DO-IT Hosts AccessSTEM Capacity Building Institute

Valerie Sundby, DO-IT Staff

January 10-12, 2007—Thirty leaders of National Science Foundation (NSF) projects that promote the participation of women, ethnic/racial minorities, and people with disabilities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) gathered in Seattle for the AccessSTEM Capacity Building Institute (CBI). This CBI provided a forum for comparing recruitment and access challenges, sharing successful practices, developing collaborations, and otherwise increasing the capacity of all NSF-funded projects to serve individuals with disabilities. The ultimate goal of the CBI was to increase the participation of individuals with disabilities in programs that support STEM participation of other underrepresented groups.

Presentation and discussion topics included barriers encountered by individuals with disabilities (e.g., access to science labs, field trips, technology, information resources); successful strategies for recruiting and retaining individuals with disabilities into STEM fields; how projects that support other underrepresented groups can work to recruit and support individuals with disabilities to maximize outcomes; and how all STEM programs can be made more inclusive of individuals with disabilities by applying universal design principles and offering accommodations. The outcomes of these discussions are published as part of the AccessSTEM CBI Proceedings at