People With Disabilities Are Not Forgotten

by Carlton Coleman

After the publication of an article in The NIH Catalyst about NIH's new Affirmative Action Plan ["Insights from OEO's New Leader," January-February 1995 issue], several employees raised concerns that the latest affirmative action planning process does not include information about people with disabilities. The Office of Employment Opportunity (OEO) pilot project was specifically designed to establish a new approach to address affirmative action for minorities and women based on the actual availability of these groups in various occupations in the civilian labor force. This approach relies on baseline availability data--data that neither the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission nor the U.S. Census Bureau collects on people with disabilities. Such data are essential to make the comparisons necessary for goal setting.

 Achieving a diverse work force that is reflective of all groups, including people with disabilities, is a paramount goal of NIH and a major component of our "Framework for Change," which is OEO Director Naomi Churchill's five-year strategy for NIH. For more information on the Affirmative Action Plan for Individuals With Disabilities, call Carlton Coleman, manager of OEO's Disability Employment Program, at 496-2906.

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