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NIH 2016 National Disability Employment Awareness Month Director’s Message

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is committed to the principles and practice of equal employment opportunity, diversity, and inclusion in our research and workplace. As part of that commitment, the NIH will be celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) during the month of October.

I encourage you to join me in reflecting on the diversity of those around us and our ongoing commitment to improve outreach, recruitment, retention, and advancement of individuals with disabilities. We all have the responsibility to learn about the interests and talents of those groups that invite us to explore research opportunities within their communities.

Together we can make the NIH a more inclusive workplace of choice, where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, and is valued for the person they are and the contributions they make. The Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion’s (EDI’s) Disability Engagement Committee is organizing a series of dynamic activities throughout October that reflect the 2016 theme, “#InclusionWorks,” to help us understand the value of inclusiveness in the biomedical research setting. EDI will hold a kickoff event on October 5, from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in Wilson Hall. Members of the NIH community with disabilities who have answered the call to share their stories will be recognized in a Lightning-Round Speaker series to give us an opportunity to look beyond the disability and see individuals with “diverse abilities” who make important contributions to the NIH mission.

To learn more about the National Disability Employment Awareness Month campaign at the NIH, please visit and follow EDI on Twitter and Instagram at @NIH_EDI. When tweeting, include “#InclusionWorks” in your tweet.

Let us celebrate diversity and inclusion in the workplace every day, not just during the month of October.

Sincerely yours,

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.