Communities of Practice

Image of two people collaborating at the 2014 AccessSTEM CBI

With supplement funding, DO-IT engages the stakeholders described before along with other national leaders within Communities of Practice (CoPs). CoPs share perspectives and expertise and identify practices that promote the participation of people with disabilities in STEM fields.


This CoP is populated with K-12 and postsecondary educators and administrators interested in promoting the success of students with disabilities in STEM courses and careers. Participants

  • exchange ideas and suggestions for future collaboration and funding.
  • gain and share knowledge and help identify issues related to the underrepresentation of people with disabilities in STEM fields.
  • discuss promoting people with disabilities to professional STEM organizations so that members can help these organizations make their websites accessible, their conferences accessible
    to attendees with disabilities, and their conference programs inclusive of disability-related topics.
  • help plan, attend, and/or recruit others to participate in the project/CoP.
  • provide content for DO-IT’s searchable Knowledge Base.
  • identify STEM events to which stakeholders and students might be invited.
  • discuss how to include accessibility topics in STEM curricula.
  • encourage targeting articles to STEM publications.

Broadening Participation CoP

Individuals who administer projects that serve to broaden participation in STEM fields

  • discuss how to recruit participants with disabilities and accommodate them in their programs and activities and how to make their offerings more accessible overall.
  • co-sponsor events and discuss potential new projects and share funding possibilities.

Disability Services CoP

Comprised of disability service professionals from community and K-12 schools, technical colleges, four-year colleges,  and universities. Members of this CoP

  • deliver presentations to faculty in order to share information about accommodations and campus services for students with disabilities.
  • work with educators and administrators to invite students with disabilities to career fairs, lectures, and other events; work with groups to make sure activities are accessible; and help bring speakers with disabilities and exhibits that focus on disability-related topics.
  • develop transition and bridge workshops and help other CoP members develop such activities.

Universal Design in Higher Education CoP

Those interested in exploring universal design (UD) and its applications in higher education discuss

  • promising practices for infusing universal design on postsecondary campuses, and
  • applying UD to all educational opportunities that include instruction, technology, student services and physical spaces.

Veterans CoP

Populated by veterans with disabilities, service providers, and volunteer mentors, members of this CoP

  • discuss how to recruit veterans with disabilities and accommodate them in their programs and activities.
  • share common concerns in their practices, and identify problems, goals, and concerns.
  • develop internships, academies, and workshops to complement their program activities.

How to Join a CoP

You and your colleagues can join CoPs by sending the following information to

  • CoP you would like to join
  • name
  • position/title
  • institution
  • postal address
  • email address