People With Disabilities - About

The Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) strives to advance diversity and inclusion at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and ensure that the civil rights of all employees are protected. The People with Disabilities Employment Portfolio is directed at ensuring that this constituency remains a successful part of a broader diversity and inclusion strategy for the NIH. This Portfolio is federally mandated, its authority grounded in Presidential Executive Orders dating back to 1998.

THE PORTFOLIO

We recognize the talent that individuals with disabilities bring to the workplace and understand that by creating an inclusive environment for everyone, we provide universal opportunity for success. Inclusion means we are committed to equal employment opportunity, a workplace free of discrimination and harassment, and a workplace that supports reasonable accommodations.

From recruitment to recognition, from training to promotion, we are dedicated to the oversight of disability employment and actively promote the universal thinking that attracts and retains a skilled and diverse workforce. EDI works in partnership with the Office of Human Resources (OHR), the Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity (COSWD), and NIH leadership across the NIH to support the People with Disabilities Employment Portfolio. Together, we develop collaborations to advance the representation of our employees with disabilities in all occupations of the NIH workforce and to support this constituency in achieving their fullest potential.

At NIH, we understand that our responsibility to diverse groups extends well beyond federal mandates. We define diversity broadly to include all elements of our human identities and encompass every aspect of difference. Within EDI, we are interested in leveraging the ideas of each NIH employee to fuel innovation and drive health discovery. The disability constituency is a critical piece of our overall diversity strategy.

“Disability need not be an obstacle to success.” – Stephan W. Hawking

MEET THE STRATEGIST

Adam Politis

Adam Politis

Adam Politis is the Acting Principal Strategist for the People with Disabilities Employment Portfolio in the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Prior to joining EDI, Adam worked as the Special Assistant to the Deputy Director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and Chief of the Speech-Language Pathology Section in the NIH Clinical Center. Before joining NIH, Adam worked extensively with people with disabilities in a variety of clinical, research, and administrative roles in healthcare and academia.

As a person with a disability who has worked his entire career with people with disabilities, Adam is acutely aware of the discrimination individuals with disabilities face, and the urgent need to make the world a more equitable, inclusive, and accessible place for all.

Adam received a B.A. in Linguistics from the University of California, Berkeley, a B.S. and M.S. in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University of Washington, and is currently completing his Ph.D. in Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Of all the education he has received, Adam believes the most valuable has come from the thousands of people with disabilities he has had the honor of learning from over the course of his career.

> Contact Adam

ENGAGEMENT COMMITTEE

The committee recommends strategies to eliminate barriers to the employment, promotion, and advancement of individuals with disabilities. Below are the members of the committee of the Portfolio for People with Disabilities.

Sujata Bardhan
Program Director, Intellectual and Disabilities Branch
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Susan Daniels
Director, Office of Autism
National Institute of Mental Health

Claudia Gonzalez
Chief, Management Analysis and Policy, Division of Management
National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Mary Harris
Management Analyst, Office of Travel and Conference Planning
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Susan Maier
Scientific Initiatives Manager, Office of Initiative Development
Office of Strategic Planning, Initiative Development and Analysis
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Rhonda Moore
Program Officer, Center for Global Mental Health
National Institute of Mental Health

Gary M. Morin
Section 508 Coordinator
National Cancer Institute

Preethy Nayar
Scientific Review Officer
National Institute on Drug Abuse

Karen Nimerick
Technical Information Specialist
National Library of Medicine

Anne E. Sumner
Chief, Section on Ethnicity and Health
Diabetes, Endocrinology and Obesity Branch
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Kimmo Virtaneva
Staff Scientist, Genomics Unit
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Lisa Yuan
Press Officer
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Professional Members

Soussan Afsharfar
Senior Architect, Office of Research Facilities Development and Operations
Office of Management
Office of the Director

Linda Kiefer
Program Manager, Office of Research Services
Office of Management
Office of the Director

Kathy Mann Koepke
Program Director, Child Development and Behavior Branch
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Melissa Park
Health Science Policy Analyst
Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Office of the Director

The NIH Reasonable Accommodation Program Team:

Jessica Center, Glenda Laventure, Davian Morrell