On September 24, 2020, Dorris Consulting International’s Service to the Citizen: Champions of Change™ Awards program convened a virtual national award ceremony. This ceremony officially honored Michael Reardon, Dr. Scott Michael Robertson, and Nathan Cunningham of the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) for their work leading the PEAT initiative. The Service to the Citizen Award recognizes federal public servants and their industry partners who have shown their commitment and capability to deliver programs and services that improve the lives of the American public.

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The PEAT team is especially excited to be recognized in 2020 since this year marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA, a landmark law, opened the door for people with disabilities to equitably participate in all aspects of society, including competitive, integrated employment. Emerging technologies are rapidly changing the world of work and, when developed to be accessible, hold the potential to carry this legacy forward by helping to foster universal inclusive workplaces. As Dr. Robertson noted in a recent blog post, technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) may “enhance pathways for people with disabilities to gainful job opportunities and long-term careers in high-growth fields and industries.”

We were also thrilled to see the award ceremony recognize David Capozzi, who recently retired from his leadership role at the U.S. Access Board. As Executive Director, Dave worked tirelessly to ensure all Americans and the U.S. workforce could equally access federal programs, services, and information, regardless of disability status. During his tenure, he oversaw a major refresh of the Rehabilitation Act Section 508 standards in response to market trends and innovations to ensure accessibility can keep pace with rapidly changing advances in information and communication technology (ICT).

Building upon accomplishments by the PEAT team and our partners in 2020, we are committed to continuing this trajectory toward an accessible future of work in the years to come.