DRobotZ was designed to better expose and prepare students who are deaf or hard of hearing to college life and computing careers. With funding from AccessComputing, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) developed and hosted a two-week residential summer camp in Rochester, New York for high school freshmen and sophomores who are deaf and hard of hearing.
Despite legislation established to allow students with disabilities to fully participate in classrooms, there is still a prominent gap in the science performance of students with and without disabilities (National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2005). While expectations for students with disabilities have increased considerably, the instructional materials used in the science classroom generally remain limited to printed text and paper-and-pencil activities. Often, these static media pose barriers in learning for students with disabilities, who are often struggling readers.
The National Federation of the Blind Youth Slam is for high school students with visual impairments who want to engage in challenging activities designed to build confidence and increase science literacy. At the 2007 and 2009 Youth Slam events, teams from the University of Washington offered instant messaging (IM) chatbots as a topic for student in the computer science track.
Course curricula can be enriched by integrating accessibility for people with disabilities as a topic for discussion and application. Students whose education includes an opportunity to learn about accessibility may be more likely to practice accessible design techniques and implement universal design in their future careers.
Dr. Stephanie Ludi, software engineering professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, is working to increase the participation of people with visual impairments in computing fields. The Robotics Track, part of the 2009 National Federation of the Blind Youth Slam summer camp, is designed for high school students who have visual impairments and would like to learn more about computing.
Washington MESA's mission is to assist "underrepresented students in Washington State achieve their full potential and contribute in the fields of mathematics, engineering, and science". MESA—which stands for Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement—is a network of state-level programs with similar goals.
The Kindergarten Bridge program in the Mount Vernon School District serves children of kindergarten-age, providing them with opportunities to learn the academic and social skills necessary to be successful in school. Each child in the program has an individualized education plan (IEP) with goals and objectives developed to meet their needs.
The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) invited a group of thirty high school seniors with disabilities, along with their teachers and parents, to a transition event. The UAA Transition to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) event exposes students, teachers, and parents to STEM programs on campus and facilitates the transition from high school to college.
Yes. Here are a few examples: