The Evolution of an Online Approach to Preparing Young Students with Disabilities for College and Careers

  • Clark A. ShingledeckerEmail author
  • Jennifer Barga
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9177)


This paper describes an initiative to address the underrepresentation of persons with disabilities (PwD) in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields using online educational methods. The objectives of the program are to build motivation for pursuing STEM careers among students with disabilities in middle school and early high school and to improve their preparation for postsecondary education. We first outline the problem of underrepresentation of PwD in STEM and present the underlying reasoning for targeting younger students and addressing the objectives using online methods. Next, we describe the development of online content designed to increase STEM career motivation and college readiness and the initial implementation of the program using a series of informal educational webcasts aimed at students with disabilities and their parents. In the final section of the paper, we identify some of the lessons-learned about online educational approaches from the original implementation, and describe a subsequent evolution of the program using multilevel web-based content designed to reach a wider range of problem stakeholders including teachers and rehabilitation counselors.


Students with disabilities STEM careers Online education College preparation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wright State UniversityDaytonUSA

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