People with psychiatric disabilities face barriers to employment both in the larger community and within the mental health system itself. Strategies used to affirmatively employ people with psychiatric disabilities as research personnel in an evaluation of community mental health services are described in this article. Our goal was to address two critical issues in the provision and evaluation of mental health services: the importance of meaningful work and productivity in the lives of people with psychiatric disabilities, and obtaining valid and reliable data regarding the effectiveness of community mental health services. A three-phase methodology for developing affirmative employment opportunities is presented, consisting of three components: affirmative planning, affirmative support, and affirmative rigour and method. The methodology is intended as a guide to assist evaluators and researchers in fulfilling the vision of the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Employment Equity Act.