NIEHS Diversity Speaker Series: Disability Inclusion

NIEHS Diversity Speaker Series: Disability Inclusion

David Rice
Illustration of a diverse crowd of human silhouettes.
  • Event Date: 
    Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm
  • Event Location: 
  • Event Speaker(s): 
    • David Rice, People with Disability Portfolio Strategist, The Office of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
  • Event Host(s): 
    The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
    The Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

David Rice, Acting Director of the Special Emphasis Program Branch, will give a presentation on Disability Inclusion. He will discuss what the word disability means to the audience and engage in a dialogue to explore the range of definitions. He will also explain some of the laws that have made the most significant impact on the Disability Community and how those laws shaped his life.

Additionally, the presentation will delve into four models of disability: Medical Model, Charity Model, Social Model, and Human Rights Model. Participants will learn about each model to understand why we must practice the Social and Human RIghts models to ensure that People with Disabilities are included in society.

Lastly, David will lead a discussion on how language shapes the Disability Community and advise on different ways to use respectful language. Language is a powerful tool that can make or break the reality of equity and inclusion. Participants will gain knowledge of what constitutes harmful language and learn how to act as allies and champions to change the narrative.

Closeup headshot of smiling David Rice<br />
David Rice
David Rice, Acting Branch Director, Special Emphasis Programs

David Rice graduated in 2009 from the Catholic University of America with a degree in Psychology, with a focus on social stigmas of people with Intellectual Disabilities. He has been at National Institutes of Health (NIH) since October 2009, as a Management Analyst for the National Eye Institute (NEI) and the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders (NIDCD). Being Deaf since the age of 3, he has a strong interest in the Disability Community. His work within the disability community started as a sophomore in high school, where he worked in summer camps for children with intellectual and physical disabilities. While in college David was part of the first American Sign Language (ASL) residential program, where students live a dorm in which hearing and Deaf students shared their desire to teach/learn ASL. He was also active in outreach for people with disabilities at Catholic University.

David is part of DIG (Deaf in Government), where he served as a policy chairperson and as the president of the organization. DIG empowers Deaf and Hard of Hearing Federal Employees to overcome communication barriers, resolve accessibility issues, and promotes a fully inclusive work environment through networking and fostering professional growth. Some of David’s accomplishments are initiating a workforce complaint program, developing a training program that fosters promotion in the federal government, establishing partnerships with different organizations, and creating networking and mentoring opportunities.

David has also changed the cultural stigma placed on people with disabilities have by changing the NIH mission statement. He led the Deaf NIH Employee Resource Group at NIH for those who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing, by working closely with the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI). David was also a part of Section 508 Advisory group whose mission is to make the internet a fully accessible environment; with his focus being on closed captions. In his spare time, David enjoys Baseball and all things Pittsburgh.

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