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AAAS Seeks Role Models with Disabilities for Unique Resource Directory
Scientists and engineers with disabilities are invited to be listed and to nominate others for inclusion in a unique resource being compiled by AAAS. The information in the prestigious Resource Directory of Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities will be used to overcome stereotypes and as a source of role models for educators, journalists and others.
"We want to tell the stories of real scientists and engineers with disabilities in order to change attitudes and remove barriers to success," explained Shirley Malcom, head of Education and Human Resources at AAAS and chair of the AAAS Center for Careers in Science and Technology.
Now entering its fourth edition, the directory be available upon request in print and CD-Rom formats, but participants' information will not be posted to the Internet. Research for the directory is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The Resource Directory will be useful in many quarters: grant-giving agencies seeking peer reviewers or consultants with disabilities; event planners in need of speakers; curriculum and technology developers; policy-makers; news reporters; students; counselors; faculty; and families. The directory also can help to promote networking among professionals with disabilities.
Today's scientists and engineers with disabilities face different challenges at school or work, compared with earlier generations. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 mandated access to higher education for qualified students with disabilities. The Education of All Handicapped Children Act (now know as IDEA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 also promoted educational and career opportunities for all. The individuals in the Resource Directory encompass all science and engineering disciplines and the full range of apparent and non-apparent disabilities.
"Documenting the accomplishments of many different scientists and engineers with disabilities is essential because misinformation about people with disabilities can limit their educational and occupational opportunities," said Virginia Stern, director of the AAAS Project on Science, Technology and Disability. "It is also important to accurately describe the needs of the disability community in order to develop effective support strategies, new assistive technologies, and improved curricula."
Individuals with disabilities who hold graduate or undergraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics are invited to participate in the Resource Directory. For more information about the project, contact Sabira Mohamed, email@example.com or (202) 326-8974 (v/tdd). Students who are pursuing scientific or technical careers may contact Laureen Summers, firstname.lastname@example.org for information about the ENTRY POINT! internship program.
10 October 2006