ResponsAbility at the USPTO

We focus on issues important to our USPTO colleagues, friends, and families with disabilities.

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  • Inventor Brad Rousseau shows off his Easy Lifter, a lifting device to carry wheelchair users down the stairs, at the 2012 USPTO Community Day in Alexandria, Va.
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Recent events and items of interest related to disability
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A list of disability related resources and tools
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About Us

About Us

ResponsAbility advances the ideal that disabled employees positively impact the workplace and provide an important and necessary perspective among the diverse voices that make up the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
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Alt Tag Discussion in DC

Accessibility DC will be holding a discussion regarding Alt tags On March 16, 6:30-8:30 pm. Attendance is free, but registration is required. For more information, visit the event page at EventBright.

Donate Your Leave For Mental Health

Note: this comes to ResponsAbility by way of our friends at Lambda PTO.


Dear Friend,

Can you consider donating Annual Leave to a friend in desperate need?  He works at HUD in Washington DC and due to a severe mental health emergency is in need of over 500 hours of donated Annual Leave.

Please fill out the form in the link below to donate however many Annual Leave hours you can and please consider sharing this with your friends/colleagues.

In the link below you will need to put in the Leave Recipient’s name and Agency/Branch/Location.

Step 1. Please write in:  Scott Sherman  HUD, PIH/REAC, HQ Washington, DC

Step 2. Write in the number of Annual Leave hours you want to donate.

Step 3.  Send the completed form to your HR official and send a copy to:   Please also send a copy to me.

Please be generous to a dear friend in need and fill out as quickly as possible.  The deadline to accept donated leave for Scott Sherman in Jan 15.

NOTE: ANY FEDERAL EMPLOYEE (Agency staff or military) may donate to Scott Sherman using the form in the link above.

Paul Berger Speech

This is a video of the speech Paul Berger delivered at the USPTO on October 6, 2015, as part of ResponsAbility’s NDEAM observance.

NDEAM Art Exhibit

NDEAM Exhibit

Oct 27 event flyer

Demonstration with Hall of Fame Inventor Garrett Brown

National Inventors Hall of Fame inductee Garrett Brown, the creator of the Steadicam and Hollywood cameraman for iconic films such as Rocky, Starwars, and Indiana Jones among others, will demonstrate his new invention at the USPTO on Friday, October 16, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. in the Madison Auditorium.

Always a great speaker and personality, Brown will be at the USPTO to demonstrate his newest invention, the Elevating Walker Chair, a device to assist people with mobility impairments. Attendees can try out the chair and discuss it with Brown and his co-Inventor Chris Fawcett.

This event is semi-open house. If you cannot come for the start, at least stop by to see the chair!

Description of event text with two pictures of a woman sitting in the elevating walking chair.

Reading and Meet and Greet with Author Paul Berger

To kick off National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), USPTO ResponsAbility, in conjunction with the PTOS Book club, is sponsoring an author reading with Paul Berger on Tuesday, October 6, from noon-1 p.m. in the Jefferson Building’s first floor conference center. Berger, whose book, How to Conquer the World with One Arm…and an Attitude, suffered a severe stroke at the age of 36, leaving him with multiple physical disabilities

According to the Center for Disease Control, stroke is one of the leading causes of serious long-term disabilities. In addition to reading from his book, Berger will also discuss his experience recovering from the stroke and the physical limitations it left him with, as well as the involuntary barriers he faced as a result of society’s perception of people with disabilities.

The book will not be sold at the event due to ethics; however, attendees may purchase it ahead of time and bring to the event for the author’s signing.

responsability_PTOS BOOKCLUB FLIER (10.6.15)

USPTO Job Fair

Do you have a background in electrical or computer engineering? Are you interested in working for one of the best places to work in the entire federal government? Come check out the USPTO regional job fair February 13-14 at the USPTO Madison Building in Alexandria, VA. Positions start at entry level, with promotional potential to GS-13. Great opportunity for recent college grads or seasoned engineers looking for a career change.

Visit the USPTO job fair Web page for more information.

Video: Book Reading with Patrick Ross

USPTO Deputy Chief Communications Officer Patrick Ross read from his newly published Committed: A Memoir of the Artist’s Road on December 9. Patrick’s book tells his story of coming to grips with bipolar disorder and facing his family’s history of mental illness while simultaneously finding his creative drive.

This event also featured a Q&A with Patrick following the reading, so be sure to watch the whole thing. Enjoy!

Video not working? see:

Reading Event with Deputy CCO Patrick Ross

author portrait of Patrick ROss

USPTO Deputy Chief Communications Officer Patrick Ross

 cover of book "Committed: A Memoir of the Artist's Road"


On December 9, 2014, USPTO’s Deputy Communications Officer Patrick Ross will read from his memoir Committed: A Memoir of the Artist’s Road from 12:15 – 1 p.m. in the Madison Auditorium North. The event is free and open to the public.

Patrick, who was recently featured in a New York Times column, has written a compelling narrative about coming to grips with his bipolar disorder and his family legacy of mental illness, and the challenges that brought on his desire to pursue creative endeavors. The memoir recounts his 2010 five-week cross-country road trip interviewing artists, musicians, and writers about the creative process. Committed has been critically acclaimed, with one reviewer calling it “a brave piece of writing and also a fascinating, meaningful one.”

A Q&A session with Patrick will follow the reading. The questions of “if” and “how” to disclose a disability is unique to each individual. This dialog will examine an important and sensitive issue but also one that is necessary to discuss.

Patrick will sign copies of the book; however, books will NOT be available for purchase at the event. Attendees who would like a signed copy are encouraged to purchase the book in advance. Additionally, Patrick will sign free bookplates that can be adhered to the inside of a book purchased at a later time.

The USPTO Madison Auditorium is located at:

600 Dulany Street
Alexandria, VA 22313
Concourse Level

Served by King Street Metro stop (Yellow and Blue lines) and Eisenhower Metro (Yellow line)
Street and garage parking both

event flyer. click for info