- STEM Access for Persons with Disabilities (STEM-APWD). Supports supplemental funding to existing awards and conference proposals in order to increase the engagement of persons with disabilities (PWD) in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields across a wide variety of directorates at NSF.
- Disability and Rehabilitation Engineering: Supports engineering research that improves the quality of life of persons with disabilities through the development of new technologies.
- Workplace Equity for Persons with Disabilities in STEM and STEM Education: Supports research that promotes diverse, equitable, inclusive and accessible STEM workplaces and training environments for persons with disabilities.
- Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities: FASED awards, which can be requested as a part of a regular proposal or a supplemental funding request to NSF, fund:
- Special equipment and assistance that reduces or removes barriers to participation in research and training by persons with physical disabilities.
- The development and demonstration of special equipment that facilitates the work of persons with disabilities in STEM.
- Persons with Disabilities – STEM Engagement and Access: Encourages new proposals, or supplemental funding to existing awards, to support access to and engagement in STEM learning, research and workforce development for NSF-funded students, postdoctoral scholars, faculty and staff.
- Research to Improve STEM Teaching, Learning and Workforce Development for Persons with Disabilities: Supports research and the development of innovative STEM teaching and learning approaches to be implemented for persons with disabilities from the earliest developmental stages of life through participation in the workforce.
Credit: Photo from ATE Impacts 2018-2019 book (https://ateimpacts.net/book)
Explore NSF-supported research that is advancing rehabilitative and assistive technologies that support movement, touch, the brain and hearing.
Explore how NSF-supported researchers in the field of science and technology studies are developing a more inclusive and accessible scientific enterprise.
NSF awarded $10 million to Auburn University to lead a national research effort to promote STEM education among students with disabilities.
NSF's Convergence Accelerator awarded $11.8 million to 16 teams to develop solutions to enhance quality of life and employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.
Data on persons with disabilities in STEM
Published every two years, NSF's STEM and Diversity: Woman, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities report provides insights into the diversity of the STEM workforce in the United States.
Key findings from the 2023 report include:
- Persons with a disability who worked part time in a STEM-related occupation in 2021 reported wanting to work full time at about twice the rate of those without a disability (28% vs. 15%).
- In 2021, 65% of STEM workers with a disability had less than a bachelor's degree education.
- Among STEM doctorate recipients in 2021, individuals earning degrees in psychology and social sciences had the highest rate of disability (13%) and those in engineering had the lowest rate (8%).
Supporting NSF staff with disabilities
NSF is dedicated to enhancing its recruitment, promotion and retention of qualified persons with disabilities.
NSF's accessABILITY Employee Resource Group:
- Builds partnerships with stakeholders to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility and support the full participation of NSF employees and applicants with disabilities.
- Enhances awareness and education on challenges and support mechanisms for persons with disabilities, while identifying and addressing potential barriers.
- Contributes to improving accessibility at NSF, including sharing tools and resources for assistive technologies.
- Cultivates a supportive community for employees who share common experiences.