Join The Conversation

This event is now closed. Thank you for participating and for your contributions to this online dialogue.

Encouraging People with Disabilities to Pursue Careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)

The report NCD-ODEP National Online Dialogue: Encouraging People with Disabilities to Pursue Careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics): Participation Metrics summarizes the dialogue’s results and includes the top ideas submitted by participants, determined by the number of votes. To view the report, click on this link: View File.

The White House's Champions of Change are proving that when the playing field is level, people with disabilities can excel in STEM, develop new products, create scientific inventions, open successful businesses, and contribute equally to the economic and educational future of our country. And that is why NCD and ODEP hosted this dialogue – to gather insight, ideas and recommendations on how to take the necessary steps to ensure job opportunities in the STEM fields are open to everyone, including people with disabilities, and that individuals with disabilities are able to secure and succeed in those positions.

The following two questions were considered during this dialogue:

  • Question 1:
    What can be done to encourage people with disabilities to pursue careers in the STEM fields?
  • Question 2:
    What can be done to support the successful employment of individuals with disabilities in the growing STEM fields?

Campaign: Education

Educate School Admissions Depts.

I obtained my BS in biochemistry in 2004, and then went looking for a PhD program for a decade in the field of cancer biology. Despite a great undergraduate record, including 3 years of novel research, good GRE scores, etc., I never got into one of them. Right now I am beginning to study rehabilitation counseling at Auburn University (my third master's degree program; finished the previous two in biology and public ...more »

Submitted by (@karenrossi2)

Voting

0 votes
0 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Campaign: Education

Better qualifications for Interpreters

As someone else described, ASL and other interpreters are often not qualified in terms of the content to work in STEM settings. interpreter training has improved now that certification by the registry interprets the requires an interpreter holds a bachelors degree. however there is still great room for improvement of interpreters who work in medical and scientific arenas. federal agencies such as the National Institutes ...more »

Submitted by (@garymichaelmorin)

Voting

1 vote
1 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Campaign: Accessible Workplace Settings

Supported Broadband Access, Helpers, Disability Hiring Adv

What many of us need since a number of us already have the education is: 1) supported universal access to fiber/DSL broadband where we live 2) Physical support at least once a week around the home. If we are placing our limited energies on the job, we have less energy to meet daily/monthly living needs like housework, errands, grocery shopping, etc. 3) Disability awareness and advantage hiring practices that can be ...more »

Submitted by (@melanies.reed)

Voting

0 votes
0 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Campaign: Training

Major Worker Group & Cost Cutting Industries

STEM is not the answer if leads to repetitive unemployment resulting from unstable markets. This topic really about labor markets because all the education, training and accessibility is for naught if jobs are limited or not available. It has been a firefight to stay employed in a STEM career. I started my career as a nurse but was not allowed to get licensed due to newly legislated physical requirements. Timing as today ...more »

Submitted by (@lalle916)

Voting

1 vote
1 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Campaign: Education

Teach Nemeth and computer codes to all blind children

The earlier one learns to read and write braille, the more likely that mastery is achieved. Strong braille skills in STEM-related codes enable blind persons to examine, analyze, and solve problems independently and effectively. Solving problems manually helps to create a foundation of STEM understanding that can subsequently be leveraged with the aid of computers. Introducing computers too early can inhibit core understanding. ...more »

Submitted by (@jamal.mazrui)

Voting

1 vote
1 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Campaign: Accessible Workplace Settings

Apply Section 508 to federal procurements of STEM software

Software for mathematical, statistical, or scientific analysis tends to lack compliance with accessibility guidelines, thereby posing difficulties for STEM students or professionals trying to succeed in a field of interest. If federal agencies applied due diligence in Section 508 market research and communication with potential vendors, incentives would be raised to correct accessibility problems in order to sell to ...more »

Submitted by (@jamal.mazrui)

Voting

2 votes
2 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Campaign: Education

Promote Advantages of Hiring Those With Disabilities

The relevant quote from an article follows: "In an economy where companies are facing serious talent shortages, workers with disabilities offer a great value proposition. They not only bring expertise and experience to the table, they help organizations create a more inclusive workplace culture, said Kathy Martinez, head of the ODEP. “Diversification breeds innovation,” she added." See the full article here: http://www.workforce.com/articles/20700-the-untapped-talent-pool-of-people-with-disabilities ...more »

Submitted by (@sharonaustin)

Voting

3 votes
3 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Campaign: Accessible Workplace Settings

Lead by Example

Most of us on this are in an organization of some size or scope, that at least marginally works with or for PWD. Are your organization's internal and external systems accessible? If not then you need to change that NOW! Section 508 and related laws have been on the books for years. If no federal money were spent on inaccessible software and hardware tools, then accessibility would not be the problem it is today. Phone ...more »

Submitted by (@neal00)

Voting

4 votes
4 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Campaign: Education

Public Health Advisor

Conduct public speaking efforts to educate youth and organizations serving youth with disabilies about STEM and other professional positions. Include any financial support for training programs that derive from Federal, State, and other areas.

Submitted by (@m.hhs1)

Voting

4 votes
4 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Campaign: Education

Improve Accessibility to GRE, MCAT, LSAT Examination

Many folks with disabilities encounter unrealistic barriers in taking graduate school and professional entrance exams. Some of these barriers include high test cost/price, excessive disability documentation, lack of reasonable accommodations, and lack of appropriate testing facilities for individuals with disabilities.

Submitted by (@hector.m.ramirez)

Voting

7 votes
7 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Campaign: Education

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 »

Submitted by (@bsd000)

Voting

4 votes
4 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Campaign: Education

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 »

Submitted by (@sharonaustin)

Voting

4 votes
4 up votes
0 down votes
Active