Disability and Careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

Disability and Careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

Elena Vladimirovna Fell (Tomsk Polytechnic University, Russia), Natalia Aleksandrovna Lukianova (Tomsk Polytechnic University, Russia & Tomsk State University, Russia) and Leonid Vladimirovich Kapilevich (Tomsk Polytechnic University, Russia & Tomsk State University, Russia)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3395-5.ch045

Abstract

According to official statistical data, people with disabilities are underrepresented in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) occupations and students with disabilities are underrepresented in STEM degree courses. This chapter surveys official reports produced by British and American authorities, as well as a number of media sources, in order to substantiate this claim. The authors' aim is to uncover the reasons behind disabled students being underrepresented in STEM courses and to sketch the vision for the future of disabled young people who may be interested in perusing careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
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Methodology

Using desktop research as a method of this enquiry, the authors survey official statistical data produced by the US and UK authorities extracting information relevant to disabled people’s employment in STEM professions and disabled students enrolled in STEM degree programs. The authors also examine official reports that contain relevant information about disabled people and STEM and draw on the disabled STEM professionals’ testimonies in order to ascertain that disabled people do indeed encounter specific difficulties whilst trying to pursue STEM careers, begin to understand the nature of those difficulties and evaluate future prospects for disabled people’s participation in STEM occupations. (Reaney, Gorra & Hassan, 2011)

Key Terms in this Chapter

Information Management: Management of cycles of organizational activity involving the acquisition, processing and distributing of information.

Pacemaker Dependent: A person whose heartbeat is fully regulated by a cardiac pacemaker.

End-User: The person who uses a product or service.

Institutional Support: Support that a person receives as a member of an organization.

Applied Sciences: A set of disciplines that are concerned with applying scientific knowledge to the development of practical applications.

Assistive Technology: Any technological devices that are purposefully designed to compensate the limitations of disabled peoples’ physical or other abilities.

Disabled People: Persons who have a physical or mental impairment (or impairments) which stand in the way of them following a path that is perceived as normal or expected by society.

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