[Student in a wheelchair at a computer.]

A series of activities were undertaken to understand the underrepresentation and increase the participation of people with disabilities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers. These activities were funded by the Research in Disabilities Education (RDE) program of the National Science Foundation (NSF). They were coordinated by the Northwest Alliance for Access to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (AccessSTEM), which is directed by Sheryl Burgstahler.

Capacity Building Activities

AccessSTEM collaborated with three other Regional Alliances for Persons with Disabilities (RADs) to

AccessSTEM is a project of DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) at the University of Washington in Seattle. AccessSTEM serves to broaden participation in STEM fields through the inclusion of individuals with disabilities.

Goal and Outcomes

All of these activities support an NSF goal: "Working to broaden participation in science and engineering reinforces NSF's mandate to fund the best ideas from the most capable researchers and educators, now and in the future" (Investing in America's Future: Strategic Plan FY 2006-2011, NSF,, p. 3). AccessSTEM Capacity Building outcomes benefit society by making STEM opportunities available to more citizens and enhancing STEM fields with the perspectives of people with disabilities.

Audiences for These Materials

This booklet was created for people who: