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From the NIH Director: NIH 2018 National Disability Employment Awareness Month

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

Dear NIH Family,

I am pleased to announce that NIH will highlight National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October to bring attention to NIH’s Reasonable Accommodation Program.

Throughout the month of October, the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) will showcase the theme of “Enhancing Possibility through Accessibility” by hosting a number of activities. I encourage you to participate in these informative programs.

Kick-Off Event: October 11, 2018, 1:30-3:00 p.m., Lipsett Amphitheater, Bldg. 10 (Clinical Center). Keynote Address by Crystal Emery, CEO, URU The Right To Be, Inc.

Crystal R. Emery is a dynamic producer, author, educator, social activist, and filmmaker. She is also the founder and CEO of URU The Right To Be, Inc., a non-profit content production company that creatively intersects humanities, the arts, science, and technology to bring awareness to societal gaps in equity, diversity, and inclusion. Through URU’s Changing the Face of STEM initiative, Ms. Emery is introducing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to marginalized students, including those with disabilities. As a member of the disabled community, Ms. Emery’s address will focus on the importance of equal access and opportunities for all.

Live Stream:

Reasonable Accommodation Program Awareness: October 18, 2018, 1:00-4:00 p.m., Bldg. 45 (Natcher), Balcony Level.

EDI will bring awareness to the NIH-wide Reasonable Accommodation Program (RAP) through several activities including:

  • A panel discussion on reasonable accommodation;
  • An interactive reasonable accommodation equipment and technology showcase;
  • Section 508 training presented by the United States Access Board; and
  • Reasonable accommodation training opportunities for employees and managers.

You may register for these sessions here:
Live Stream (Panel discussion only):

For more information about the NIH Reasonable Accommodation Program, which assists managers and employees with requests from non-bargaining unit employees for reasonable accommodation, please visit

I encourage you to join me in celebrating diversity and reflecting on NIH’s ongoing commitment to improve the outreach, recruitment, retention, and advancement of individuals with disabilities. We have a responsibility to learn about the interests and talents of others and 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 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.

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