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Accommodating kids w/ disabilities at STEM camps

Hi everyone! We're very excited to hear about your ideas on how to encourage people with disabilities to go into STEM careers.

Summer camps for kids about STEM are very popular. I was disheartened to hear about a young girl w/ cystic fibrosis and her experience at a recent camp for girls interested in STEM.

http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/San-Diego-Teen-Discrimination-AAWU-Summer-Camp-Cystic-Fibrosis-268205372.html... more »

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Collaborate with Higher Ed and Disability

In the ADA era, more people with disabilities are entering two and four-year colleges than ever. As an aspiring professional (non-STEM), I found it very intimidating because there were no clear role models for me as someone with a disability; nor much awareness on the part of college or employers of candidates with disabilities.

What I think is needed is much closer collaboration between disability specialists and traditional... more »

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Accessible Tools

While technology can be enormously empowering for students with disabilities, design choices can cause students to become marginalized because educational tools are not designed for accessibility. We need a focused effort to improve STEM resources such as online courses, text editors, math editors, math textbooks, virtual science experiments and the like. This requirement is particularly important in education but carries... more »

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Allow / Encourage SWD STEM Participation in Middle & High School

SWD are not allowed into the same robust STEM programs as their non disabled peers in Middle and HS. We must promote and prepare them to take STEM courses in K-12 if we want to encourage them to peruse STEM careers.

Schools should be incentivized to support inclusive school environments instead of exclusive tracking practices. We know first hand, students who excel in science and math, yet struggle with other areas... 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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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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Education

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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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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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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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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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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Employer Education on Interview Process

My student has said that he has gone to interviews, and when the interviewers saw him in person, they assumed that he could not perform certain physical tasks. They were unaware that "Abilities.org" had already certified him to be competent at his task. (Forgive me for not giving more specifics on Abilities.org, I am writing as the student is sitting besides me, and I want to get these thoughts down--I'll try to provide... more »

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Show PWD how to promote their assets

In regards to the question, "What can be done to encourage people with disabilities to pursue careers in the STEM fields?"

A generally "forgotten" aspect to those with disabilities is showing those same people how those disabilities are actually an asset.

It is well known in the Arts that "one must suffer" for their art, and some of the greatest art of all time has come from this. Beethoven wrote some of the greatest... more »

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No one-size-fits-all solution

A multifaceted approach is certainly needed that includes AT to perform STEM activities as independently as possible as well as practical educational and training experiences for PWDs. STEM higher education and careers often require significant hands-on training, which can be difficult for PWDs. But there are many ways to overcome these physical obstacles. Unfortunately, attitudinal barriers can be as equally daunting... more »

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