Re-Categorization of Disability Codes

Office of Human Capital Management and Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity

TO: NASA Workforce
FROM: Assistant Administrator, Office of Human Capital Management and
Associate Administrator, Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity
SUBJECT: Re-Categorization of Disability Codes

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recently re-categorized the disability codes for specific disabilities and conditions. New codes have been created to more accurately reflect what is reported. Therefore, even if you have previously identified your disability status, the information may no longer be accurate.

All employees are strongly encouraged to visit Employee Express to review and update their information.

Why is this important? This information helps NASA to provide accurate demographic data as required by OPM and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Further, it allows NASA to measure progress towards reaching Federal workforce representation goals for individuals with disabilities and supporting Presidential Executive Orders related to diversity and inclusion in the workforce.

Understandably, some of you may be hesitant to identify your disability status. However, you can be assured that all personally identifiable information, including disability status, is protected by the Privacy Act of 1974, and identification is strictly voluntary. Also, your information can only be accessed by NASA officials with a “need to know,” such as the staff in the NASA Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity (ODEO) and the NASA Office of Human Capital Management.

You may also review your race, ethnicity, as well as your disability data in Employee Express and make any necessary changes — it only takes a few minutes. Log into Employee Express ( and click on “Disability Update” to verify or update your status. You can also update other information, such as level of education, race, and ethnicity. Once you make and save your selections, you will see the updates when you login to Employee Express in the future.
Questions regarding NASA’s Disability Program or the disability codes can be directed to Rebecca Doroshenk, Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity, at (202)358-0038 or

Bob Gibbs
Assistant Administrator
Office of Human Capital Management

Stephen T. Shih
Associate Administrator
Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity

ODEO Associate Administrator Steve Shih Moderates Diversity Program at Kennedy Space Center

Steve Shih, NASA’s Associate Administrator for the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity, traveled this month to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) to participate in a number of events in support of the KSC workforce. Steve served as the moderator of a Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) program at the KSC Supervisor All-Hands Meeting held by KSC Director, Bob Cabana, to emphasize the importance of D&I. Subsequently, Steve taught two classes on anti-harassment to KSC leaders.

Steve also visited a number of KSC organizations to interact with KSC personnel and to learn more about KSC’s missions. Finally, Steve visited the KSC Visitor’s Center, where he observed the new Astronaut Training Experience for the public and also visited the Astronaut Hall of Fame, in which KSC Director Cabana is inducted.

National Hispanic Heritage Month

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage month from September 15 – October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.

The 2018 Hispanic Heritage Month theme: “Hispanics: One Endless Voice to Enhance our Traditions” invites us to reflect on Hispanic American’s tradition, history and culture that continue to help enrich the fabric of America. The contributions of Hispanics expands across all areas of STEM, military service, politics, healthcare, art, entertainment, entrepreneurship and beyond.

As we recognize Hispanic Heritage Month, I want to take this opportunity to reinforce our commitment to equal opportunity, diversity and inclusion and thank all of NASA’s Hispanic Special Emphasis Program Managers that are passionately working to promote equal opportunity for Hispanics in all aspects of employment and that actions are taken to address barriers to full participation and inclusion. Additionally, I want to recognize all of NASA’s Hispanic Employee Resource Groups for serving as strategic partners to promote a culture of equal opportunity, diversity and inclusion.

In commemoration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, I invite all employees to frequent the ODEO blog to get information on various activities across NASA and to participate in events in your communities.

Steve Shih, Esq.
Associate Administrator
Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity

Langley Research Center Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

On September 26, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. in the Pearl Young Theater, Langley Research Center is presenting “Hispanic American Tradition, History and Culture” with international keynote speaker and author, J.A. Rodriguez, Jr.

Join Langley for this entertaining and engaging take on the Hispanic American tradition, history and culture.

This celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month is brought to you by the Hispanic Employee Advisory Committee (HEAC) and the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs (OEOP).

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at NASA Headquarters

We are proud to present this year’s keynote speaker for NASA Headquarters’ Hispanic Heritage Month event… Ginger Kerrick. She is the first Hispanic female flight director in the history of NASA. Flight directors play a critical role in the success of our Nation’s human spaceflight missions. They sit at the helm during a human spaceflight, responsible for the success of missions and the highly trained teams of engineers and scientists that make them possible.

Hosted by the Hispanic Outreach and Leadership Alliance (HOLA) in Partnership with the Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management Division (EODM), “One Voice, Nuestras Tradiciones” will take place on Tuesday, September 25th at 11 a.m. in the James Webb Auditorium, 300 E Street, SW D.C. Come join us as we highlight and celebrate Hispanic heritage and culture.

The event will conclude with a live performance by Pa’Gozar Latin Band and is open to the public.

Do You Require a Reasonable Accommodation?

NASA is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for employees as part of our dedication to individuals with disabilities—so that you can enjoy full access to equal employment opportunities.

For more information, see: Or contact Disability Program Manager Rebecca Doroshenk, (202) 358-0038,

The Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity knows: When you work better, NASA works better!

Meet ODEO’s Director of the Complaints Management Division: Richard N. Reback

Rick Reback serves as the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity’s Director of the Complaints and Programs Division. Rick brings many years of service and a strong commitment to fairness and transparency in Government operations.

Rick is a graduate of Duke University and the University of Texas School Law. He clerked for the Honorable Thomas M. Reavley, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and served at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as Counsel to the Inspector General, joining DHS at its creation. Well-versed in employment law, he also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Washington, D.C. Immediately prior to NASA, Rick was Acting General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel at the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, an independent commission with oversight of the safety and security of the country’s nuclear arsenal.

As Director of Complaints Management, Rick works to create an inclusive, productive environment in which our workforce will have fair, thorough, and timely complaints processing. His goal is “to better serve our clients and show them that the Agency cares about our workforce and is constantly moving toward making it a better place for all.”

Rick brings creative and innovative ideas to his work. ODEO is very excited to have him as a team member!

Kennedy Space Center Diversity and Inclusion Activities

Kennedy Space Center has had some great Diversity and Inclusion events this year, with more still to come!

Native American Heritage Initiative (NAHI):
A group of college students and their faculty advisors from Northwest Indian College and Chief Dull Knife College recently toured NASA’s Kennedy Space Center with an opportunity for an up-close look at career opportunities. All were members of winning teams that successfully flew high-powered rockets in the First Nations Launch competition.

The competition is funded by NASA and administered by the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium. It provides a chance for students to design, build and launch high-powered rockets in the annual competition at Kansasville, Wisconsin:

Kennedy Networking Opportunities for Women (KNOW):
In March KNOW invited JoAnn Morgan, former Director of External Relations and Business Development Directorate, to be a guest speaker for their Women’s History Month Celebration. In the poster below Ms. Morgan is sitting in the firing room for Apollo 11 launch. (She was the only woman in the firing room for Apollo 11.)
WHM Poster 18 18×24 (005)

Asian Pacific American Connection (APAC):
APAC hosted an event, “United Our Vision By Working Together” with entertainment of music and performances.
APAC 2018 event 508 flyer

Disability Awareness & Action Working Group (DAAWG):
Temple Grandin was the guest speaker for the National Disability Employment Awareness Month event last year and KSC hosted the 17th Annual Disability Mentoring Day for local students. This year Kennedy will be having an informational fair with local vendors:
SP-2018-07-830-KSC DAAWG NDEAM Vendor Fair Poster

KSC’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Employees & Allies Network will be participating in a several upcoming pride parades in October including the huge parade in Orlando, “Come Out with Pride.”

And the Hispanic Outreach & Leadership Alliance (HOLA) will be hosting an event with a guest speaker for Hispanic Heritage Month in October:
Keep up the great work, Kennedy!

NASA Title IX Reviews Assess Grantee Equal Opportunity

Did you know that NASA plays a key role in ensuring equal opportunity and promoting diversity and inclusion in university and college science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs nationwide? NASA provides technical assistance and legal compliance assessment to the STEM programs the Agency funds across the country.

These reviews are conducted under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and NASA’s implementing regulations and policy, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance. NASA conducts Title IX compliance reviews on NASA grant recipients, such as university STEM departments, to ensure beneficiaries of NASA grants have equal opportunity without regard to sex to pursue, participate in, and benefit from academic research, career development opportunities, and educational activities.

NASA assesses the Title IX coordinator’s role and functioning, confirms the existence of Title IX policy and procedures and the quality of their dissemination, evaluates Title IX grievance procedures and the effectiveness of their implementation, and reviews Title IX self-evaluation efforts of the grant recipient.

NASA also evaluates the STEM department’s provision of equal opportunity regardless of gender—in student and faculty recruitment, outreach, admissions, enrollment, retention, academic advising, research participation, classroom and lab experiences, student experiences relating to parental/marital status, and physical safety of the program environment.

Promising practices associated with each of the compliance areas are also reported.

NASA’s Title IX review recommendations are designed to assist NASA grantees in furthering their efforts to ensure equal educational opportunities, regardless of gender.

To learn more about these and related efforts, visit the Agency’s MissionSTEM website at

To view NASA’s latest Title IX compliance report of a NASA-funded STEM program (University of California, Berkeley, Department of Astronomy) visit: .

Check out NASA’s New Careers Website

At NASA, we explore the extraordinary every day. The Office of Human Capital Management recently launched a new, dynamic careers site at to showcase the people and careers behind our unique mission. The website serves as NASA’s main hub for public-facing talent acquisition information and provides an engaging experience for potential applicants. The site features profiles of our diverse workforce and the world-class talent they bring—allowing readers better insight into our culture and what it’s really like to work at NASA.

In addition to information on the types of careers available at NASA and guidance on how to apply, the site features a “Diversity Drives Innovation” section with information on minorities in engineering, employee resource groups, and inclusion and outreach. This page features profiles of NASA employees from different fields and backgrounds who share a passion for exploration and a desire to leave an enduring impact on humanity. Check out our careers site today and share it with your network!