Welcome to AccessSTEM Spotlights!


You'll want to get to know the people pursuing challenging academic programs and careers and engaging in an innovative coalition called AccessSTEM.

This publication spotlights AccessSTEM leaders and participants, facilitates communication among the participants, and shares their progress with others. Its purpose is to bring community members together, demonstrate the vast capabilities of STEM students with disabilities, provide information to STEM recruiters for internships and career positions, and describe project activities.

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The Alliance for Students with Disabilities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (AccessSTEM) serves to increase the number of people with disabilities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers by encouraging students with disabilities to pursue STEM fields and then supporting those who show an interest and aptitude in STEM. Hosted by the DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) Center at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle, AccessSTEM is a project funded by the National Science Foundation (grant #HRD-0227995 and #HRD-0833504). Since 1992, DO-IT has engaged in programs to increase the success of college-capable students with disabilities as they pursue challenging academic programs and careers.

Individuals included in this publication are members of the AccessSTEM Team. Team members engage in an online community of peers, near peers, and professionals to discuss academic challenges, social life, accommodations, assistive technology, research projects, and other topics. Mentors, most of whom have disabilities themselves, provide guidance and offer resources. Students engage in paid internships, workshops and conferences, leadership experiences, and research opportunities as they transition to college, graduate school, and employment. AccessSTEM students attend in-person events on college campuses that include Bellevue College (BC), Seattle Central Community College (SCCC), and the UW. Events are designed to increase knowledge about STEM fields and develop student networks of professional and social contacts.

Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph.D. Director, DO-IT and UW Accessible Technology Centers College of Engineering/UW Information Technology/College of Education University of Washington, Seattle