AccessERC, AccessINCLUDES, and NNL Highlighted in Report from National Science Foundation

Scott Bellman, DO-IT Program Manager
NSF Engineering Research Center Program Report

Recently, the National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) Engineering Research Center (ERC) Program released a report that highlighted three DO-IT Programs AccessERC, AccessINCLUDES, and Neuroscience for Neurodiverse Learners (NNL).

As stated at the NSF ERC Association website, “The ERC program brings technology-based industry and universities together in an effort to strengthen the competitive position of American industry in the global marketplace. These partnerships established cross-disciplinary centers focused on advancing fundamental engineering knowledge and engineered systems technology while exposing students to the integrative aspects of engineered systems and industrial practice… [The program] has produced a new generation of engineering graduates who are highly innovative, diverse, globally engaged, and effective as technology leaders in industry.”

DO-IT has helped ensure that this new generation of engineering graduates includes students with disabilities. Through partnerships with the UW’s ERC, the Center for Neurotechnology (CNT), founded in 2011, DO-IT has received additional funding for the three projects mentioned above to carry the missions of the ERC Program and the CNT forward. 

In the Fiscal Year 2020 ERCs Program report, released in September 2022, NNL is highlighted in the section called “Culture of Diversity and Inclusion.” The report shares, for example, that “NNL is providing hands-on experiences in neuroscience disciplines, networking opportunities, and resources to high school and early post-secondary students identified as neurodiverse learners and will disseminate findings to teachers of courses related to neuroscience and, more broadly, to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.” Also stated in the report’s “Key Events” section, an article called “Center Promotes National Capacity Building” shares the work of AccessERC and AccessINCLUDES, which are designed to t to build a collaborative infrastructure for broadening participation in NSF-funded research and practice.