In today’s globalized economy, Employment and Workforce Development are key, intertwined policy issues. A well-prepared science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce contributes to continued competitiveness, for individuals, industries, and whole economies. Development of individuals with these capabilities requires investments in K-12 and postsecondary education, advanced training, and skills development, as well as supporting digital technologies. There also is a need for enabling networks and nodes of knowledge to support the end “users” – labs, research institutions, high tech employers, and the public sector.
A particular focus of our research is on generating insights into barriers and opportunities for increasing participation in STEM fields for people with disabilities. These results are used to develop policy approaches which better enable the match between employers needs and preparation of skilled and highly educated workforces. We also undertake empirical research into interventions and supports for persistence and completion of STEM education and transition into employment.
2016 Connected Technologies: An Accessibility Overview for Employers provides an overview of 1) the range of connected technologies available to people with disabilities, 2) currently available applications to assist people with disabilities in the workplace, and 3) challenges and opportunities to increase connected technology usage in the workplace.