority to "provide assistive technology, devices and services to any department or agency in the federal government upon the request of the head of the agency."

"It's very important that we continue to maximize the performance of folks who work in the federal government," said Mike Carleton, chief information officer for the General Services Administration. "That's true no matter what specific conditions they bring."

The program, which is centrally funded, furthers the federal government's goal to become the model employer for people with disabilities. CAP regularly queries users to ensure that the available technologies are working and to identify appropriate assistive technologies. It also provides training on how to use the technologies and advises agencies on how to ensure that electronic data is accessible.

CAP has more than 55 partnerships with federal departments and agencies to ensure that costs will never become a barrier to meeting the assistive technology needs of the federal workforce.

The program's partners include the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor and State, as well as the Federal Communications Commission, NASA and the Office of Personnel Management.

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