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Success in STEM
The Future of Science and Technology
As the fields of science and technology become more accommodating to people with disabilities, it
is up to qualified people with disabilities to contribute to the development of the sciences. Scientists
with disabilities need to step up and show the scientific community that the resources, research
time, hours of study, and funding that have been spent on adaptive technology and Universal
Design have been worthwhile.
One way in which scientists with disabilities can contribute to their chosen field is to take the
plunge into the lengthy and challenging process of earning a Ph.D. The research that is contributed
to their field’s body of knowledge will expand the frontiers of science. Also, the education of
young scientists in the classroom, and of the general public and policy makers outside the
classroom, will highlight the benefits of making accommodations for scientists with disabilities. By
publicly contributing back to the sciences, the accommodations that have previously been made
to the trailblazers of scientists with disabilities will have been justified, the impetus for future
accommodations will be even greater, and a more representative population of scientists will be
created with all of the diversity and perspective that comes along with it.
The following are profiles of five academics with disabilities who were successfully accommodated
during their education and careers, and whose educations or experiences are today enabling them
to make major contributions to their fields of research.