Self-Identification of a Disability


Individuals with disabilities are the most unique federally protected class, crossing all ages, genders, races, and religions. The reported percentage of NASA’s workforce with a disability has increased as a result of hiring Schedule A candidates, encouraging self-identification, and making NASA a more inclusive environment.

To help NASA meet the 12% Federal goal, civil servants can self-identify their disability in Employee Express (https://www.employeeexpress.gov/). After logging in, select “Disability Update” on the left-hand menu. Choose the appropriate condition, then save your selection. This information is covered by the Privacy Act.

If you have any questions, please contact NASA Disability Program Manager Rebecca Doroshenk at 202-358-0038 or Rebecca.D.Doroshenk@nasa.gov.

NASA’s Associate Administrator for Diversity and Equal Opportunity Visits Stennis Space Center


On Nov. 8-9, 2018, Steve Shih, NASA’s Associate Administrator for Diversity and Equal Opportunity, visited the Stennis Space Center (SSC) to engage SSC leaders (including SSC Director Rick Gilbrech and EEO Director Katrina Emery) and personnel on Diversity & Inclusion and Equal Employment Opportunity. During his visit, Steve delivered anti-harassment training to the SSC workforce.

Associate Administrator for Diversity and Equal Opportunity Steve Shih Visits NASA Shared Services Center


On Nov. 8-9, 2018, Steve Shih, NASA’s Associate Administrator for Diversity and Equal Opportunity, visited the NASA Shared Services Center (NSSC) to engage NSSC leaders (including NSSC Executive Director Anita Harrell and EEO Director Katrina Emery) and personnel on Diversity & Inclusion and Equal Employment Opportunity. During his visit, Steve delivered anti-harassment training to the NSSC workforce.

ODEO Associate Administrator Steve Shih Visits Michoud Assembly Facility


On Nov. 7, 2018, Steve Shih, NASA’s Associate Administrator for Diversity and Equal Opportunity, visited the Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) to engage MAF leaders and personnel (including EEO Director Loucious Hires) on Diversity & Inclusion and Equal Employment Opportunity. During his visit, Steve gave a keynote speech at MAF’s Unity Day event, and delivered anti-harassment training to the MAF workforce.

NASA Associate Administrator for Diversity and Equal Opportunity Steve Shih Visits Marshall Space Flight Center


On Nov. 5-6, 2018, Steve Shih, NASA’s Associate Administrator for Diversity and Equal Opportunity, visited the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to engage MSFC leaders (including MSFC Center Director Jody Singer, EEO Director Loucious Hires, and Diversity & Inclusion Director Susan Cloud) and personnel on Diversity & Inclusion and Equal Employment Opportunity. During his visit, Steve gave a keynote address at MSFC’s Career Readiness Mentoring Day event, and delivered anti-harassment training to MSFC leaders.

Free Resources for Disability Workplace Accommodations

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) provides free, expert and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations to employers as well as to employees, job seekers, family members and service providers. Beyond accommodations, JAN provides information and assistance to individuals with disabilities who may find that self-employment is their best career choice. It also provides easy-to-understand technical assistance and training to employers on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other disability employment-related laws and regulations.

JAN annually responds to more than 40,000 individual requests for assistance via phone, email and/or chat services. Sixty percent of the requests are from employers. JAN also conducts nearly 100 trainings per year for employers, employer organizations, Federal, State and local governments, and service providers in person, via webinar, and/or by teleconference. More than 8 million visitors use JAN’s comprehensive website, www.AskJAN.org, to access publications, tools, and online training on job accommodations and the ADA. JAN conducts the ongoing study, “Workplace Accommodations: Low Cost, High Impact,” to demonstrate that the benefits employers receive from making workplace accommodations far outweigh the low costs of the accommodations.

Finally, JAN continues to share information on best practices on accommodations and the ADA through its outreach campaigns.

National Native American Heritage Month


National American Indian Heritage Month is observed from November 1 – 30 of each year. The observance month recognizes American Indians for their respect for natural resources and the Earth, for having served with valor in our Nation’s military, and for their many distinct and important contributions to the United States.

What started at the turn of the century as an effort to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions Native Americans have made to the establishment and growth of the United States has resulted in an entire month for that purpose.

In 1990, President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations, under variants on the name (including “Native American Heritage Month” and “National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month”) have been issued each year since 1994.

The 2018 Native American Heritage Month theme, “Sovereignty, Trust, and Resilience,” is a time to recognize, remember, and reflect on the many contributions of Native Americans, and also educate Americans about the various Native American tribes that have graced U.S. land while raising awareness about the many challenges Native Americans have faced.

Native Americans have contributed much to science. Some of the best examples come to us from the world of food science. Native Americans cultivated and bred some of the most popular and economically important foods today, including corn, beans, potatoes, peanuts, and many others. Over the centuries, Native Americans also contributed much to medicine. Their medical systems were quite complex and included the use of narcotics, anesthetics, enemas, psychotherapy, and much more. Perhaps the best examples of Native American contributions to modern medicine include medications based on:
• Quinine, used for the treatment of malaria
• Ipecac, which has been used to cause vomiting in cases of poisoning
• Curare, derivatives of which have been used in anesthesia

Besides food and medicine, Native American science has contributed in many other ways. For example, in engineering, the way Native Americans had constructed their Pueblo (adobe) homes has been found to decrease temperatures inside the home in times of extreme heat by a significant amount and make the heating of such homes, in cold weather, very efficient.

As we recognize the many contributions of Native Americans, I want to take this opportunity to reinforce our commitment to equal opportunity, diversity, and inclusion and thank the many talented Native Americans of NASA at all levels of the organization, whose diligent leadership and commitment help us accomplish NASA’s mission.

I invite all employees to frequent the ODEO blog to get information on various activities across NASA and to view the new Native Americans at NASA poster. I also encourage you to participate in events in your communities.

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

Disability Etiquette Video: Non-Obvious Disabilities


According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 50% of Americans have some form of chronic medical condition. Often, these conditions are not readily apparent, and a lack of awareness can lead to misunderstandings in the workplace.

A training video available from the Federal Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP) provides guidance on interacting with individuals who have non-obvious disabilities. CAP (http://www.cap.mil/) provides assistive technology and services free of charge to DoD and civil service customers with hearing, visual, dexterity, cognitive, and communication impairments to make their work environments more accessible.

To access the CAP video:(http://www.cap.mil/NewsEvents/TrainingVideo.aspx?enc=67OWaA2nH+T8tEnNwvkLGg== ).

For questions about NASA Reasonable Accommodations process, please contact NASA Disability Program Manager Rebecca Doroshenk at 202-358-0038 or Rebecca.D.Doroshenk@nasa.gov.