People who are deaf or hard of hearing experience a higher level of unemployment and under employment. In today's world, many products have been created to support interaction between deaf and non-deaf individuals. Work in accessible technology and other computing fields is a lucrative career opportunity, potentially for everyone. Having strong computing skills is essential because of the role of computers in almost every field.
There is ongoing debate surrounding the best language to use when referring to individuals on the autism spectrum. Some prefer “a person who is autistic” or “a person who is on the autism spectrum” (e.g., person-first language), while some prefer “an autistic person” (e.g., identity-first language).
There are various resources for helping neurodivergent job seekers find jobs and careers. For example, the Neurodiversity Career Connector includes a collection of employers committed to hiring neurodivergent employees as well as providing additional training and support to foster success and career growth. The Neurodiversity in the Workplace combines job posting services with business consultancy services, to help businesses develop policies and services to support neurodiverse employees.
There are many ways to learn about the experiences of people with disabilities, even if you do not interact with them directly. Many books and articles offer stories about people with disabilities, but many people with disabilities have also shared their own experiences through books, articles, videos, blog posts, and other sources.
"Intersectionality" refers to the fact that individuals have multiple identities, with respect to gender, race, ethnicity, age, marital status, socioeconomic status, disability, etc. Those working with individuals with disabilities should recognize that the interaction of these identities influences a person's experiences, perspectives, and other aspects of their life.
Ableism is a pervasive system of discrimination that privileges people without disabilities and disadvantages people with disabilities. Like other forms of oppression for marginalized groups, ableism can occur in interactions between individuals, in institutions, between individuals and organizations, within social systems, and as part of social norms, expectations, and policies. Ableist thinking suggests that there is a "normal" way to live life, where certain abilities are essential to inclusion and happiness.
Researchers, practitioners, and people with disabilities have expressed many different perspectives, often called models, about what it means to have a disability. An embraced model of disability can influence what people consider to be the causes of the marginalization of people with disabilities in societies; within different historical periods, these beliefs have impacted the creation and implementation of legislation, policies, and practices. Although terminology and definitions vary and can change over time, below are short descriptions of some overarching models of disability.
Informal science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning (ISL) refers to learning outside the traditional classroom setting in places such as museums, science centers, and summer camps.
There are several organizations that are interested in increasing the participation of people with disabilities in computer science, at both the preK-12 level and the postsecondary level.