Alternative Dispute Resolution

Hubble Sombrero Galaxy

Differences of opinion happen and there are many expectations as to how conflicts should be addressed. With an effective conflict resolution mechanisms in place, we can continue to promote healthy working relationships and open communication among employees and managers to ensure unity and inclusion.

NASA’s Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Program is designed to resolve EEO complaints at the Center level (as an informal EEO process) and at the Agency level (as a formal EEO process) through facilitation by a neutral third party.

NASA’s EEO ADR Program primarily uses mediation, one of the most common and effective methods of ADR, as one way to resolve EEO complaints at the lowest possible level.

NASA Anti-Harassment Campaign

NASA announced its ongoing Agency-wide Anti-Harassment Campaign on February 1, 2018 with a video from former Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot (accessible at, highlighting NASA’s strong commitment to a harassment-free workplace. As Administrator Jim Bridenstine stated at his first NASA Town Hall meeting, “This is an agency where we want to make sure that inclusion and diversity continue… as long as I’m at the helm of this agency, there will be no discrimination based on race, religion, sexual identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, or anything else.”

The Campaign, in the words of Steve Shih, the Agency’s Associate Administrator for Diversity and Equal Opportunity, is “to support the safety and success of NASA’s workforce and mission by maintaining a harassment-free workplace that provides Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity and Inclusion, where employees are fully empowered to be heard and to contribute to the Agency.”

The Campaign has two main strategic objectives, to proactively prevent harassment at NASA and to correct promptly harassment when it occurs. Employees can assist efforts to ensure a harassment-free workplace by familiarizing themselves with NASA’s Anti-Harassment Policy and Procedures (see the program FAQS at:;

“The success of NASA’s mission critically depends on having a safe and effective workforce,” says Mr. Shih. “A safe and workplace include familiarizing themselves with and following NASA’s Anti-Harassment Policy and Procedures.

An effective workforce requires a workplace with equal employment opportunity, diversity and inclusion. This will enable our employees to perform to the best of their ability and fully contribute to the success of their organizations and missions. This will empower our employees to feel safe and valued, and able to carry out their duties, voice their ideas about correction and innovation, and report risks, problems and wrongdoing.”

To learn more about the Agency’s Anti-Harassment Campaign and Program, visit the ODEO website at: To contact a NASA Center Anti-Harassment Coordinator, visit:

Disability Etiquette Video

The Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program’s (CAP) disability etiquette training video is targeted to supervisors and coworkers of individuals with disabilities. This training is intended to provide basic tips that can serve as a guideline when interacting with an individual who has a disability. Proper disability etiquette creates a comfortable work environment and supports equal access and advancement for all.

CAP ( 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.

Access the CAP video: ( )

For questions about NASA Reasonable Accommodations process, please contact the NASA Disability Program Manager Rebecca Doroshenk at 202-358-0038 or

Resources for Disability Self-Identification Efforts

The “ant nebula” (Menzel 3, or Mz 3), NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM)and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have issued a joint memo containing resources for disability self-identification efforts. A 508-conformant version of this joint memorandum is available online for the benefit of readers with disabilities at:

If you have any questions, please email or

Resources for Disability Self-Identification Efforts
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Resources for Disability Self-Identification Efforts
The Federal government continues to develop new strategies to attract, develop, and retain a world class, high quality workforce that can deliver results for the American people. We are committed to identifying strategies that foster fairness and inclusion for people with disabilities within the workforce. Through this memorandum, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are providing information on the updated form for self-identification of disability, which can assist agencies in their efforts to monitor the hiring, development and retention of Federal employees with disabilities, including targeted disabilities. An individual’s disability status can change during the employee’s tenure in the Federal government and these changes, in turn, affect the number of employees with disabilities in the Federal workforce.

In October 2016, OPM modified the SF-256, Self-Identification of Disability Form, to reflect changes to terms used to describe targeted disabilities, serious health conditions, and other disabilities; simplifying the descriptions of conditions; and providing respondents with the option of identifying that they have a medical condition without specifying a diagnosis. While completion of this form remains voluntary, the collection and/or update of this information will assist agencies in gaining a broader understanding of their diverse workforce.

On January 3, 2017, the EEOC issued a final rule to amend the regulations implementing Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which became effective on January 1, 2018. Under the Section 501 regulation, agencies are required to take steps designed to move toward a target workforce participation rate for employees with disabilities of 12 percent, both above and below the GS-11 grade, as well as a target rate of 2 percent for employees with targeted disabilities, both above and below the GS-11 grade. Agencies have been determining their baseline participation rates of individuals with disabilities and individuals with targeted disabilities at those grade levels as part of this year’s reporting requirements.

The updated SF-256 is an excellent tool for measuring workforce participation of people with disabilities within your agency. We are pleased to remind agencies that resource is available for your use. Both of our agencies are available to assist you in efforts within your agency to help employees to self-identify as people with disabilities and people with targeted disabilities, as appropriate. The Federal Employee Exchange on Employment & Disability (FEED) that brings together staff from equal employment and human capital offices also is a valuable resource. For resources to promote self-identification, please visit for materials designed for your use by OPM, in collaboration with Federal disability employment managers.

If you have any questions, please contact at OPM or ofo.eeoc@eeoc.govat the EEOC.

NASA Engages with Indigenous Students at AISES Conference

The 2018 American Indian Science & Engineering Society (AISES) Conference was held October 3-6 in Oklahoma City. The NASA Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity (ODEO) and Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) were conference sponsors, seeking to increase American Indian and Alaskan Native (AIAN) students in STEM through career and resume workshops, as well as a career fair for more than 2,000 students.

The NASA team, with participants from six NASA Centers, engaged with indigenous students at the Riverside Bureau of Indian Education School at an outreach event in Anadarko, Oklahoma. The NASA team directly connected with 160 students through STEM engagement activities promoting science and engineering.

STEM Girls Night In on November 2-3

From Friday to Saturday, November 2-3, about 50 high- and middle-school girls and their chaperones from local public high schools will participate in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Girls Night In, to be hosted by various Centers across NASA.

At Goddard Space Flight Center, each girl will have at least one woman as their mentor throughout the event who is a NASA employee plus a university engineering/science student, as a near-to-peer mentor.

The purpose of this event is to invigorate, inspire, and engage high school girls who may be struggling with, or are not fully engaged in, STEM education. STEM Girls Night In will provide the girls an opportunity to completely immerse themselves in NASA activities that challenge and promote knowledge and discovery, such as by designing and testing a Mars rover.

STEM Girls Nigh In allows NASA women to share and demonstrate the STEM work they do and to connect all participating Centers through an inspiring interactive activity.

For more information, contact Amy Grigg,

Let’s Break Boundaries! Society of Women Engineers 2018 Conference

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) 2018 Conference’s theme, “Let’s Break Boundaries,” is based on the idea that women engineers are breaking personal and professional boundaries across the globe. SWE is the largest annual conference of women engineers.

NASA attended SWE again this year, with about 40 employees representing the Agency from various Centers. Attendees participated in panel discussions (with standing room only!) and a very large career fair – communicating NASA’s mission and commitment to STEM education and internship and employment possibilities to countless women.

Thank you – to the NASA employees who made this year’s event a tremendous success!

Panel Discussion for National Disability Employment Awareness Month Hosted by Stennis Space Center and NASA Shared Services Center

The Stennis Space Center (SSE) and the NASA Shared Services Center (NSSC) are hosting several events in October to celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).

The first event is a lunch-and-learn to educate NASA employees about disability etiquette. Secondly, SSC and NSSC have planned a panel event on October 25 at 11 a.m. CST, to educate the NASA community on disability awareness. Scott Howell, NASA OCHCO, will be speaking along with other individuals with disabilities. Participants plan to talk about the work they perform at NASA and why they like working for NASA.

NASA is Represented at the Out and Equal Workplace Summit

Ten NASA employees, representing various Centers, attended the Out and Equal Workplace Summit for LGBTQ+ in Seattle on October 1-3.

The 2018 Summit (20th annual!) featured 3 days of educational opportunities including over 135 workshops, featured panels, community advisory roundtables, special networking mixers, receptions and events, and inspirational plenaries featuring prominent LGBTQ/ally leaders.

In addition to NASA folks, there were 6000 attendees from 48 states and 32 countries, with 700 of the Fortune 100 companies represented.