Resources For Supporting Students with Disabilities Pursuing STEM
The following resources may be of interest to students with disabilities and to those supporting students with disabilities pursuing STEM academic programs and careers.
All of the following resources can be accessed from the DO-IT website at www.uw.edu/doit.
The following projects relate to increasing the success of people with disabilities in STEM careers.
In a partnership led by the DO-IT Center, AccessSTEM serves to increase the participation of people with disabilities in STEM careers. Outreach and dissemination efforts extend nationwide.
The purpose of AccessComputing is to increase the participation of people with disabilities in computing careers. Outreach and dissemination efforts extend nationwide. AccessComputing is a partnership between the DO-IT Center and the Department of Computer Science at the University of Washington.
Communities of Practice (COPs)
The DO-IT Center at the University of Washington hosts online CoPs for multiple stakeholder groups. Communicating using email, members of CoPs share perspectives and expertise and identify practices that promote the participation and success of people with disabilities in education and careers. Multiple CoPs directly relate to STEM, including the STEM Educators CoP; AccessCyberlearning CoP; AccessCSForAll CoP; Broadening Participation CoP; Computing Faculity, Administrator, and Employer CoP; and Accessible Information Technology CoP. To learn more about these CoPs, visit www.uw.edu/doit/resources/communities-practice.
The following publications, knowledge base, and videos showcase how to make STEM more accessible to, welcoming to, and usable by people with disabilities.
Accessible Science Equipment
Sometimes all it takes for a student with a disability to participate in a science activity is planning ahead when selecting products for a science lab. Below are examples of products the DO-IT Center has purchased to make science activities accessible to all students.
Checklist for making Science Labs Accessible to Students with Disabilities
A series of strategies for implementing universal design and accessibility into science and STEM labs. This activity leads to greater awareness and more inclusive learning environments.
Accessibility Reviews of Informal Science Education Facilities and Programs
AccessSTEM team members engage in opportunities to review science programs or facilities where they earn a stipend plus the cost of the visit, if they submit an accessibility review form. This promising practice increases student knowledge of accessible science, and increases the awareness of accessibility issues for staff members at informal science education facilities. This practice can adopt the practice and includes worksheets and instructions.
The DO-IT searchable Knowledge Base currently contains over 700 Case Studies, Promising Practices, and Q&As regarding accessibility of technology, college, graduate school, and careers for individuals with disabilities. Some sample articles from the Knowledge Base include the following:
- Are there guidelines for describing STEM images within digital talking books?
- The Elevator Pitch Contest: A Promising Practice for Preparing STEM Students with Disabilities for Employment
- What affects the self-efficacy of postsecondary students with disabilities in STEM fields?
- What are key issues for increasing the successful participation of individuals with disabilities in STEM fields?
- Where can I find training materials for making STEM instruction accessible?
- Where can I learn about sign language for STEM fields?
The following videos promote the success of people with disabilities, particularly in school and work settings. DO-IT videos play in Able Player, a custom accessible media player with audio description and transcripts provided. They can be downloaded or viewed at www.uw.edu/doit/do-it-videos. The Search Video Library feature enables users to search the full text of all videos and begin playing videos at specific start times from the search results.
- STEM and People with Disabilities
- Equal Access: Universal Design of an Academic Department
- Captions: Improving Access to Postsecondary Education
- Working Together: People with Disabilities and Computer Technology