Background


[Student in a wheelchair at a computer.]

The National Science Foundation reports that people with disabilities are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) studies and careers. The National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Organization on Disabilities, and other leaders have identified barriers to STEM success to include

The National Science Foundation and others report evidence-based practices to increase the participation of underrepresented groups in STEM to include

The following figure presents a model of how AccessSTEM project interventions are used to lead students with disabilities through critical junctures to pursuing STEM careers.

This model is a flowchart listing the following critical junctures: graduation from high school, graduation from 2-year college in STEM field, graduation from 4-year college in STEM field, graduation from graduate school in STEM, STEM career position. Then it lists transition steps between these junctures and project inputs than can help individuals move from one juncture to another. Project inputs are peer, near-peer, mentor, and family support; identification and utilization of resources; technology access; activities to develop STEM interests; activities to develop self-determination; academic accommodations, including in STEM; academic support, including in STEM; college preparation activities, preparation for graduate school, career preparation and work-based learning activities, paid internships in STEM; research experiences in STEM, and employment accommodations.