Inclusion Drives Innovation – Basketball star speaks about overcoming disabilities

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center celebrated how "Inclusion drives Innovation" on the last day of National Disability Awareness Month.

Marshall has a goal to increase the hiring of people with disabilities. The Director of the Marshall Center Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity, Loucious Hires, says it's not about hitting hiring numbers, it's about finding the best people for the job.

"There's untapped talent and our goal is to tap into it," Hires explained. "It's important to us because, it's not just the right thing to do, but the talent.

Basketball star Tamika Catchings spoke at the event. Catchings rose to fame playing basketball at the University of Tennessee and went on to win a WNBA championship, an MVP award, and four Olympic gold medals.

Catchings has a hearing disability and says she only started playing sports to try and stop people from bullying her.

"If I could get really, really good at something people can't make fun of me. They want me on their team," Catchings said. "And if they do make fun of me I'd say, 'Let's go play basketball.'"

Catchings says she hopes her success will inspire people with and without disabilities to reach their potential.

10-year-old Georgia Aplin, is a student at the Alabama School for the Blind. The fourth-grader sang Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" to the audience, and says she is inspired by Catchings.

"She's trying to say believe what you believe, and believe in others too," Aplin said. "And that is true."

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