Increasing Access and Opportunity
In 1945, in an effort to educate the public on issues relating to disability and employment, the government declared the 1st week of October as “National Employ the physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, the word “physically” was dropped to include individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, it was expanded from one week to a full month and changed to National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NEDEAM).
This year's theme, “Increasing Access and Opportunity” reminds us of the importance of increasing the participation of students with disabilities in STEM. Programs like NSF’s Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) have contributed to knowledge regarding best-practices in designing STEM learning experiences for students with disabilities.
The following projects are doing their part in creating interest in STEM and building future opportunities within STEM fields for students with a variety of disabilities.