In recognition of a stellar career in Federal service, Deaf in Government (DIG), a 501(c)(3) organization, has selected Flo Rapozo as a chairperson for the upcoming events: the Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity (Honolulu, March 2023), and the Deaf in Government Conference (Washington, D.C., June 2023).

“[Her selection] as chairperson speaks volumes about her professionalism, dedication and work ethic,” said Carlton Cramer, Dean of the College of Security Studies.

For 22 years, Rapozo has supported the Center’s College of Security Studies as an Education Technician. As part of the College Operations staff she performs a variety of administrative functions to ensure that the Center’s programs operate smoothly. Amongst her duties, she supervises curriculum, and maintains quality control for the College. She also ensures that the College maintains its production deadlines, manages the Sharepoint site, and performs training for new employees when required.

“Flo is a true asset to the College Operations team. In and outside of work, she has proven herself as a guiding light for the deaf and hard of hearing community,” said Maj. Matt Tweed, College Operations Officer, U.S. Marines. “I’m very proud to work along side her daily, and I know she is paving a path for others by proving there is no challenge that can’t be overcome.”

Last month Rapozo attended the 56th Biennial National Association of the Deaf (NAD) Conference, where she attended a number of workshops that empowered her to become a more valuable member of the DKI APCSS Ohana.

The Public Affairs Office (PAO) interviewed Rapozo about her experience at the conference and her selection by DIG as chairperson.

PAO: How did you learn about the NAD conference?

Rapozo: My colleagues had shared with me about NAD conference background several years ago. I had been told that sometimes I have to take a break from the “work” of my work to sharpen my new skills. Also, I was encouraged to attend conference workshops to learn new ideas and approaches that make me more effective and efficient at work. I attended the NAD conference for Deaf in Government workshops in Orlando, Florida on June 30 – July 4, 2022 for the first time.

PAO: What was your favorite workshop that you attended? Why?

Rapozo: My favorite workshop was called Big Tech Commitment to Accessibility because the most recent three technological developments – Google, Meta, and Microsoft that enhance access for deaf and hard of hearing people: virtual reality, data science, and artificial intelligence technology can improve the lives of deaf and hard of hearing. The three presenters shared the latest innovations and platforms to benefit deaf and hard-of-hearing people at home and in the workplace.

PAO: How were you selected as a chairperson for the Pacific Rim (Pac Rim) International Conference on Disability and Diversity / Deaf in Government Conference (Honolulu, March 2023), and the Deaf in Government Conference (Washington, D.C., June 2023)?

Rapozo: The executive board members of the Deaf in Government (DIG) recognized my experiences and skills that I have worked with several course management teams for all past courses at DKI APCSS for 22 years and acknowledged that I received a few FEB Excellence and other accomplishment awards in the past. DIG’s president has selected me as a DIG chairperson to work with the Pacific Rim and Disability Center at the University of Hawaii directors for partnered Pac Rim and DIG conference at the Honolulu Convention Center in March 2023. Also, DIG’s executive board has appointed me as a new program director of the DIG and as a workshop chairperson for DIG conference 2023 in Washington, DC in June 2023.

PAO: What are the responsibilities of chairperson?

Rapozo: As a chairperson, I will be responsible for the overall planning and execution of the conference sessions and collaborating with the workshop chairs in preparing and circulating the Call for Workshop Proposals and in reviewing submissions. Also, I have other responsibilities that are included: request workshop bids, select appropriate ones, arrange for their dates locations, presentation and computer requirements, and all other special needs.

PAO: How long have you worked at DKI APCSS? What do you enjoy about the Center?

Rapozo: I work for CSS at the DKI APCSS for 22 years. I enjoy working with faculty and staff at the CSS with their education experiences and networking skills.

PAO: If someone with hearing loss asked you for advice about working for the federal government, what advice would you give them?

Rapozo: My advice for an individual with a disability is to apply for a job as a new intern to build his/her job skills and experiences first. He/she will learn how to communicate with other co-workers in the workplace on their own and develop his/her career objectives for applying for a full-time job at the federal government.

PAO: What are your personal goals at the Center?

Rapozo: My personal goals working at the Center are to strengthen my leadership development and to provide support and supervision to the course management teams for all courses and workshops.