Science Teacher Association: Access to Science: Accommodations and Universal Design Capacity Building Institutes (2006)

Two AccessSTEM Capacity-Building Institutes (CBIs) were offered in cooperation with the annual conferences of two state science teacher associations: the Washington Science Teachers Association (WSTA) and the Oregon Science Teachers Association (OSTA). They were conducted by the Northwest Alliance for Access to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (AccessSTEM) with the goal of building capacity of projects to include students with disabilities in STEM.

Historically, classroom accommodations (e.g., handouts in Braille or large print, a personal assistant) are provided to students with disabilities after they enroll in a course. The emerging field of universal design has opened the doors to a more efficient and inclusive approach to accessibility in the classroom. Universal design builds in accessibility features and minimizes the need for accommodation. The CBIs provided hands-on experience, instructional tools, and resources to participants that model universal design in real word situations with the goal of broadening participation of students with disabilities in STEM fields.