With the advent of accessible technology, more students have gone further in higher education to pursue STEM degrees.
According to a study conducted by the National Science Foundation, students with disabilities are now just as likely to enroll in science, technology, engineering, and math fields when they pursue higher education. The study also found that 11 percent of the undergraduate population in STEM has a disability. Recent updates to technology and education endeavors that boost accessibility could help level the playing field and encourage everyone to pursue a STEM degree.
Increased Access to Tech Tools
Accessibility is key in order to inspire all children to pursue a degree in STEM, if they wish to do so. With accessibility in mind, the team at Microsoft continues to expand the capabilities and availability of the tools that help students achieve success.
STEM technology can help students with low-incidence disabilities pursue their dreams and not be limited by their disability. It helps students with things like social skills, hand-eye coordination, and STEM skills.
STEM technology also helps students with autism or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder succeed because of their tendency to be hands-on learners.
Students with disabilities see the world in different ways. This means they have to problem-solve and think about things differently, something that science and math require for success. Kids with disabilities and math and science go hand-in-hand.
Technology created to assist these students can only benefit science and research. For example, Wanda Diaz Merced is an astrophysicist who studies the stars with one setback: she is blind. By creating the data into sonification waves (a fancy term for sound waves) she could hear the minute differences to detect patterns never before seen by the graphs and visual representations.