Yesterday, continuing the White House’s month-long celebration of Disability Pride Month and the 31st anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the Office of Public Engagement co-hosted a roundtable with leaders and advocates from disability-focused organizations with expertise in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
During this meeting, OSTP Director Eric Lander and OSTP Deputy Director for Science and Society Alondra Nelson heard suggestions for opportunities to increase the participation of people with disabilities in science and technology. Director Lander reiterated Vice President Harris’ recent remarks commemorating the Americans with Disability Act, noting that accessibility is central to how we will achieve equity.
Participants also discussed the structural barriers facing people with disabilities in STEM, and identified opportunities to ensure that all people can thrive in these fields. Deputy Director Nelson expressed OSTP’s gratitude for the work that these groups are doing to bring a more intersectional lens to equity, accessibility and justice in STEM, fulfilling individual aspirations for creativity and discovery while spurring American innovation.
This engagement is the first in OSTP’s “The Time is Now: Advancing Equity in Science and Technology” roundtable series. This five-part series is designed to foster candid and robust conversation with researchers, thought leaders, and advocates on themes related to STEM equity, and to gather valuable feedback that can assist OSTP in assuring that our national STEM ecosystem is preeminent, equitable, and inclusive.