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Press Release 10-200
Radio Series Highlights Women with Disabilities in Science

National Science Foundation-funded project offers online podcasts, free CD

Photo of Yomara Bedolla, a high school student who uses a wheelchair.

Yomara Bedolla is featured in one of 10 stories in the "Access to Advancement" series.
Credit and Larger Version

October 22, 2010

Concurrent with October's National Disability Employment Awareness Month, WAMC Northeast Public Radio is making available its Access to Advancement series about the opportunities for, and achievements of, women with disabilities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The series is now accessible both online and on free CDs. Divided into two sections, the first part of the series includes five stories that describe the latest practices, programs, and tools for supporting students with disabilities in their pursuit of STEM careers. The second part offers the stories of five successful women with disabilities who are studying or working in STEM fields.

According to the Science and Engineering Indicators: 2010, there are no comprehensive measures of the global S&E labor force, but fragmentary data suggest that the U.S. world share is continuing to decline. Many researchers indicate that women, underrepresented minorities, and people with disabilities represent a largely untapped talent pool. Dr. Angela Lee Foreman, assistant professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology and one of the women profiled for Access to Advancement, explained "everyone has a unique talent that they can bring to the lab or the workplace. And we cannot afford to overlook these unique talents and skills."

The complete Access to Advancement series is available via Flash Audio, podcast and transcript on the Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics ON THE AIR! website, where visitors can also request free CDs. The site has many links to relevant websites and resources that students, educators, employers, and others can bring to their classrooms and workplaces to inform teaching, learning and hiring practices.

"The CDs and online audio will be an excellent addition to National Disability Employment Awareness Month activities because the series is designed to increase the public's awareness of the capabilities and contributions of employees with disabilities," said series co-producer Glenn Busby. "We expect Access to Advancement to generate and inform important discussions about the role of people with disabilities in the workforce."

In addition to the online audio and free CDs, the series is being broadcast on WAMC's The Best of Our Knowledge and 51% radio programs. Access to Advancement was made possible by support from the National Science Foundation's Research in Disabilities Education program under grant number HRD-0833247.

About WAMC: WAMC Northeast Public Radio is a non-commercial, listener-supported public radio network broadcasting 24-hours-a-day to portions of seven New England and Middle Atlantic states.  With 22 broadcast facilities, WAMC ranks among the most-listened-to public radio stations in the United States, with over 400,000 monthly listeners and 20,000 members.  An affiliate of National Public Radio, American Public Media, and Public Radio International, WAMC is also one of the most prolific original producers of public radio-style programming in the nation, distributing a roster of award-winning segments and full-length news and information programs heard on more than 500 radio stations nationwide, on the Internet via audio on-demand, and in 177 countries via Armed Forces Radio. For more information, please visit the WAMC website.

-NSF-

Media Contacts
Maria C. Zacharias, NSF, (703) 292-8454, mzachari@nsf.gov

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2014, its budget is $7.2 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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