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Accessible Workplace Settings

Employers need education on the ADA

I am writing on behalf of one of my students with disabilities. He says that one of the barriers to getting a job is that the employers are unfamiliar with ADA requirements, and that some of the paperwork for ADA says that anyone with a disability has to have adaptive equipment to fulfill the requirement for the job. Many employers are unaware of this, do not have the paperwork, or are unwilling to provide the assistive... more »

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Education

Camps for kids w/ disabilities about STEM

Has anyone heard of WizKidz Science and Technology Centers? Seems pretty cool that they hold various campus and other programs for kids with disabilities interested in STEM:

"WizKidz Science and Technology Centers developed the S.T.E.A.D.Y Academy initiative to spark and enhance students' with disabilities interest in science and technology education, two areas that fall short for servicing students with disabilities.... more »

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Employers Partnering with Advocacy Groups

This is an article about a startup, Ultra Testing, a software-testing firm. Some excerpts from the article:

"ULTRA Testing was founded in 2012 by a pair of former MIT roommates, Rajesh Anandan and Art Shectman. Anandan, who also works as SVP of strategic partnerships for the global charity UNICEF, has always believed that people with disabilities are likely to have hidden talents that others fail to notice.

"Even in... more »

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Targeted Funding for PWD at All Career Levels

One of the biggest determinants of continuance and success in STEM careers is the availability of funding. NIH, NSF and other graduate fellowships, career awards and the like give researchers the freedom to pursue their own goals and give institutions the freedom to allow them to do it. If PWD were given targeted opportunities for these types of funding, their representation could be encouraged at all of these levels.... more »

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Sign Language interpreting proficiency

(This may apply to other disability support services as well.)
I have classified the topic as "accessible workplace" but this applies to interpreters for education also. How can a student pass a course, when the interpreter did not communicate it all?
All too often, the interpreter just doesn't understand enough STEM to proficiently interpret the event. The interpreter's speciality is linguistics, not science. Many interpreters... more »

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Access to professional conferences

For many STEM careers, professional conferences and more frequent/brief meetups are an important site for training and professional/career development. (We tend to think of academia here, but it's also very big in my own field of software engineering.)

I don't have a solution exactly, but: there are lots of potential access problems (physical location, access to communication & materials for deaf and blind, I'm sure... more »

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RN

The working world falls far short on granting work related accommodations
to those with physical and mental disabilities. As employees we fall short on requesting accommodations in our workplaces, for a multitude of reasons.
Notably one of the leading offenders of
taunting, humiliating and bullying their own (the disabled or different, often targeted) is the nursing profession,
where such conduct requires a zero tolerance,... more »

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Education

Webinars and software tools for students

FYI on an upcoming webinar. This is from EASI (Equal Access to Software and Information):

EASI Webinar: Math Education for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Tuesday, August 12 at 11 Pacific, noon Mountain, 1 Central and 2 PM Eastern

Presenters: Dave Schleppenbach and Wunji Lau from gh, LLC

Almost all STEM fields require high competence in mathematics, a subject that is notoriously difficult to effectively present to... more »

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Training

Mentoring and Career Development for Graduate Study

As a graduate student with an invisible disabilities, I have found that what has hindered my career in STEM the most are two things: the lack of mentors with disabilities and tailored career development. The majority of STEM training at the graduate level assumes able-bodied functioning. The trainers are, by presentation, predominately able-bodied as well. Given the academic setting, these trainers, while able to serve... more »

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Community College as Pathway to STEM

A number of programs exist to evaluate community colleges in their efforts to recruit underrepresented groups in STEM. Local community colleges and high schools could coordinate efforts to identify and recruit promising students with disabilities as part of the transition process. Programs for adult learners with disabilities could also be useful as well.

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Education for Job Coaches

I ran across that the most Job Coaches are unaware of high functioning and low functioning people with disabilities. So there is a tendency to treat people with autism the same and one size fits all. To me this shows a lack or awareness and education of the Job Coach. In some cases people with cognitive and developmental disabled are lump as intellectual disabled when they clearly are not.

It means to find work... more »

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Employment System

The problem is that employment full time and with benefits is hard to find in some areas. There is a preconceive that people with disabilities are not employable and government will provide for them. If a person is disabled seeking full time employment is taking a job away from non-disabled. Also the workplace accommodations are going be super expensive. In some cases this true but most it is not.

For example I... more »

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Of possible interest: Free upcoming webinar

We invite you to join us for the DIAGRAM Center's upcoming free Webinar: “New Models for Creating Accessible Interactive Widgets for STEM Learning” on Thursday, August 7, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. Pacific (2:00 p.m. Eastern; 19:00 GMT). The webinar will be presented by NCAM's Madeleine Rothberg, and Kyle Keane from Wolfram Research, and you can register using the link included here.

 

http://diagramcenter.org/webinars.html

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Disclosure and workplace culture

I'd like to share this blog post by The Third Glance, an autistic person's experiences in academia and science. Here's a short excerpt that highlights the challenges of disclosure of disability in the workplace:

"One of the things that I’ve mentioned before, is that while I am diagnosed autistic, and being autistic impacts many parts of my life in ways that other people just don’t ever experience, I am not “out” as autistic... more »

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Internal motivation by focusing on disability-related goals

As this recent article indicates, internal motivation is the strongest (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/06/opinion/sunday/the-secret-of-effective-motivation.html). As a person with a disability involved in a STEM career focused on that disability, I can say that the motivation that I have to try and improve the mostly inadequate AT and DME that I use is stronger than that that motivates most non-disabled engineers. I've... more »

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