NIH Celebrates 'Women of Courage and Vision'
We are all on a "continuum" with respect to our physical abilities. We range from marathon runners who can cover 26.2 miles in just over 2 hours to people who walk slowly to people who cannot walk at all. However, we adapt, even though our physical surroundings may be designed for those at a different place along the continuum. Chairs are provided for some (people who use wheel chairs bring their own), and millions are spent on lighting (people who are blind do not need lights). These thoughts and many more were shared with the audience at NIH's recent Women's History Month celebration.
With the theme "Celebrating Women of Courage and Vision," this year's focus was on women with disabilities. In opening remarks, Dr. Yvonne Maddox, NIH acting deputy director, said NIH must expand its vision to address the needs of people with disabilities, in both our research programs and workforce. To this end, she established the NIH task force on disability issues, which consists of managers and members of the NIH committee for employees with disabilities. The group will develop recommendations to address facility accessibility, recruitment of people with disabilities, and provision of reasonable accommodation for all employees.
The Office of Research Services's Division of Engineering Services has been asked to develop a new plan to ensure full access to all facilities, starting with Bldg. 1, where the primary goal is to bring restrooms into full compliance with the accessibility requirements set by federal law. Designs were expected at the beginning of April, with construction starting by the end of the month.
Dr. Susan M. Daniels
A panel discussion on women with disabilities in the workplace was moderated by Dr. Vivian Pinn, NIH associate director for research on women's health. Panelists included Dr. Susan M. Daniels, former deputy commissioner for disability at the Social Security Administration, and Deidre A. Davis, former deputy assistant secretary for EEO and civil rights, Department of State. Both presented an overview of their careers, describing various barriers they have had to overcome to succeed. For more information and updates on disability issues and reasonable accommodation, contact OEO at 496-6301 or 496-9755 TTY, or visit online at http://oeo.od.nih.gov/.
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