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Accessibilizing Astronomy: SciAccess Programs for Disability Inclusion in STEM.

Presentation #106.01 in the session Engaging Audiences through Effective Engagement Strategies and Inclusion.

Published onJul 01, 2023
Accessibilizing Astronomy: SciAccess Programs for Disability Inclusion in STEM.

Despite being the world’s largest minority group at 15% of the global population, only 2% of people with a STEM Ph.D. have a disability. This session aims to break down the barriers faced by disabled individuals in astronomy by equipping participants with the knowledge, perspectives, and resources necessary to become catalysts of change in their respective sectors of the community. Through inclusive astronomy outreach techniques, accessible conference strategies, and enabling the future of disabled astronauts, attendees will learn about the latest advancements in space accessibility. They will also discover cutting-edge outreach resources such as data sonification and 3D-printed astronomy models, which empower the next generation of disabled space scientists and engineers.

SciAccess is an international nonprofit dedicated to promoting disability inclusion in STEM through an annual conference, working group, and mentorship program. This session will share the results of the 2023 SciAccess Conference, which will unite students, scientists, and disability advocates around the common goal of equity and inclusion in STEM. Attendees will also learn about Zenith, a mentorship program for blind students interested in astronomy. This session will share space accessibility best practices and challenge attendees to critically examine the accessibility of their own work, research, and outreach. Attendees will be provided with the tools and knowledge necessary to develop unique accessibility solutions. Whether you are a long-time proponent of inclusion or have never considered accessibility before and don’t know how it applies to your work, this session is for you. Attendees will leave with techniques, guidance, and ideas on incorporating accessible design within their educational and professional environments through outreach and mentorship, promoting accessibility across all sectors of astronomy.

SciAccess as an organization is dedicated to making space for all by sharing innovative technologies and accessibility strategies. Participants will be encouraged to rethink diversity, equity, and inclusion as essential priorities that benefit not only marginalized individuals but STEM as a whole. By welcoming new perspectives into the field through accessible outreach and public communication, we are unlocking new talent and ideas, enriching our research, and advancing scientific discoveries for the benefit of all humankind.

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