Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

Careers in STEM

Although the number of people with disabilities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) careers is relatively low, the success stories of those who do engage in them “demonstrate that opportunities do exist for those prepared to meet the challenges they encounter.” This is explained in the Forward of a comprehensive book, Perspectives of STEM Students with Disabilities: Our Journeys, Communities, and Big Ideas, available from the University of Washington. The publication organizes essays into three main themes: “journeys and pathways into STEM, the importance of a supportive community, and student reflections about how STEM fields can change the world.” Michael, one of the contributors, shares that he became interested in computers at a young age and began to learn how to program them in high school. Majoring in computer science at Binghamton University, where he thinks he was “the first blind CS major,” he launched an online gaming network, later interning with Amazon and then pursuing his career as a software engineer with the company. Aspiring mechanical engineer Shawn seeks work in the automotive industry, using “STEM to design new vehicles—ones that are safe, more efficient, and more reliable.” He was always interested in automobiles, but since he could not be a “race car driver due to my vision impairment,” Shawn decided to study what made cars, planes, and other mechanical objects work. He plans to continue using the “support and services available to me in my quest to achieve my goals.” Read much more about these and other journeys in Perspectives of STEM Students with Disabilities: Our Journeys, Communities, & Big Ideas.