The Galt Foundation Blog

Back To Blog

Leading by Example: Diversity & Inclusion at NASA

By Galt Foundation

Two NASA scientists review a laptop.

Read Time: 4 minutes

 

Job seekers with disabilities represent an untapped talent pool – one with unique attributes that can help companies achieve more success. The “Leading by Example” blog series seeks to provide inspiration and ideas for increasing diversity and inclusion in your own workplace. Here, Galt Foundation explores some of NASA’s initiatives for hiring and retaining employees with disabilities.

 


 

In the latest installment of our blog series "Leading By Example," we analyze how federal government agency NASA ensures that diversity and inclusion form the backbone of their search for some of the country’s most innovative and creative talent.

 

What Does NASA Do?

 

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is perhaps best known for putting a man on the moon in 1969. Today, the American government agency has its sights set on more distant horizons and is taking space exploration and research missions to Mars, Jupiter, and beyond.


Exploring space requires ingenuity and unique points of view, which is one of the many reasons NASA values diversity and inclusion. Their own literature states that they "need individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds, skills, and abilities that can bring unique perspectives, and life experiences, to tackle highly complex challenges to achieve NASA’s mission."

 

What Are Their Initiatives?

 

As a government agency, NASA must demonstrate Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) initiatives. In addition, they are committed to going beyond minimum standards of compliance by incorporating a broader focus on diversity and inclusion. As a result, NASA has many initiatives devoted to attracting and retaining top talent from many different backgrounds. Here are a few:

 

Hiring Veterans With Disabilities

 

Over the years, NASA has worked with several organizations that recruit veterans with disabilities. These initiatives include Operation Warfighter, the Wounded Warrior Project, and Project Hired. Programs like these help veterans with disabilities through their transition into the workforce, including internships, resume building, education sessions, and individualized efforts.

 

Mentoring Programs

 

Not only does NASA take part in Disability Mentoring Day (the third Wednesday in October), which matches students with disabilities with a volunteer mentor, but they also conduct Job Shadow Days at their Ames Research Center. To those interested in careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), this program provides an insider’s perspective to students, veterans, and individuals with disabilities.

 

Advisory Groups

 

A few examples of the robust resource and advisory groups operating at NASA include Johnson Space Center’s No Boundaries employment resource group and the Glenn Disability Awareness Advisory Group located at Glenn Research Center. Both help identify solutions aimed at increasing the recruitment and retention of employees with disabilities. These same efforts often mean working toward a workplace that is safer, more accessible, and more inclusive. At Glenn Research Center, the group’s primary focus is on the accessibility of new building construction sites.

 

Ames Disability Advocates

 

This program within NASA’s Ames Research Center works to create a safe and inclusive environment. Their approach is twofold: First, they monitor building and architectural designs to ensure the center’s buildings are accessible to all. And second, they bring to light the unique challenges that those with disabilities face, participating in outreach and public awareness programs.


How Have They Benefited From Hiring People With Disabilities?

 

Landing on Mars and exploring Jupiter are no small feats, so NASA is no stranger to putting in the work. NASA is committed to a diverse workforce because it helps them accomplish a mission "that requires the dedication and support of people from all walks of life."

 

In fact, in the decade before the first lunar landing, the Gallaudet 11 were an integral part of NASA’s understanding of spaceflight on the body and, in particular, the inner ear. These 11 Deaf men attended Gallaudet College, a liberal arts university for the Deaf or hard-of-hearing. Sixty years later, NASA is still using what it learned from them about motion sickness in flight.


Today, Deaf employees like Paul J. Spann have this to say about working at the federal government agency: "NASA’s culture embodies the spirit of the ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] by providing reasonable accommodations, resources and the necessary tools to do my job. With the education, awareness and support at NASA, people with disabilities are able to use their skill set to be successful in their chosen endeavors. Nothing is impossible."

 

A Diverse & Inclusive Workforce

 

HR managers can help their companies build more diverse and inclusive workplaces by expanding their workforce and hiring employees with disabilities. 

 

If you are in search of job applicants from various backgrounds, feel free to get in touch with the team at Galt Foundation and we’d be more than happy to help.


You can reach one of our qualified experts here or by calling us at 1-877-361-1277.

Galt Foundation

Galt Foundation

Galt Foundation is a staffing company that provides, promotes, and expands employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

Recent Posts

  • Meet Misty: Stepping out of the Box of Disability

    Meet Misty: Stepping out of the Box of Disability

    Reading time: 4 minutes

     

    Key Takeaways:

    In the latest installment of Galt Foundation’s “Success Stories” series, we highlight the journey of a determined job seeker with a visual impairment who refuses to be put in a box. Misty, who now works for the Oklahoma State Election Board, shares her journey with Galt Foundation.

  • Find Job Fairs in Your Area - August 2022

    Find Job Fairs in Your Area - August 2022

    Reading time: 3 minutes

     

    Key Takeaways:

    Job fairs are a great resource for job seekers. To make finding work easier, Galt Foundation compiles a list of job fairs each month. Check out this blog post to discover which job fairs are occurring in August.

  • The Importance of Accurate Representation with The Simpsons’ First-Ever Deaf Character

    The Importance of Accurate Representation with The Simpsons’ First-Ever Deaf Character

    Reading time: 5 minutes

     

    Key Takeaways:

    For the first time in the 30+ year history of The Simpsons, an episode featuring a Deaf character starring a Deaf voice actor was aired. While this is an important win for the Deaf community, it’s also a case study of how the media can accurately portray people with disabilities. Galt offers our take on what The Simpsons got right in terms of accurate representation.

  • Find Job Fairs in Your Area - July 2022

    Find Job Fairs in Your Area - July 2022

    Reading time: 3 minutes

     

    Key Takeaways:

    Which job fairs are occurring in July? Job fairs are a great resource for job seekers. To make finding work easier, Galt Foundation compiles a list of job fairs each month. Check out this blog post to discover which job fairs are occurring in July.

Write a comment

Recent Posts

  • Meet Misty: Stepping out of the Box of Disability

    Meet Misty: Stepping out of the Box of Disability

    Reading time: 4 minutes

     

    Key Takeaways:

    In the latest installment of Galt Foundation’s “Success Stories” series, we highlight the journey of a determined job seeker with a visual impairment who refuses to be put in a box. Misty, who now works for the Oklahoma State Election Board, shares her journey with Galt Foundation.

  • Find Job Fairs in Your Area - August 2022

    Find Job Fairs in Your Area - August 2022

    Reading time: 3 minutes

     

    Key Takeaways:

    Job fairs are a great resource for job seekers. To make finding work easier, Galt Foundation compiles a list of job fairs each month. Check out this blog post to discover which job fairs are occurring in August.

  • The Importance of Accurate Representation with The Simpsons’ First-Ever Deaf Character

    The Importance of Accurate Representation with The Simpsons’ First-Ever Deaf Character

    Reading time: 5 minutes

     

    Key Takeaways:

    For the first time in the 30+ year history of The Simpsons, an episode featuring a Deaf character starring a Deaf voice actor was aired. While this is an important win for the Deaf community, it’s also a case study of how the media can accurately portray people with disabilities. Galt offers our take on what The Simpsons got right in terms of accurate representation.

  • Find Job Fairs in Your Area - July 2022

    Find Job Fairs in Your Area - July 2022

    Reading time: 3 minutes

     

    Key Takeaways:

    Which job fairs are occurring in July? Job fairs are a great resource for job seekers. To make finding work easier, Galt Foundation compiles a list of job fairs each month. Check out this blog post to discover which job fairs are occurring in July.