Skip to main content

From the NIH Director: 2019 National Disability Employment Awareness Month

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

Dear NIH Family,

I am pleased to announce that NIH will celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) this October. Please join me in celebrating diversity and the ongoing commitment to improving the outreach, recruitment, retention, and advancement of individuals with disabilities.

Throughout the month, we will recognize and celebrate individuals in the disability community and their allies, who profoundly influence the advancement of scientific discovery here at NIH.

This year, NIH will launch its first annual "Cultivating Inclusion: Honoring NIH Champions and Allies of Disability" awards ceremony. On October 24, 2019, the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) will host this awards ceremony in the Natcher Building, Balcony B at 10:30 a.m. The ceremony will feature keynote speaker Dr. Kathy Mann-Koepke, the 2019 recipient of NIH’s Yvonne Thompson Maddox Award for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. During the ceremony, several NIH employees from the disability community and their allies will be recognized for their significant contributions to science and their work toward disability inclusion to help advance scientific discovery. I hope many of you will join this celebration.

It’s important to support and learn about the interests and talents of those groups that invite us to explore research opportunities within their communities. Let us applaud diversity and inclusion in the workplace every day; not just during the month of October.

Together, we can make NIH a more inclusive workplace of choice, where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, and valued for who they are and the contributions they make.

To learn more about NIH National Disability Employment Awareness Month activities, please visit and follow EDI on Twitter and Instagram at @NIH_EDI.

Sincerely yours,

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

Do you have a story idea for us? Do you want to submit a guest blog? If it's about equity, diversity, or inclusion, please submit to

For news, updates, and videos, follow or subscribe to EDI on: Twitter, Instagram, Blog, YouTube.