Gary M. Morin joined the National Cancer Institute’s Office of Communications and Public Liaison (OCPL) as their Section 508 Coordinator in March 2020. In this capacity, he oversees Section 508 policies, governance, training, 508 procurement processes throughout the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Gary supports NCI staff in making its wide array of digital contents more accessible for employees and for members of the public. He supports staff who are producing ICT products as well as those in contracting to ensure that their acquisition documents are inclusive of Section 508 requirements. Prior to joining NCI in March 2020, he similarly functioned as NIH’s Section 508 and accessible ICT guru, based in NIH’s Office on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) (2001 – 2008) and the Office of the Chief Information Officer (2008 - 2020).
Gary joined the NIH as a Sign Language Interpreter, in 1993. Throughout the 1990s, he coordinated NIH interpreting services and he trained ASL interpreters across the US to facilitate communication in healthcare settings. He was also actively involved with HHS’s Shared Neutrals, mediating conflict resolution in agencies across the federal government, with an emphasis on reasonable accommodations. With the onset of Section 508, he quickly saw and embraced the potential of accessible of Information and Communication Technology.
Gary sees the role of accessible technology as a means of enabling employees with disabilities to perform to their greatest potential and as part of an institutional responsibility and strategy to address healthcare disparities experienced by persons with disabilities. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act is more than a law – it’s a means to address barriers to employment and to better healthcare outcomes. Since the law’s implementation, he has been one of NIH’s few agency-wide subject matter experts for the coordination and implementation of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as Amended, and its integration with both business ICT and digital content, as well as the role of assistive technology (AT).
Gary is Vice-Chair of ABILITIES, NIH’s employee resource group for persons with disabilities and allies; he is equally active with the NIH Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing community. For the last couple of years, he has also become more and more fascinated with audio-description and is now involved in the American Council of the Blind’s Audio Description Project and sits on the ADP’s Section 508 subcommittee.
Outside of the NIH, he finds great joy spending time with his 4-year-old granddaughter, seeks dead people in family history research, and loves a good film noir or classic, black-and-white horror flic. His most recent recognition includes NIH EDI’s 2020 NIH Champions and Allies of Disability Awardees and NIH EDI’s 20 profiles for 2020: Celebrating LGBT community Diversity at NIH and Beyond.