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 Portfolio for People with Disabilities 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.


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 Disability 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


David Rice

David Rice

David Rice graduated in 2009 from 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 4, he has a strong interest in Disability Community. His work within the disability community started as a sophomore in high school, where he worked summer camps for children with intellectual and physical disabilities. While in college he was part of the first American Sign Language (ASL) program, where students live a dorm in which hearing and Deaf students shared their desire to learn ASL. He was also active in outreach for people with disabilities at Catholic University.

David served on 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 DeafNIH 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.

> Contact David


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.

Lisa Yuan, M.S.
Press Officer
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease

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

Kathy Mann Koepke
Director, Math & Science Cognition, Reasoning, & Learning - Development & Disorders Program
Child Development and Behavior (CDB) Branch
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development

Kelli Van Zee
Project Support Assistant
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Gary M. Morin
Section 508 Coordinator
National Cancer Institute

Elaine Estrella
Purchasing Team Lead
National Eye Institute

Benjamin Reyes
Management Analyst
Office of Research Services

Kate Tepas
Legislative Coordinator
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Toni Calzone
Computer Scientist and IC Section 508 Coordinator
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Professional Members

Sheila Monroe
NIH Selective Placement Coordinator
Office of Human Resources

Soussan Afsharfar
Senior Architect
Office of Research Facilities