Power Grid Blog
Champions of Change for STEM Equality Honored at White House Event
May 8, 2012 | AAPD Power Grid Blog Team
On May 7, AAPD staff members were privileged to attend a White House event recognizing 14 people as “Champions of Change” for people with disabilities in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). The honorees are working to develop new products, contribute to educational opportunities, and pave the way – both through mentoring and by example-- for people with disabilities to pursue STEM education and careers. The event showcased the Champions’ work by means of two panels—one moderated by Rhonda Basha of the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, and the other moderated by Alexa Posny, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the U.S. Department of Education.
It is clear that the STEM fields are producing some of the best career opportunities in today’s economy—and tomorrow’s. Many people perceive major barriers to pursuing the science or math education that is a necessary prerequisite to these career paths. For young people with disabilities, the barriers are often higher. Many are discouraged, subtly or explicitly, from pursuing these courses of study. Some experience discrimination. Others lack access to accessible learning materials. Through their efforts, the Champions of Change are leveling the playing field for people with disabilities—and giving America’s employers a better shot at a significant talent pool.
You can read the honorees’ biographies and the blog posts that each wrote for the Whitehouse.gov blog at http://www.whitehouse.gov/champions
AAPD thanks Kareem Dale, Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement & Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy, for extending an invitation to this important event.