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May 2011

NISH Hospitality Services Support U.S. Army While Creating Jobs for Veterans with Disabilities

Hotchkiss High School Wins JETS/AbilityOne NEDC

NAVFAC Partnership with AbilityOne速 Program Becomes Official


Workplace Hospitality Services Support First Sergeant’s 7 NISH Barracks Program

NISH Hospitality Services, in support of the U.S. Army’s First Sergeant’s Barracks Program (FSBP), is improving the quality of life for single U.S. soldiers living in barracks. By utilizing the AbilityOne® Program to help implement this initiative at two installations, the Army is saving money and simultaneously creating new jobs for service-disabled veterans and other individuals with disabilities. The partnership also represents a major step forward by the AbilityOne Program in support of the Department of Defense’s strategic sourcing initiative. Special Feature

Gifts of Art and Music Make for Memorable 12 The Mission Moments 14 Hotchkiss High School Wins JETS/AbilityOne NEDC The Federal Insight Official: NISH and NAVFAC Kick Off 16 Becomes Strategic Alliance with Signing Ceremony 17 View From Washington 18 Public Policy

NAVFAC Partnership with AbilityOne® Program

The Nonprofit Agency Link

20 Lincoln Training Center Holds Annual Gala Affair Business Development Creates 22 Products Marketing Tool for NPAs The Workforce Inclusive UCP Gone For Good Affiliates 26 Win Award at UCPA Annual Conference 4 President’s Message 5 AbilityOne Procurement Champion 25 AbilityOne Program Success Story

Volume 37, No. 5 May 2011

Workplace is published monthly by NISH, 8401 Old Courthouse Road, Vienna, VA 22182. NISH is a nonprofit organization that supports the AbilityOne Program® and is designated by Congress to assist nonprofit agencies employing people with significant disabilities in obtaining federal contracts. If you would like additional information on any subject in Workplace, contact Lynne Harris at Address corrections or additions should be mailed to the managing editor at the above address; please include the old mailing label. Reproduction of material in Workplace with permission is encouraged. Gregory Bender Chair, NISH Board of ­Directors E. Robert Chamberlin President and CEO, NISH NISH Board of Directors

William Coleman, Jr., Chair Elect Jim Barone, Immediate Past Chair Brenda Yarnell, Secretary Paul Atkinson, Treasurer Frederick Beaman Stephen Bennett Jerry Bettenhausen Peter Burns Dean Emerson Frederick Frese Jim Gibbons David Gonzales Steven King Mike Kivitz Frank Lopez Amy Luttrell Wayne McMillan Thomas Miller Rhea Nelson Barbara Nurenberg Steve Perdue Belinda Porras Frederick Williams

Editorial Committee

Paul Atkinson Megan Branch Nancyellen Gentile Gisele McAuliffe Jay Thomas Lisa Ward Tony Young Executive Editor

Lynne Harris Managing Editor

Vatrice Jones Contributing Feature Writers

Rachel Crowell Sarah Gray Heather Loveridge Gisele McAuliffe Jamilah Simmons

On the cover: Ron Hernandez, Branch Chief of First Sergeant’s Barracks Program, stands in front of sign at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.

May 2011 | 3

President’s Message

Extreme Partnering Everyone has heard the term partnering. But in a meeting I had with Connie Ward, Alan Lacuesta and Linda Ryan from Navy Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest and (in Alan’s case also Navy Region Southwest), they enthusiastically described their relationship with AbilityOne, NISH and Job Options, a nonprofit agency (NPA) in San Diego, as more than that. “We are at the level of extreme partnering”, they said. A term coined in NAVFAC’s Southwest Region, extreme partnering is working E. Robert Chamberlin collaboratively to jointly accomplish NISH President and CEO the missions and goals of the federal customer, NISH/AbilityOne, and the NPA. It is challenging the status quo as they did. Faced with the complex challenge of consolidating multiple sites under one contract, all parties worked together to overcome significant challenges encountered during the initial consolidation process. The bottom lines were significant savings that were passed on to the government and a higher level of performance at the majority of Pictured left to right: Fernando and Willie Jones of sites. Talking about the Job Fedcap, an AbilityOne-affiliated agency. Options and NISH team, Connie said, “You know they really get it….and so do we in better understanding your mission.” “You are leading the way in how the government wants to do business with contractors ‘globally,’” was the way Alan put it. The San Diego visit also included a chance to see the Marine Corps Recruit Depot/ARC San Diego partnership in action. Seeing the complex, but beautifully orchestrated 6:00 a.m. recruit feeding process is a unique opportunity; but after extensive tours, detailed discussions and joint meetings with the leadership of the Marine Corps, ARC and their commercial partner outlining 4 | NISH WORKPLACE

savings, communication, and continuous improvement, it was evident that this was another example of “extreme partnering” in action. The day before the San Diego trip, I had the privilege of hearing AbilityOne employee Willie Jones speak at the NISH national office town meeting. Willie, who had never given a speech before, took a deep breath and said, “I’m here to talk about hard work and opportunity.” He went on to describe growing up in various parts of New York City, his advancement in school even though he couldn’t read, write or understand anything; the diagnosis of his multiple disabilities, his placement in special education and his referral to Fedcap, an AbilityOne-affiliated agency. Willie’s story of his experiences as a employee, the feeling of responsibility, his first paycheck and his promotion to a work leader now managing nine people in four locations on Liberty Island, Ellis Island and Battery Park, kept us all spell bound. Willie made repeated references to his supervisor, Fernando, who had also joined him for the town hall. From teaching Willie to read, talk and interact with people and to understand the quality expected by the customer, Fernando went beyond the norm. This was extreme partnering between a supervisor and subordinate (Fernando also began as an AbilityOne employee.) In one beautiful speech, Willie captured the essence of what the mission of AbilityOne is all about. And with the term extreme partnering, Connie, Alan and Linda captured how we can collectively go the extra mile to ensure the program works to ensure achievement of everyone’s objectives. Whether it is a one-on-one relationship like Willie and Fernando’s or large customer/supplier relationships like NAVFAC or Marine Corps with AbilityOne, extreme partnering works! H

Procurement Champion

Spychalski Turns to AbilityOne® for Achieving Business Goals By Rachel Crowell, specialist, Marketing, NISH National This is an AbilityOne Procurement Champion! Eric Spychalski “It really is an exciting moment to award an AbilityOne contract,” said AbilityOne Procurement Champion Eric Spychalski. “The people in the AbilityOne Program are excellent examples of hard working people who want nothing more than to be given the opportunity to work hard and support their families. The level of pride and diligence they perform at is incredible.” Active in the contracting field for nine years, Spychalski formerly worked as flight chief of services at Moody AFB before recently making the move to contract specialist with the U.S. Marine Corps at the Marine Corps Logistic Center in Albany, Ga. During his time at Moody AFB however, Spychalski was responsible for working on and helping to add an official mail service to the Procurement List (PL) and spent time actively looking for new services to offer the AbilityOne Program.

Institute. “He didn’t just talk about it, he was doing it. It’s that simple.”

Spychalski first learned of the AbilityOne Program from his flight chief of services at Fairchild AFB after being assigned the administration duties of a postal contract in the program. When tasked to write an article about the Program for the base paper, he began to grow more familiar with it. “In my research I learned much about the program and the benefits both the government and AbilityOne gain from the contracts,” stated Spychalski. “I believe the AbilityOne Program is an excellent source of supply that needs to be explored.”

Even though he maintains an unwavering focus on the goal of helping people with disabilities, Spychalski never loses sight of his purpose. “Although he makes it clear that there are business objectives that need to be met, Eric is open to ideas about how the goals can be achieved,” comments Mark Hess, director of business development in the NISH South Region. “He clearly sees the advantages of the AbililyOne Program for both the government and the people being served. Once when I arranged a meeting with him, he was prepared with a stack of possible services and made it a point to carefully examine all of them to make sure they were appropriate for the AbilityOne Program.”

“From the minute I met Eric Spychalski, I knew he was in favor of helping people with disabilities,” said Casey Lee, director of operations at Bobby Dodd

In addition to researching possible additions to the Procurement List, Spychalski also advocates on behalf of the Program. Not only

did he promote AbilityOne to his management team and superiors in the contracting squadron, he also arranged a meeting with other contracting officers to discuss the program and to explain his own experience working with it. “In a sense, I feel as though I had a small part in the dream most people with disabilities have of being self sufficient and a part of the workforce,” said Spychalski. “That really makes me feel good about the job I do.” Spychalski’s diligence and commitment have truly elevated the program and his efforts have afforded opportunities for several individuals with disabilities. For all the hard work that he’s done, NISH wants to offer thanks to Eric Spychalski for his continued support of the AbilityOne Program. H Comments regarding AbilityOne Procurement Champion articles and nominations can be addressed to Sarah Gray, manager, Marketing, at May 2011 | 5

Procurement Champion

Contracting Officers Add New Opportunities to AbilityOne® Program By Heather Loveridge, contributing feature writer These are AbilityOne Procurement Champions! Eric Miller and Gerald “Jerry” Lane Last year, the AbilityOne Program acquired its first outbound mail service contract when the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) contracted with the Anthony Wayne Rehabilitation Center/Post Masters in Indianapolis, Ind. to provide mail service for DFAS’ retired and annuitant pay function. The contract began in August 2010 and would not have been possible without Eric Miller and Gerald “Jerry” Lane. Miller and Lane were familiar with AbilityOne due to prior exposure on other contracts. When the mail service contract opened, Miller, a contracting officer for DFAS, recalled thinking the requirement could be supported by the AbilityOne Program. Before he and Lane, a DFAS contract specialist, could bring AbilityOne on board though, they had overcome some common misconceptions. “Some people in the project office were concerned about AbilityOne’s ability to perform the necessary requirements. We were able to overcome the concerns by educating our internal customer and observing the capabilities of the AbilityOne center,” Miller said. “Once the project was distributed to AWRC, members of the DFAS project office and contracting office visited the facility and met with Gary Johnloz, vice president of Operations, to better understand the capabilities of the center. It was obvious that Johnloz understood the mail services business thoroughly.” After everyone saw the merits of utilizing the AbilityOne Program, the contracting process moved along. 6 | NISH WORKPLACE

Eric Miller By the time August rolled around, AWRC was ready to start performing outbound mail and outbound bulk mail services to approximately 2,500,000 military retired and annuitant pay recipients. “Due to sensitive personal information contained in the mailings, less than 100 percent accuracy is not an option,” said Nancy Yoder, NISH’s director of Business Development for the North Central Region. “Eric and Jerry were instrumental in bringing the right people to the table to get the project off the ground, keep it on track, and answer the hard questions. “Throughout the process they remained focused on the success of the project for their customers, military retirees, and our customers, persons with significant disabilities. Eric and Jerry are truly a pleasure to work with and are actively engaged in discovering new ways to work with nonprofit agencies under the AbilityOne Program.” For Johnloz, having Miller and Lane as advocates throughout the contracting process resulted in a win/win for everyone. “They are both true professionals,

Gerald “Jerry” Lane who understand that the community rehabilitation program must be capable of providing a service as well as any other commercial company, but they also understand the benefits for individuals with significant disabilities and for the government. “They both seem very dedicated professionals who work hard at ensuring the government is getting a quality product at a fair and reasonable price. They are also very fair and open to listening to new ideas that will improve efficiency and reduce contract costs.” According to Johnloz, the contract currently employs seven people with significant disabilities. “It has been my observation that people with significant disabilities are very dedicated and conscientious. Those traits translate into quality work, and DFAS benefits from effective contract implementation,” Lane said. “The transition to AWRC was achieved seamlessly, and AWRC achieved process improvements soon after the award – including implementing a sequence numbering system to track and efficiently insert mail documents.”

Procurement Champion Continued on Page 20

Barracks Program

NISH Hospitality Services Support

First Sergeant’s Barracks


NISH Hospitality Services, in support of the U.S. Army’s First Sergeant’s Barracks Program (FSBP), is improving the quality of life for single U.S. soldiers living in barracks. By utilizing the AbilityOne® Program to help implement this initiative at two installations, the Army is saving money and simultaneously creating new jobs for veterans and other individuals with disabilities. The partnership also represents a major step forward by the AbilityOne Program in support of the Dept. of Defense’s strategic sourcing initiative. Today, AbilityOne Program contractors are managing two Army barracks as part of FSBP— Goodwill Contract Services of Hawaii at Schofield Barracks in Honolulu and Professional Contract Services Inc. (PCSI) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.

PCSI employee Tony Cox conducts light maintenance duties.

Barracks Program About FSBP

FSBP stems from the Army plan to improve the quality of life for single soldiers and standardize the management of all U.S. Army barracks nationwide. It takes the responsibility of maintaining daily operations away from assigned units, and puts it on garrison staff supported by AbilityOne property managers. The initiative is in line with the Army’s philosophy of having “soldiers doing soldier things,” and the “garrisons doing garrison things” by removing duties from soldiers that distract from the combat mission. Key outcomes of FSBP are a better quality of life for single soldiers living in barracks through enhanced property management services as well as cost savings for installations from reduced basic housing allowances and other efficiencies. Furthermore, AbilityOne Program services to support FSBP relieve Army leaders of the requirement to assign soldiers to property management tasks, thereby enabling them to better prepare for their primary mission. However, FSBP is not a replacement for Army leadership in the barracks, but rather an extension of the leadership responsibility to provide for safe, adequate, and healthy living spaces for the Army’s warriors.

Tyler Barthule greets a soldier as he performs barracks management duties.

Additional key benefits to soldiers and the U.S. Army from AbilityOne FSBP barracks management contracts include: ƒƒ Improved barracks utilization rate ƒƒ Management of vacant barracks spaces during deployments ƒƒ Reduced maintenance response times

ƒƒ Reduced damage to building and furnishings by holding individual soldiers accountable ƒƒ Extended life of barracks furnishings and renovations “Each day our AbilityOne employees take a great deal of pride to care for the needs of our nation’s fighting force,” said NISH Senior Program Manager, Raymond Samuels. “They are dedicated toward maintaining the quality of life that allows our soldiers to focus on their role as warriors.”

A Rewarding Challenge

AbilityOne hospitality services in support of FSBP is a challenging endeavor that offers significant rewards to both the government customer and nonprofit agency (NPA). The contracts create a wealth of new jobs for people with disabilities, including wounded warriors. In turn, AbilityOne contractors must function 24/7 and accommodate significant labor surges in response to incoming and outgoing soldier deployments. 8 | NISH WORKPLACE

Barracks Program AbilityOne barracks management contracts offer exceptional opportunities to veterans with disabilities that wish to return to work. They make it possible for them to serve their country once again, working within a U.S. Army facility and interacting with service members. In fact, servicedisabled veterans comprise a notable percentage of AbilityOne employees on hospitality services FSBP contracts. For example, 40 percent of AbilityOne employees performing FSBP-related tasks at Joint Base Lewis-McChord are veterans with disabilities. “Jobs created by FSBP are a natural fit for wounded warriors seeking employment,” Samuels said. “By utilizing resources like the Army Career & Alumni Program, Soldier & Family Assistance Center and the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, vocational rehabilitation specialist, our NPA’s are able to equip their teams with experienced loyal employees who are eager to begin second careers.”

Goodwill Contract Services of Hawaii & Schofield Barracks

Goodwill Contract Services of Hawaii was the first NISH-affiliated NPA contracted by the Army to manage barracks as part of the FSBP starting in September 2008. The contract includes more than 6,500 barrack spaces across 56 buildings in five different locations on the Island of Oahu and created 45 new jobs for people with disabilities. The services provided by Goodwill Contract Services of Hawaii included: front desk management, minor repairs, custodial services and grounds maintenance. “The First Sergeants Barracks Program continues to be a great partnership of success,” said Laura D. Robertson, President and CEO of Goodwill Contract Services Hawaii, Inc. “Goodwill Contract Services Hawaii has consistently received praise from both the Contractor Performance Assessment System (CPARS) and from the Interactive Customer Service Evaluations (ICE). The partnership provides employment opportunities to

Janet A. Smith, PCSI employee, handles various duties related to barracks management.

17 individuals with significant disabilities today, including many servicedisabled veterans, and remains an outstanding opportunity to welcome back our country’s warriors.”

PCSI & Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Professional Contract Services Inc. (PCSI) has managed 11,000 barrack spaces across Joint Base LewisMcChord, Wash. (JBLM) since the beginning of April 2010. Within the first 90 days of the start of their contract, PCSI received 18,000 soldiers back from redeployment, including 7,000 barracks soldiers. The NPA provides a long list of hospitality services including: ƒƒ Assigning and terminating rooms ƒƒ Identifying, tracking and ordering requirements for barracks maintenance ƒƒ Coordinating moves and handling furnishings ƒƒ Validating occupancy rates ƒƒ Providing 24/7 support PCSI’s partnership with the JBLM’s FSBP branch was instrumental in the FSBP branch winning the Dept. of Public

“Jobs created by FSBP are a natural fit for wounded warriors seeking employment. By utilizing resources like the Army Career & Alumni Program, Soldier & Family Assistance Center and the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, vocational rehabilitation specialist, our NPA’s are able to equip their teams with experienced loyal employees who are eager to begin second careers.”

— Raymond Samuels

NISH senior program manager

Works Team of the Quarter Award for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2010. PCSI also has been recognized twice with certificates of appreciation by unit leadership for their devotion and outstanding service to JBLM

Barracks Program on Page 10

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Barracks Program Barracks Program from Page 9

Soldiers. PCSI also received a certificate of appreciation from the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Tacoma, Wash. for “Outstanding Support and Promoting the Employment of Veterans in both Compensated Work Therapy (CWT)/Transitional Work Experience and Supported Employment Programs.”

Jessie Thompson is a general maintenance employee for PCSI.

“Facilities maintenance is a huge ‘atta-boy’ for this contract,” said Ron Hernandez, JBLM FSBP branch chief. “Within the first six months of the contract, PCSI’s minor maintenance team completed more than 2,000 minor maintenance service requests that had been outstanding for at least a year before the contract start date. For the first time, soldiers are receiving services that they have never received before.” “I repeatedly hear stories about how Goodwill Contract Services of Hawaii and PCSI have been able to shrink the amount of response time to take care of a maintenance issue and how much that is appreciated by the soldiers,” said Raymond Samuels, NISH senior program manager, Hospitality Services. “Our AbilityOne employees are aware of the positive impact they are making. They have a great relationship with the Garrison Commands where each NPA takes on the responsibility of communicating to them regularly and providing the opportunity to receive feedback.” Military installations are communities where the Army lives, trains, works, mobilizes and deploys; therefore, taking care of soldiers via wellmanaged barracks is a readiness issue. NISH’s goal is to provide consistent operational support services for the single soldier barracks at some 30 U.S. Army Garrisons nationwide. Contract responsibilities include: room assignments, facilities sustainment, furnishings management and common area custodial and grounds maintenance. NISH-affiliated NPAs overwhelming occupy the majority of those bases today, so they have already established good customer relation10 | NISH WORKPLACE

ships and understand the level of service required. “Our track record proves we can take on complex systems and perform effectively,” said NISH President and CEO Bob Chamberlin. “We can offer enterprise-wide solutions so there is consistency across the board—in processes and services—to complete this mission.” Looking ahead, NISH continues to offer training for interested NPAs for FSBP and other hospitality services contracts. The next NISH Hospitality Services and FSBP Business Development trainings take place July 12-15 in Seattle, Wash. (NPAs may refer to the NISH training catalogue.) For more information about AbilityOne hospitality services, please contact Raymond Samuels, NISH senior program manager via e-mail at H

PCSI general maintenance employee Robert Sinz searches through his tool box.

Gifts of Art and Music

The Gifts of Art and Music Make for Memorable Mission Moments By Denise Dory, director of NISH Board Affairs

Top right: John Lott, chorus director, sings one of his original songs during the Connections Chorus performance.

The AbilityOne Art Gallery was one of two “Mission Moments” for the March NISH Board Meeting. Mission Moments serve as opportunities to reflect on what the AbilityOne mission is all about and to connect with the people who are both directly and indirectly served by this vital program. Members of Connections Chorus from Resource Connections of Prince George’s County pose for photographs following their performance.

In a city that has its share of rare and priceless artistic treasures, it seems fitting that the recent NISH Board of Directors meeting in Washington, DC would be a great setting for the AbilityOne® Art Gallery. The artists may not have been household names, but the talent and artwork on display was more than worthy of the rave reviews they received. Months before the Board of Directors meeting, the NISH Office of Board Affairs invited nonprofit agencies in the AbilityOne Program to submit artwork. Peckham, Challenge Enterprises of North Florida, Didlake, The Douglas Center and Mount 12 | NISH WORKPLACE

Rogers IDC answered the call. The NPAs gladly loaned a wide array of pieces. Animals were a very popular theme in the paintings on display at the gallery. Visitors saw wonderful renderings and interpretations of dogs, ducks, cats, a rabbit, an owl and even a koala. There were also drawings showing great skill and precision, masks reflecting a love of color and creativity, a unique use of marble and glasswork in beautiful mosaics, a self-portrait with a playful sense of humor and marvelous decorative plates. The art was truly inspirational. One gallery visitor after another commented on the exceptional level of talent.

You could say connecting is what the Connections Chorus is all about. This talented group of musicians and singers from Resource Connections of Prince George’s County, Inc. (RCPGC) gave a stellar performance during the Board reception at the J.W. Marriott. RCPGC is an agency located in Prince George’s County that provides resources and support for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Connections Chorus singers delivered an enthusiastic performance comprised of two original songs written by chorus director John Lott. The lyrics to I Can Do It and Just Try certainly speak overall to the determination, perseverance and extraordinary abilities of everyone who made these Mission Moments possible. H

Gifts of Art and Music

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Didlake employee Alonzo Brooks created this mask. He has worked with Didlake for 15 years. Each beautiful mosaic art piece, shown right and below, was created from the heart by a program participant of The Douglas Center.


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JETS/AbilityOne NEDC

Hotchkiss High School Wins JETS/AbilityOne NEDC

Students from Hotchkiss High School claimed the title Best Overall Design during the sixth annual JETS/AbilityOne National Engineering Design Challenge (NEDC). The NEDC is a design competition that encourages high school students to design and build devices to help people with significant disabilities succeed in the workplace. Five teams of high school students from across the country competed at the NEDC Finals at the Westin Arlington Gateway in Arlington, Va. in February. Two of the five finalist teams were prior winners: Bishop Kelly High School (1st Place 2010) and Gulliver Prep (1st Place 2006). The Best Overall Design winner was a first time participant in the program. The Hotchkiss High School team won with their design: The Caboose, a device that allows a person that uses crutches to carry luggage behind them. The team won $2,000 as well as trophies and various awards including the Most Marketable Design Award sponsored by the American Society of 14 | NISH WORKPLACE

Best Overall Design winning team from Hotckiss High School demonstrate their device, The Caboose, at the finals competition design showcase.

Mechanical Engineers and Best Application of Universal Design Principles, sponsored by the Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Team members Brandon Duval, Isaac Fisher, Zach Larmer, David Murry Cody Spiker, and Ryan Spor, worked with their coach, Hotchkiss psychics teacher, Richard Hypio. Hypio said “I came across the website, which

JETS/AbilityOne NEDC

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The Outstanding Assistive Technology design winning team from Gulliver Preparatory School poses for a picture after receiving their award for The Hand Operated Lifting Device(HOLD).

The Outstanding Engineering Design winners from Bishop Kelly High School with their design, The Magwrite, accept an American flag at the opening reception. Bishop Kelly High School student Amre Haskell, who inspired The Magwrite, demonstrates the device at the finals competition design showcase.

The Gulliver Preparatory School displays their device, The HOLD, at the finals competition design showcase.

had this engineering challenge, and as I looked into it, I thought that this might be something the kids would enjoy. It’s a lot more motivating than ‘Turn to page 326.” Hypio found the design challenge when he was looking to give his students a hands-on experience beyond the classic classroom learning environment. Team member Zach Larmer said, “It was a design challenge for someone for a person with a disability. And we just kind of jumped in. The first Caboose will be going to Larmer’s father who inspired the product.” Second Place awards of $1000 were also given out for Outstanding Engineering Design to Bishop Kelly High School from Boise, ID for The Magwrite, a

device that reduces tremors in the hands and arms to aid writing by slowing down the movement by using magnets, and Outstanding Assistive Technology Design to Gulliver Preparatory School from Pinecrest, Fla. for The Hand Operated Lifting Device (HOLD), an ergonomic glove designed for individuals with Carpal Tunnel and/or Arthritis, to minimize pain when lifting. Two Finalist awards of $500 were given to two teams from the Bollman Technical Education Center from Thorton, Colo. for The Personal Assistive Lifter (PAL), a modified dolly that helps an amputee lift large items, and The Assistive Lifting Movement System (ALMS), a modified wheelchair that allows a person with limited leg use to sit and move about easily and be able to rotate and lift.

Other sponsored awards included: ƒƒ Best Presentation, sponsored by the National Society of Professional Engineers – Gulliver Preparatory School: The HOLD ƒƒ Most Innovative Use of Technology, sponsored by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers – Bishop Kelly High School: The Magwrite ƒƒ Most Marketable Design, sponsored by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers – Hotchkiss High School: The Caboose ƒƒ Best Application of Rehabilitation Engineering Design Principles, sponsored by the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North

Hotchkiss Continued on Page 24

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The Federal Insight

NAVFAC Partnership with AbilityOne® Program Becomes Official NISH and NAVFAC Kick Off Strategic Alliance with Signing Ceremony NAVFAC and NISH, in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulations and under the new agreement, will maintain a strategic and cooperative business relationship with each other while complying with the acquisition/contract pricing processes. NAVFAC and NISH agree to maintain the public’s trust while fulfilling NAVFAC’s strategic mission and the public policy objectives of the AbilityOne Program.

Despite the fact that NAVFAC and NISH have worked closely together for years, the signatures of Rear Admiral Christopher J. Mossey, Chief of Civil Engineers, NAVFAC and NISH President & CEO Bob Chamberlin made the working agreement official.

NISH and the United States Navy, Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) entered into a strategic alliance to create mutually beneficial outcomes. NISH and NAVFAC have operated as partners to carry out the mission, goals and objectives of NAVFAC and the AbilityOne Program for nearly a decade; however, there has been no “official agreement” until now. The agreement—Strategic Alliance Partnering Process Model for AbilityOne Program Contracts— was signed into effect on March 11 at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. Rear Admiral Christopher J. Mossey, Chief of Civil Engineers for NAVFAC since May 2010, said, “For nearly 10 years NAVFAC and the AbilityOne Program have been working together. I’m excited to be doing this now.” Mossey signed the agreement with NISH President and CEO Bob Chamberlin. 16 | NISH WORKPLACE

“We’ve worked so closely together over the years. The great thing about this is we now have something formalized. Signing this alliance is important because it provides the underpinning for working together to strengthen our relationship and develop mutually desired outcomes,” said Chamberlin. Mossey noted he worked in the public works area when the AbilityOne® facilities maintenance services contract was awarded to Melwood Horticultural Training Center. “We knew we wanted to get better service,” he said. “It’s been about six years now of this service [with Melwood] and it’s been great. It’s a great program.”

The agreement highlights three main objectives - promote and increase the employment of people with significant disabilities; expand services into new lines of business procured by NAVFAC and provided by people with significant disabilities; and seek improved business practices and provide updated guidance, training and solutions management materials to respective personnel for use in individual procurements and general lines of business. “We have almost 2,000 full time AbilityOne employees working on NAVFAC contracts. Our partnership with NAVFAC is critical,” said Chamberlin. H

Pictured left to right: Rear Admiral Christopher J. Mossey; Howard Cooke, AVP, NISH Operations; Cathy Cooke, director, AbilityOne Program Support/Special Projects; Veneece McNeley, director, NAVFAC OSBP; James Moffitt, sr. manager, Operations Policies and NISH President & CEO Bob Chamberlin.

The Federal Insight

View from

By Tony Young, senior public policy strategist, and Danea M. Kehoe, Esq.

EEOC Finalizes ADA Regulations The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published final regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments Act (ADAAA) in the Federal Register on March 25. The regulations promulgated the new, significant changes to the ADA’s definition of “disabilities.” The ADAAA overturned several Supreme Court decisions that narrowed down what Congress had intended in defining the term “disability.” In particular, Congress in the ADAAA made clear that people with cancer, diabetes and epilepsy could fall within the protections of the ADA. The ADAAA made it clear that Congress intends for the ADA’s definition of “disability” to be construed broadly. Per the statute and the now-final EEOC regulations governing the ADAAA, the term “disability” means “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; a record (or past history) of such an impairment; or being regarded as having a disability.” The regulations “implement Congress’ intent to set forth predictable, consistent and workable standards by adopting ‘rules of construction’ to use when determining if an individual is substantially limited in performing a major life activity.” The rules of construction include: ƒ ƒ A lower degree of functional limitation than the standard that had been applied by the

courts—e.g., “an impairment does not need to prevent or severely or significantly restrict a major life activity to be considered “substantially limiting.” However, the regulation makes clear that not every impairment will constitute a disability. ƒƒ An individualized assessment is required to determine whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity. ƒƒ Mitigating measures (except in the case of eyeglasses or contact lenses) that ameliorate the effects of an impairment will not be taken into account in assessing whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity. For example, there could be a disability even though medication or hearing aids would lessen its impact. ƒƒ Episodic impairments, or impairments in remission, can still be disabilities if the impairments would substantially limit a major life activity if and when they are active. The final regulations state the determination of whether there is a disability should not require “extensive analysis.” They also provide that to establish coverage of ADA protections, the focus should be on how a person has been treated due to a non-transitory or minor physical or mental impairment, not on what an employer may have believed about the nature of the person’s impairment. Finally, included in the regulation is the requirement that a person must have an actual disability or a record of disability to qualify for a reasonable accommodation.

The final regulations modify the regulations as proposed in several ways. For example, the proposed regulations provided lists of impairments that would “consistently,” “sometimes,” or “usually not” be found to be disabilities. In the final regulations, the EEOC instead lays out the nine rules of construction and then adds a list of impairments that will “virtually always constitute a disability.” These include epilepsy, diabetes, cancer, HIV infection and bipolar disorder. Other changes from the regulations as proposed include moving the description of how to demonstrate that an individual is substantially limited in “working” to the appendix. EEOC said this move is consistent with how the rules treat other major life activities. The final regulations also retain the familiar and defined term “class or broad range of jobs” rather than introducing a new term. They also provide examples of individuals who could be considered to be substantially limited in working. The final regulations also retain the concepts of “condition, manner, or duration” in explaining considerations that could be unnecessary (but may be relevant in certain cases) in determining whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity. Commentators believe the EEOC final regulation will expand the number of people who qualify for protection under the ADA and the ADAAA. H

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The Federal Insight

Public Policy By Tony Young, senior public policy strategist, and Danea M. Kehoe, Esq.


CLASS Program Activity Proves Value of Personal Involvement By Tony Young, senior public policy strategist Readers of this column hear and read repeatedly about the importance of advocacy for programs to help people with significant disabilities. Personal involvement is an important element of that advocacy. An opportunity to testify on the benefits of the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program in March this home truth took on a new cast. The House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health held on hearing on the CLASS program mid-March. The hearing highlighted the structure, purpose and potential for success of this new, federallyadministered long-term care/disability income program. The CLASS program was enacted into law in March of 2010, as part of the new health reform law. Most of the program’s implementing details were left to the agencies—principally the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration on Aging (AoA). The statutory authority provided requires that the program be fiscally self-sustaining— i.e., that premiums paid cover the costs of benefits paid out. Generally, the program allows employers to automatically enroll (workers can opt out) their employees in a program under which they pay a monthly premium for cash benefits that become payable should they become unable to perform one or more activities of daily living (ADL) 18 | NISH WORKPLACE

after five or more years work and after at least five years of continuous premium payment. Much of the discussion focused on whether the CLASS program will become a new entitlement that will drain federal resources. These opponents tend to ignore the statutory requirement that the program be self-sustaining. They also tend to overlook the profound benefits the program may provide to people who sustain extensive injury or illness leaving them with significant disabilities that interfere with the tasks of daily living. This is where my opportunity arose. I believe in leading by example; therefore, I accepted an invitation to share my story about the accident that left me paralyzed from the shoulders down, and the resulting heavy financial, physical and emotional costs that confronted both me and my family. I explained that I work full time, pay my bills (including taxes) and that to do so requires a great deal of (expensive) help. My family provides well over half of my daily care needs, but beyond that we incur some $17,000 annually in bills for outside help with eating, bathing, transferring, toileting, grooming, transportation, et. al. Had I been a participant in a CLASS-type program prior to my injury, the CLASS benefits would have been very helpful to me and my family. Additionally, those benefits will be very helpful to people who, in the future, sustain the same kind

of significant illness or injury that so changed my life. “Putting a face” on the reality of the assistance the CLASS benefits will provide an important added element to the debate over how and whether the government can construct the program so premiums are affordable, benefits are meaningful and the underlying economics of the program are sound. It was difficult to share my story with such personal details—but so worth it in terms of the support this type of personal interaction provides to an important federal program. The AoA’s Kathy Greenlee, assistant secretary of the AoA, testified that the program would not go online until it is financially stable and sustainable. Actuaries and academics also testified noting the need to prepare (insure) for the potential for needing long-term care assistance. These witnesses called for education to maximize employer and participant involvement in the CLASS program in order to avoid the adverse selection that could have adverse affect on the program. The CLASS program is but one example of legislation that provides considerable benefit to the community of people with significant disabilities. Personal involvement that puts a human face on a government program is an important tool in advocacy for and by people with significant disabilities. H

The Nonprofit Agency Link

Lincoln Training Center Holds Annual Gala Affair The 27th Annual Affair of the Heart gala – Lincoln Center Honors - was held mid-March in City of Industry, Calif. to honor three outstanding individuals with disabilities and two corporations who enrich the lives of all who know and support Lincoln Training Center. The honorees were Georg Fischer Signet LLC, Industrial Threaded Products, and Lincoln clients Timothy Brower, David Carruthers and Robbie Louie. Among the hundreds of people in attendance were U.S. Congresswoman Judy Chu; California Assembly member Mike Eng; members of the Rosemead City Council and Brian Barnett from the California Department of Developmental Services. Other special guests included William Keh, CEO of the Tzu Chi Foundation USA and Hsiu-Mei Hsueh from the Taipai Economic Cultural Office. During the program, Scott Carruthers shared a story about his son, David, who was born with Down’s Syndrome. “David had been leading an active life when he was diagnosed with malignant melanoma that spread to his spine. In 2006, Lincoln came to the rescue and offered David a job in the Production Department, despite the fact that he was using a wheelchair and required some assistance during his workday. Lincoln is an important part of David’s life and is also making a tremendous difference in the lives of hundreds of adults with disabilities in California.” The Affair of the Heart event is a celebration of achievements and successful partnerships between the business community and adults with disabilities at Lincoln Training Center. H


Client of the Year David and his friends Adela and Sharon.

Procurement Champion Continued from Page 6

Thanks to the mail contract’s success, DFAS has already issued another contract to AWRC for the DFAS Indianapolis site.

“We will continue to search for opportunities to work with AWRC as well as other AbilityOne centers,” Miller said. “It is rewarding to see how people with disabilities can participate and provide value to society just like any other member of society. “ NISH extends sincere thanks to Eric Miller and Jerry Lane for their dedication and support of the AbilityOne Program. H

Lincoln Training Center’s 27th Annual Affair of the Heart was attended by Congresswoman Judy Chu. She also presented awards to the honorees.

Comments regarding AbilityOne Procurement Champion articles and nominations can be addressed to Sarah Gray, manager, Marketing, at

The Nonprofit Agency Link

Products Business Development Creates Marketing Tool for NPAs By Vatrice C. Jones, managing editor Promoting capabilities and capacities to clients requires many factors, of which, include thorough organizational knowledge and presentation materials. NISH Products has developed a marketing tool to help arm nonprofit agencies (NPAs) with the presentation materials to be successful when meeting with potential federal and commercial customers. These packages also provide a foundation for communicating unified information throughout the AbilityOne® Program.

the packages that equip NPAs to build relationships with customers.

Products has developed three marketing packages to offer road maps to successfully navigate the AbilityOne Program: 1. Nonprofit Agencies Marketing Package 2. Contracting Activity Marketing Package 3. Non-AbilityOne Marketing Package

Not only does the central location of the marketing tool allow for easy

The first of three to be released, the Nonprofit Agencies Marketing Package, serves as a centralized holding space for the items that are meant to engage the customer. Each item within the package addresses relevant needs for each customer. Items such as: frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the AbilityOne Program, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) exemption and AbilityOne Solutions for Federal Customers brochure are vital elements included in 22 | NISH WORKPLACE

“I found the information that is contained in the NISH website under Products NPA Marketing Package very informative. It seems good to be able to go to one site and get all or most all of the information relating to the NISH Products department. Great job and we look forward to the final outcome on this program,” commented Gerry Hodges of Development Workshop.

access to the information. Users also are able to review content listings for each package and download each item. There is also a handy checklist and stacking order for the left and right sides of the AbilityOne folder. This will ensure success when an NPA begins to assemble presentation materials. “As an NPA newcomer to NISH, I find the Products, Business Development nonprofit agencies Marketing Package a great resource for information relating to NISH and The AbilityOne Program. Having content rich information just a click away

The Nonprofit Agency Link is a time-saving tool. I also greatly appreciate the resources provided by the outstanding Products, Services and BD Representatives at NISH. It truly is a team effort of real world experience and expertise coupled with the speed and convenience of technology. I hope you will continue to update this tool kit for use by all of us, your NPA partners, on the front lines creating jobs!” says Suzanne Bakiewicz, National Contracts, Herkimer Industries. The information will be updated quarterly and additional packages are expected late summer 2011. NPAs in a position to build relationships and grow their business are encouraged to consider using these newly developed tools for success.

supply agencies with various items when they meet with them. Various items include: • Standard NPA Business Development Presentation • Food Packaging and Processing • Apparel and Equipage • Diverse Production Capabilities • Fact Sheet • Department of Defense Support Letter • AbilityOne Solutions Folder • Overcoming Challenges – What’s in it for me? (WIFM) (Procurement Agency (PA) Perspective) • Diverse Production Capabilities • Addition Process - Visual Procurement List Timeline • KAM Roster • FedBizOpps Vendor Guide

Prior to the meeting with the NPA, Business Development managers can

For more information, please contact Bill Allen, director, Products

Business Development at 571-2264612 or or David Brown, sr. manager, Products Business Development at 571-2264621 or For hard copy materials, contact Marilyn Furbush at 571-226-4633 or

May 2011 | 23

JETS/AbilityOne NEDC

Hotchkiss Continued from Page 15

America - Gulliver Preparatory School: The HOLD ƒƒ The Peer Award, sponsored by National Center for Technological Literacy, Museum of Science, Boston – Tie Bollman Technical Education Center: The ALMS and The PAL ƒ ƒ Best Application of Universal Design Principles, sponsored by the Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access at the Georgia Institute of Technology - Hotchkiss High School: The Caboose The panel of judges included: ƒƒ Andrew D. Houghton, President, Disability Inclusion Solutions, Inc. ƒ ƒ Jamie Kendall, Deputy Commissioner, Administration on Developmental Disabilities, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ƒ ƒ Paul Nishman, Director of Rehabilitation Engineering, NISH ƒ ƒ Joan Ozdogan, Career Experience Specialist, Chantilly High School Academy ƒ ƒ Jerry Weisman, Rehabilitation Engineer, Rehabilitation Technology Services, President, RESNA For more information about the JETS/AbilityOne NEDC, e-mail Stephanie Hurd H


Top photo: Bollman Techincal Education Center team demonstrates their winning device The Personal Assistive Lifter (PAL). Middle photo: The Bollman Technical Education Center proudly receives their award for The PAL. Bottom left photo: The Bollman Techincal Education Center’s second winning device, The Assistive Lifting Movement System (ALMS), is displayed at the finals competition design showcase.

The Workforce Inclusive

AbilityOne® Program Success Story

AbilityOne Program Helps Robin Tripp Overcome Disability and Succeed in Life By Heather Loveridge, contributing feature writer Since she began working for Goodwill Industries, Inc. 14 years ago, Robin Tripp hasn’t missed a single day of work. Her dedication to her job, along with her work ethic, has made her an exemplary employee. Though she’s struggled since elementary school with learning disabilities, Tripp hasn’t let that affect her desire to succeed in work and life. In 1994, Tripp began working as a custodian for Goodwill’s federal contracts division. Today, she’s a custodian at the Zorinsky Federal Building in Omaha, Neb. Her duties include dusting, vacuuming, mopping, restocking and emptying trash. She starts her day in the building’s daycare center, moves on to sanitizing nine floors of women’s bathroom and ends by cleaning the criminal investigation office. “It’s been a lifelong struggle for Robin to fully comprehend tasks when first explained. She has overcome this by asking questions,” said Todd Milbrandt, Vice President of Federal Contracts for Goodwill Industries. “She makes a diligent effort to figure things out for herself, paying attention to detail. She stays on task and usually completes her duties ahead of schedule.” Though shy and insecure when she first began working for Goodwill, Tripp has transformed into a people person. Of the 1,500 people that work in the building, most of them know Tripp. “Robin is a very polite and likeable person,” said Kevin Jimerson, special agent in charge for the Department of Treasury’s Criminal Investigation Division. “She is always here timely and does a nice job in our office and gives

special attention to our cleaning needs. We really miss her when she goes on vacation. We invite her to all our CID functions here at Zorinsky Federal Building. She is like one of our own.” Tripp is also known for her desire to help others and her willingness to accept any responsibility. “If her coworkers need a shoulder to lean on, they turn to her. She gladly accepts extra responsibility and will take charge of any assignment,” Mibrandt said. “Because of her desire to help others, it was recently announced by her supervisor that she has started training to be a team leader, where she will supervise some of her coworkers.” For Tripp, her job is more than a job. It’s something she enjoys and sees herself doing until she retires. “I was born to clean!” she said. “If I could clean 24 hours a day I would. I owe it to myself to be the best person I

can be and to do the best job I can do. Goodwill has allowed me to do that.” Thanks to her job with Goodwill, Tripp has learned how to save and invest. She pays her rent a month early and invests in Goodwill’s 403(b) retirement plan. It’s not all work and no play for Tripp, though. She also enjoys sewing, making jewelry, baking, playing pool, shopping and walking. “Robin exemplifies courage and hope. She has never been ashamed of who she is, including her disability or the difficulties she has faced,” Milbrandt said. According to her supervisor Diane Cich, Tripp has bloomed into a very social, pleasant person that people enjoy being around. “It is a blessing and pleasure to have a dependable and loyal employee like Robin,” Cich said. “She is a good example of Goodwill and the AbilityOne mission. She has overcome barriers and continues to grow.” H May 2011 | 25

The Workplace Inclusive

UCP Gone For Good Affiliates Win Award at Annual Conference The partnership between United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) affiliates and NISH has been a big winner for people with significant disabilities, as well as UCP organizations. The coalition of four UCP affiliates, who are part of the NISH Document Destruction line of business, were recognized as Employer of the Year during the UCP national conference held April in New Orleans, La. The award recognizes a business or agency that has made an outstanding contribution to employing people with disabilities. The goal is to encourage and promote employment of people with physical disabilities and/or to increase the abilities of employees with disabilities to function in the work environment. The four UCP affiliates provide training and employment for people with disabilities. For many years, affiliates have struggled to develop work opportunities for individuals with significant disabilities. UCP’s goal has been to create jobs that can be simplified to provide everyone the opportunity to participate in real work activities and earn a paycheck. Gone For Good has been the answer to the long-standing obstacle. Gone For

Employees at Gone for Good in Birmingham, Ala. work sorting paper and removing unwanted items before shredding.

Good (GFG) affiliates work closely with state vocational rehabilitation and development disability agencies to recruit candidates for open positions or training programs that lead to employment. GFG was first established by UCP of Greater Birmingham, Ala. in October 2006. UCP Land of Lincoln, of Springfield, Ill. converted an existing document destruction enterprise to the GFG model in October 2009. Later, UCP of Arkansas joined the coalition in October 2009. UCP of the North Bay California, the newest member, joined in October 2010. The business model, developed in partnership with NISH, was created to help nonprofit agencies meet the stringent secure document destruction requirements of the Internal Revenue Service and obtain National Association of Information Destruction AAA certification. NISH provided financing for a standardized equipment package, other start-up costs and ongoing technical support for operations.

Don Murphy uses an adaptive device that makes it possible for him to complete his job at GFG.


Alex Livingston is a shining example of what GFG means for individual with disabilities. Livingston was working

Tyrell Butler completes paperwork at the end of his shift.

as a janitor for UCP when he was able to work a part-time job as assistant shred operator for the second shift. During this time, he excelled at his work and learned to drive a fork lift. He progressed in his ability and began working on the first shift. Today, he coordinates the day-to-day operations in the shred room. He is also now a mentor to other individuals desiring to advance in the GFG program. Partnerships have been the key to the success of the UCP GFG coalition; sharing information, training and materials among the affiliates. Additionally, a strong partnership with NISH has led to good jobs for people with significant disabilities across the U.S. ★

The Workforce Inclusive

LTC Employee Values Job Opportunities “I want to thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to work with Lincoln Training Center. I am LOVING IT! This is the best! I finally feel like I am getting somewhere in my career. It is the greatest feeling. And its because of you, Belinda and LTC. I really don’t know how to thank you. Thanks again.”

—Alysia Row, LTC employee

This lovely note was written by Lincoln Training Center Lincoln Training Center (LTC) employee Alysia Row to her job development counselor Belinda Owens. Before her current position as receptionist in the Roseville office, Row had job placements in a variety of industries. Her favorite jobs were those where she could practice her office skills. She was proud to have earned an office specialist certificate in 2009. “Our mission is Turning Disabilities into Possibilities,” explained Owens, program development manager at LTC. “Our goal is to develop each person to their fullest potential.” Many talented individuals like Row who receive employment opportunities through the AbilityOne® Program would be an asset to any organization. ★

May 2011 | 27


Workplace NISH 8401 Old Courthouse Road Vienna, VA 22182

Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Reston, VA Permit No. 84

Address Service Requested

NISH Training Calendar june 15

Obtaining Security Clearances: Unlocking the Mystery

San Diego, CA

14, 15

Contact Center Services Business Plan Preparation

Atlanta, GA

15, 16

Contact Center Services Business Development

Atlanta, GA

14, 15, 16

Selling Your Agency Capability to the Customer

Chicago, IL

15, 16

Understanding and Preparing for DCAA Audits

Vienna, VA

20, 21, 22, 23

Grassroots Advocacy Training Conference

Washington, DC

21, 22

Leadership and Strategy Essentials (for the Total Facilities Management Initiative)

Vienna, VA


Best Practices for Clothing and Textiles Manufacturing: Emphasis on Contracting, Costing & Pricing

Albany, NY

28, 29

CRP Governance: Building and Engaging an Exceptional Board

Vienna, VA

28, 29, 30

Document Destruction Operations

Milwaukee, WI

28, 29, 30

Management Skills for Supervisors

San Antonio, TX

NISH offers a wide range of training opportunities through the NISH Academy for Leadership, Performance & Development. For more information, to request a 2011 training calendar or to r足 egister for courses, please contact the NISH Training Team at 571/226-4660 or visit the NISH Web site at

NISH Mission

NISH creates employment opportunities for people with significant disabilities.

Workplace May 2011 issue  

Workplace is published monthly by NISH located in Vienna, Va. NISH is a nonprofit organization that supports the AbilityOne Program and is d...