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Vol. 10, No. 3 Summer/Fall 2002

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New Federal Office on Disability

Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson announced the creation of the HHS Office on Disability to oversee the coordination, development and implementation of programs and special initiatives within HHS that impact people with disabilities. Margaret J. Giannini, M.D., F.A.A.P., currently the principal deputy assistant secretary for aging at the Administration on Aging (AoA), has been appointed the director of the new HHS Office on Disability.

The announcement builds on the work of President Bush's New Freedom Initiative, a comprehensive plan to tear down barriers that prevent people with disabilities from fully participating in community life. The new office will help centralize many of the recommended strategies outlined in a report to President Bush, which explored solutions to reducing barriers in all areas of society for people with disabilities.

As head of the new office, Giannini will oversee the coordination of HHS disability issues and special initiatives. Preparations are currently underway to officially open the new office this fall.

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