GSA/NGA Partnership on Geospatial Intelligence

Posted by Mary Davie
on May 19, 2016

ITS prides itself on meeting the future needs of federal agencies to help them make smarter, more strategic decisions. We collaborate with agencies to create cost-effective acquisition strategies that provide innovative solutions and superior service. We continue to expand our outreach and increase our partnerships to bring the full value and benefits of category management to our customers.

This approach has lead to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s (NGA) recent implementation of the Commercial Initiative to Buy Operationally Responsive GEOINT (CIBORG) Program. NGA’s Source Operations and Management Directorate and GSA have created a partnership to leverage our schedules and contractual instruments to enable commercial purchases for geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) data, products, and services.

NGA is a member of the GEOINT community that uses this information. We are eager to enhance our current offerings, as new commercial imagery providers emerge in this market, to meet the needs of federal, state, and local governments.

Industry Day

On June 16, 2016, we are co-hosting an industry day with NGA to discuss our partnership with the commercial sector.  Please join us for one of our sessions to learn more:

REGISTRATION:

AM Session 1:  9:00 – 11:30 AM Registration: http://go.usa.gov/cJWGP

PM Session 2:  1:00 – 3:30 PM Registration: http://go.usa.gov/cJWfV

LOCATION:

U.S. General Services Administration
Auditorium
1800 F Street, NW
Washington, DC  20405

PM Session 2:  1:00 – 3:30 PM Virtual Attendance Registration: http://go.usa.gov/cJWf5

Join our conversations about government IT on Twitter @GSA_ITS and LinkedIn.

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Federal Relay Communications Accessibility Services

Posted by Mary Davie
on May 10, 2016

Note: This is a guest blog post by Amando E. Gavino Jr., Director, Office of Network Services, ITS/FAS/GSA. He is responsible for a portfolio of contracts that provide government agencies with a diverse set of telecommunications solutions, including Networx, Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS), SATCOM, Enterprise Mobility, Connections II, and the Federal Relay Service.

 

Federal agencies employ many persons who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or have speech disabilities.

The Federal Relay program offers technologies to remove communication barriers for individuals with disabilities, so they can do their jobs and communicate with coworkers, supervisors, and other stakeholders including the U.S. citizens they serve.

Agencies and tribal governments also use the Federal Relay program for employees with or without disabilities to conduct official business with U.S. citizens who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or speech-challenged.

The program allows federal employees and citizens to communicate through specially-trained communications assistants or video interpreters.

In Fiscal Year 2015 (FY15), 99 federal agencies used Federal Relay services. The business volume for FY15 was $15 million.

Serves Veterans

Federal Relay has become an excellent resource for federal agencies that hire disabled individuals, including veterans who served our nation sometimes at great personal cost.  

When veterans come home, we can’t let obstacles get in their way. Veterans working for the federal government rely on effective and dependable Federal Relay services to perform their jobs and communicate independently.

Trends in Accessible Technologies

Federal Relay services include Relay Conference Captioning (RCC), Video Relay Service (VRS), Video Remote Interpreting (VRI), Captioned Telephone, IP Relay (IP), and Speech-to- Speech.  

RCC is the most commonly used service, followed closely by Captioned Telephone and VRS/VRI. RCC offers real-time closed-captioning. It allows federal workers with disabilities to fully participate in staff meetings, training, webinars, and conference calls.

Captioned Telephone amplifies sound and displays text on a specially designed telephone. It is the service of choice for hard-of-hearing individuals.

VRI allows employees with disabilities to communicate with supervisors and team members immediately and spontaneously via a sign language interpreter. VRI is ideal for interviews, performance reviews, and impromptu discussions with supervisors.

Meets Section 504 Requirements

Many agencies already know Federal Relay supports Rehabilitation Act Section 504 accommodations for employees with disabilities in the workplace.

You can learn more about easy-to-use Federal Relay services by attending a free training session. Contact your agency’s Section 508 Coordinator for assistance setting up an on-site Federal Relay event at your work site. Or you may contact GSA’s Federal Relay Program Manager at patricia.stevens@gsa.gov.

To quickly and easily order services, visit the Federal Relay website. Most Federal Relay services are accessible anywhere in the United States.

image of federal relay words flag_bkgrnd

Please follow us on Twitter @GSA_ITS and LinkedIn to join our ongoing conversations about government IT.

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