Press Release

NASA Marshall to Mark Disability Employment Awareness Month

By SpaceRef Editor
October 30, 2017
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Former University of Tennessee and Women’s National Basketball Association star Tamika Catchings will speak at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, Oct. 31, concluding Marshall’s celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Members of the media are invited to attend.
Catchings, who was born with profound hearing loss, will address Marshall team members at 10 a.m. CDT in Building 4200’s Morris Auditorium. Also scheduled to speak is Melody Crane, executive director for The Riley Behavioral & Education Center in Huntsville, which provides early diagnosis, education and treatment for children with autism and their families.
The event will include product demonstrations and exhibits by technology vendors from 9:30-11:30 a.m. in the 4200 lobby. The theme for this year’s event, which is sponsored by Marshall’s Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity, is “Inclusion Drives Innovation.”
Catchings, who won four Olympic gold medals as part of the USA women’s basketball team in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016, rose to fame playing women’s basketball at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville from 1998-2001. Drafted by the Indiana Fever in 2001, she played for the team throughout her 15-year career, winning the Rookie of the Year award in 2002, the WNBA Most Valuable Player Award in 2011 and a WNBA championship in 2012. She is one of just nine women to win an Olympic gold medal, an NCAA championship and a WNBA championship. In 2011, fans voted her one of the WNBA’s top 15 players of all time.
In 2000, she received the Reynolds Society Achievement Award from the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston. In 2004, she founded the Catch the Stars Foundation, a charitable organization providing basketball camps, fitness clinics, mentoring and literacy programs for underprivileged children. She was awarded the Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award in 2008 for her work with Catch the Stars in Indianapolis.
Catchings, who retired from professional basketball in 2016, is director of player programs and franchise development for the Pacers Sports & Entertainment complex in Indianapolis.
Disability Employment Awareness Month dates back to 1945, when Congress declared the first week in October “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” Congress renamed the observance National Disability Employment Awareness Month in 1988 to promote the needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities.
Learn more about the diverse Marshall team and its support for the U.S. space program at:
Members of the media interested in covering the event should contact Angela Storey in Marshall’s Office of Communications at 256-544-0034 no later than 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 30. Media must report to the Redstone Arsenal Joint Visitor Control Center at Gate 9, Rideout Road/Research Park Boulevard. Visitor parking is available in front of Building 4200 on the southwest side.

SpaceRef staff editor.