Advancement of women with disabilities in STEM careers gets $1 million NSF award

The CREATE team applauds and congratulates AccessADVANCE, a new project that was recently awarded $1 million by the National Science Foundation. AccessADVANCE seeks to increase the participation and advancement of women with disabilities in academic science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers. 

There are relatively few women who currently hold faculty positions in STEM fields and even fewer with disabilities. This effort has the potential to impact both — women in general, because any faculty member may at some point become disabled, permanently or temporarily and women with disabilities who are trying to advance into STEM careers.

“To effectively support female STEM faculty, attention to disability issues must be woven into the entire sociotechnical ecosystem of STEM departments,” said Cecilia Aragon, a professor in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering and AccessADVANCE co-principal investigator. “Many diversity efforts, even those that aim to take an intersectional approach with regard to race and gender, do not address disability.”

Aragon and co-principal investigator Dr. Sheryl Burgstahler, founder and director of CREATE partner organizations DO-IT Center and UW Access Technology Center, will develop and expand an online Knowledge Base and other resources to share Q&As, case studies, and promising practices regarding institutional practices.

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