Women with Disabilities in STEM Education Research Agenda Development Project

The goal of the Women with Disabilities in STEM Education Research Agenda Development Project (WWDSE) is to establish a five-year research agenda to identify barriers and promote successful outcomes for women with disabilities in STEM education. This effort to encourage junior and seasoned investigators to explore questions regarding the supports and barriers to the successful participation of women with disabilities in STEM is funded by a one-year grant from the National Science Foundation (Grant No. HRD-1138801) to the APA. Shari E. Miles-Cohen, PhD, WPO senior director, serves as the project's principal investigator. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
Goals and Outcomes

The goal of the WWDSE is to establish a five-year research agenda to identify barriers and promote successful outcomes for women with disabilities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. WWDSE will publish and widely disseminate this research agenda to the members of the scholarly community and to the general public through a variety of accessible media. In addition, the research agenda will guide funders to support this work, providing educators and administrators with the seeds of interventions that can better support women with disabilities in STEM education.

WWDSE Intellectual Merit
  • Link distinct, non-overlapping empirical literatures to inform development of a new research agenda to cultivate an emerging line of inquiry on women with disabilities in STEM education.

  • Facilitate new collaborations among researchers in different areas of study where these may not currently exist.

  • Facilitate discussion of research designs appropriate for use with underrepresented populations (e.g., mixed method).

  • Provide videotaped sessions of workshop modules, draft papers for publication and presentations.

WWDSE Broader Impacts
  • Address President Obama’s challenge of increasing number of scientists in the U.S. by 2020.

  • Make postsecondary environments more receptive to underrepresented groups.

  • Impact the STEM pipeline by increasing the numbers of women scientists.

  • Add to evidence-based strategies to improve postsecondary educational outcomes for women with disabilities and all students.

  • Increase postsecondary faculty’s cultural competency as it relates to women with disabilities.

  • Establish new funding priorities which encourage senior investigators to partner with junior investigators who have disabilities.

  • Maximize human capital of women with disabilities in society.

Methodology

WWDSE will launch this effort to inform the development of this emerging body of scholarly work by:

  • Conducting a pre-workshop survey of NSF and Department of Education Disabilities Education grantees and their networks.

  • Convening a workshop on attitudinal supports and barriers facing women with disabilities in STEM education. 

  • Using the workshop to develop the research agenda.

  • Disseminating the agenda to the members of the scholarly community and general public.

Organizing Committee

M. Dolores Cimini, PhD, co-chair
Licensed Psychologist
Director, Middle Earth Peer Assistance Program
Assistant Director for Prevention and Program Evaluation, University Counseling Center
Adjunct Clinical Professor, School of Education
University at Albany, State University of New York
Member, APA Committee on Disability Issues in Psychology

Shari E. Miles-Cohen, PhD, co-chair, Principal Investigator 
Senior Director, Women's Programs Office
American Psychological Association

Patrick Corrigan, PsyD
Associate Dean of Psychology Research
Distinguished Professor
Illinois Institute of Technology
Fellow, APA Division 12

Lorraine Fleming, PhD, PE
Professor
Department of Civil Engineering
Howard University

Catherine Hill, PhD
Director of Research
American Association of University Women

Caroline Solomon, PhD
Associate Professor, Biology
Gallaudet University

WWDSE News

White House Champions of Change program honors APA member, WWDSE Co- Chair

President Obama and Dr. Dolores CiminiOn June 13, 2012, Shari Miles-Cohen, PhD, presented Broadening Participation Research at the NSF 2012 JAM. You may view other presentations at the JAM12 website.

Maria Dolores Cimini, PhD, former member of the American Psychological Association Committee on Disability Issues in Psychology (CDIP), and co-chair of the WWDSE project, has been honored as a Champion of Change for her work in enhancing access to the STEM disciplines by students with disabilities through her research, leadership and mentoring efforts. Read more about Cimini's accomplishments for the APA and our nation in APA's Access newsletter.