Our work includes three areas: information sharing, STEM education, and STEM careers. Each area of our work is introduced and explained below:
Issues identified: (1) Resources related to STEM for the blind and low-vision are in different places, and thus, they are not easy to be found; and (2) A lack of networking in the field of STEM for the blind and low-vision leads to overlapping and duplication of work resulting in slow growth of the field.
Our solutions: (1) Sharing information about resources and recent events related to STEM for the blind and low-vision in different countries on our Resources page and forum; and (2) Building a global community through information sharing and idea exchange on virtual platforms, including the forum and Zoom meetings.
Issues identified: (1) STEM instructional plans are typically developed without consideration of the needs of the blind and low-vision or without the instructional approaches that are proven effective to teach them; and (2) Globally, few STEM education programs have been conducted specifically for blind and low-vision learners.
Our solutions: (1) Developing research-based STEM instructional plans that incorporate the Expanded Core Curriculum (a set of concepts and skills that are taught to blind and low-vision students to support their learning that often occurs incidentally with vision); and (2) Implementing the developed instructional plans in participating countries, currently including the United States, Taiwan, Turkey, Canada, Germany, India, Japan, and Mexico, as well as in other countries that will later join the Network.
Issues identified: In many countries, there has been little support for secondary and postsecondary students who are blind or have low vision to prepare them with the needed knowledge and skills to work in STEM fields.
Our solutions: (1) Adapting and developing STEM career training programs for the blind and low-vision through collaboration with other organizations; (2) Making the adapted and developed training programs online so that the blind and low-vision can easily access the materials; and (3) Implementing the adapted and developed training programs in participating countries, currently including the United States, Taiwan, Turkey, Canada, Germany, India, Japan, and Mexico, as well as in other countries that will later join the Network.