AccessSTEM: The Alliance for Access to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)

Increasing the participation of people with disabilities in STEM fields

Image of a student using a laptop.

AccessSTEM and its partners support the following activities and resources.

Activities for Students with Disabilities

AccessSTEM helps students with disabilities pursue degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

  • AccessSTEM Team
    high school, college, and graduate students with disabiltites, including veterans, engage online with each other and with mentors and participate in internships and other opportunities
  • Opportunities!
    newsletter featuring activities in which participants can engage and useful resources
  • Online Student Lounge & Veterans Center
    comprehensive websites to help students with disabilities prepare for and succeed in college and careers

Activities for Faculty, Staff, and Employers

AccessSTEM builds the capacity of faculty, staff, STEM departments, employers and professional organizations to fully include students with disabilities.

  • Online Communities of Practice
    where professionals discuss strategies and share resources for promoting the participation of people with disabilities in STEM
  • Capacitiy-Building Institutes and Training
    on campuses and at conferences

AccessSTEM Longitudianal Transition Study (ALTS)

DO-IT tracks the progress of hundreds of participants in its projects that receive funding from the National Science Foundation. Results suggest that project interventions increase the success of students with disabilities transitioning to and succeeding in college and careers.


AccessSTEM shares resources.

  • Searchable Knowledge Base of questions and answers, case studies, and promising practices
  • Comprehensive Website to help students with disabilities prepare for and succeed in college and careers and help faculty and staff make opportunities accessible
  • Publications, Including Proceedings of capacity- building institutes, that explore issues related to students with disabilities and STEM fields
  • Videos of students with disabilities pursuing STEM fields, advice for educators, and accessibility guidelines for science labs and websites

Impact of Our Work

AccessSTEM outcomes benefit society by

  • enhancing STEM fields with the expertise and perspectives of people and disabilities and
  • making STEM opportunities available to more citizens.
Graph showing that the number of science and engineering employees in the workforce increased between 1983 and 2007.


A collaboration of:
University of Washington
College of Engineering
College of Education

Director: Sheryl Burgstahler
Manager: Scott Bellman


AccessSTEM is funded by the National Science Foundation as part of the Research in Disabilities Education program. (Award #HRD-0227995, #HRD-0833504)