Celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month
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).
The theme for NDEAM 2022, “Disability: Part of the Equity Equation,” recognizes the important role people with disabilities play in a diverse and inclusive American workforce. 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.
Science Technology Engineering and Math: Developing Education and Career Opportunity Systems
This project will advance efforts of the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program to better understand and promote practices that increase student motivations and capacities to pursue careers in fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) by developing, testing, and disseminating tools and strategies for increasing awareness of STEM-related careers among high school students with disabilities. Participants in the project will include students having learning, emotional, developmental, or physical disabilities who are eligible for special education services under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act of 2004, and their teachers.
Project-Based Learning Opportunities and Exploration of Mentorship for Students with Visual Impairments in STEM
This project will seek to better understand and advance the awareness and persistence toward STEM-related careers by middle and high school students with visual impairments (VI). The project will accomplish these goals by providing VI students with opportunities for accessible project-based learning and mentorship from a VI professional working in a STEM field.
Neuroscience for Neuro-diverse Learners
The University of Washington will provide technology-rich, hands-on experiences in neuroscience disciplines for high school and early postsecondary students (ages 16-21) identified as "neuro-diverse learners" those with academic challenges related to conditions such as dyspraxia, dyslexia, and, autism spectrum disorder and disseminate findings to teachers of courses that are related to neuroscience and, more broadly, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
Enhancing Engagement and Conceptual Understanding of Fractions for Students with Learning Disabilities using the Model Mathematics Education Curriculum
The Enhancing Engagement and Conceptual Understanding of Fractions for Students with Learning Disabilities using the Model Mathematics Education Curriculum is a Developing and Testing Innovations (DTI) project in the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program. This project advances efforts of ITEST program by developing an integrated curriculum for 4th - 6th grade students with learning disabilities and difficulties to increase engagement in and understanding of fraction concepts.
Creating and testing data science learning tools for secondary students with disabilities
The main goal of this collaborative project is to create and evaluate a universally accessible data science infrastructure for high-school-aged learners, with a focus on students with disabilities. Data science is critical in the development of industry-relevant computational thinking skills. Computing initiatives, including data science, are rapidly growing at the preschool-12th grade level because of the compelling career pathways that data science skills provide.
Inclusion, Disabilities, and Informal Science Learning
Inclusion, Disabilities, and Informal Science Learning, a report by the CAISE Access Inquiry Group, offers a theoretical framework for thinking about inclusion of people with disabilities in informal science education (ISE), then reviews current practice in museums (broadly defined), in media and technology, and in youth and community programs.
The Invention Factory: Student Inventions Aid Individuals with Disabilities
The Invention Factory is a nontraditional youth-based, after-school program in Honolulu that teaches information technology and mechanics to teenagers through interactive, hands-on projects that improve human computer interaction for individuals with disabilities.
STELAR Webinar: Creating Inclusive STEM Opportunities for Students with Disabilities: Formal Settings - part 1
On April 11, STELAR hosted part 1 of a two-part webinar series showcasing six ITEST projects work on designing inclusive STEM learning environments and opportunities for students with disabilities in both formal and informal settings.
STELAR Webinar: Creating Inclusive STEM Opportunities for Students with Disabilities: Informal Settings
On April 13, STELAR hosted part two of a webinar series showcasing three ITEST projects’ work on designing inclusive STEM learning environments and opportunities for students with disabilities in both formal and informal settings.