U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES
The Customer Accessibility Resource Staff (CARS)
SERVICE TO THE CITIZEN AWARD WINNER
Director of CARS, Offices of Hearings and Inquiries
Director of the Offices of Hearings and Inquiries
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is committed to ensuring equal access and participation in its programs for individuals with disabilities. The Customer Accessibility Resource Staff (CARS) within the CMS Offices of Hearings and Inquiries (OHI) play a crucial role in advancing accessibility and inclusivity. Led by Kim Snowden and Randy Brauer, CARS works in collaboration with industry partners Maximus and Spec Pro Management to address accessibility needs and concerns.
CARS' mission is to promote universal, customer-focused design and inclusivity throughout CMS. They have established a matrixed management approach, partnering with CMS components to enhance accessibility and compliance with Section 501, 504, and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. This includes developing an agency-wide governance model, creating a single point of entry for staff to address accessibility issues, implementing an accessibility-focused messaging platform, and identifying new training resources for CMS employees.
These efforts have yielded significant achievements. The CMS Accessibility & Nondiscrimination Notice has been updated, reflecting the agency's commitment to accessibility. The annual compliance training has been redesigned to provide integrated accessibility education and measure compliance levels. Sharing sessions with the disability community have improved program communications and identified areas for improvement. The agency-wide Accessibility Initiative has been launched to foster universal design and inclusivity for both CMS staff and the people they serve.
These accomplishments benefit the public by ensuring that individuals with disabilities have equal opportunities to access and benefit from CMS programs and services. The initiatives promote inclusivity, diversity, and equity, creating a more accessible healthcare environment for all individuals.