Strategies to Improve the Inclusion of Students with Disabilities in STEM - a Review

Date

2023

Authors

Iglesias, Miguel

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Abstract

Students with disabilities often encounter ableism when pursuing an education or career in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Barriers are found in the classroom, laboratory, and interactions with faculty and students. These obstacles have negative impacts on the educational and career outcomes of the students who face them. Despite these difficulties, students with disabilities still seek out degrees and careers in the STEM fields, often with great success. Having proper support, mentorship and access to accommodations enables even more students with disabilities to have positive experiences in STEM. Thus, it is important that those without disabilities help reduce barriers that may currently exist; though, to do so can be a daunting task for professors and students. This is especially true for those who may be unaware of how to support their peers with disabilities. Thankfully, numerous solutions and strategies to combat common problems have already been developed and explored. These solutions, and the barriers they eliminate will be described for students who are blind or visually impaired, those with disabling hearing loss, and finally those with an autism spectrum disorder. Learning about these barriers and their respective solutions will enable others to promote and create a more inclusive environment in the fields of STEM.

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Keywords

STEM education., Inclusivity., Ableism.

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