As increasing numbers of people with disabilities pursue educational opportunities at all levels, the accessibility of campus facilities and physical spaces increases in importance. The goal is simply equal access; everyone who visits your campus should be able to do so comfortably and efficiently.
As increasing numbers of people with disabilities participate in academic opportunities and careers, the accessibility of classes, services, electronic resources, events, and specific project activities increases in importance. The goal is simply equal access; everyone who qualifies to use project resources or participate in sponsored activities should be able to do so comfortably and efficiently.
As scientific fields make increasing use of technology, new opportunities emerge for people with a variety of abilities. When students with disabilities and science teachers form learning partnerships, the possibilities for academic and career success multiply. Some students with disabilities have conditions that are invisible; some are visible. Their challenges include gaining knowledge and demonstrating knowledge. In most cases, it takes just a little creativity, patience, and common sense to make it possible for everyone to learn and contribute.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments of 2008 prohibit discrimination against individuals with disabilities.
According to federal law, no otherwise qualified individual with a disability shall, solely by reason of his or her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity of a public entity.
An approach for addressing needs of individuals with disabilities
Students with disabilities face access challenges to typical science labs in precollege and postsecondary settings. Access barriers may prevent a student from:
As scientific fields make increasing use of technology, new opportunities emerge for people with a broad range of abilities and disabilities. When students with disabilities and science teachers form learning partnerships, the possibilities for academic and career success multiply.
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and other federal and state legislation require that schools make programs accessible to students with disabilities. People with disabilities are underrepresented in many challenging careers, including those in science, technology, mathematics, and engineering (STEM). Negative stereotyping and attitudes are reported as the most significant factors faced by people with disabilities in these fields.
Examples of products to help make science labs accessible to all students.