Work Accommodations in STEM Occupations

CATEA has a particular interest in access to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), both in school and in the workplace.

STEM Teachers with Disabilities

CATEA, with funding from the National Science Foundation, conducted a study of the work experiences of and workplace accommodations used by K-12 and postsecondary STEM educators. Specifically, this project investigated the strategies and technologies that might help a person with a disability enter science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) education, return to work after acquiring a disability, or to counter the difficulties in performing work tasks due to aging. Not only do people with disabilities provide a large untapped source of STEM educators, but their presence in the classroom may encourage students with disabilities to consider STEM professions.

Scientists and Engineers (and a few Doctors) with Disabilities

Several resources are available that provide personal stories or case studies of STEM professionals with disabilities.

  • Working Chemists with Disabilities
    Several chemists across the United States describe their experiences as scientists with disabilities, and their paths to success in chemistry [published by The American Chemical Society’s Committee on Chemists with Disabilities].
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing Professionals in Science
    Gallaudet University, a liberal arts university for the deaf and hard of hearing in Washington D.C., provides links to several deaf and hard of hearing scientists’ websites.
  • Roadmaps & Rampways: Profiles of Students with Disabilities in Science, Math, Engineering and Technology
    Roadmaps & Rampways chronicles the journeys of three dozen students from childhood to higher education in science, engineering, or mathematics, and on through their early career decisions.
  • “Making a difference: Why people with disabilities feel at home working at the Shepherd Center” by Dan Sadowsky
    The Spring 2006 Newsletter from the Shepherd Center rehabilitation hospital in Atlanta tells the stories of several of its employees with disabilities.
  • Work RERC Accommodation Examples: