College of Education Center on Disability Studies (CDS) Director Kiriko Takahashi has teamed up with Auburn University on a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant program titled NSF INCLUDES Alliance: The Alliance of Students with Disabilities for Inclusion, Networking, and Transition Opportunities in STEM (TAPDINTO-STEM).

The program consists of 27 institutions that will work to increase the number of students with disabilities in the STEM field. Takahashi is leading the “Islands Hub,” which includes UH Mānoa (UHM), Kapiʽolani Community College (KCC), and Northern Marianas College (NMC).

The NSF INCLUDES TAPDINTO-STEM Alliance aims to increase the quantity of students with disabilities completing associate, undergraduate, and graduate degrees in STEM; facilitate the transition of students with disabilities from STEM degree completion into the STEM workforce; and enhance communication and collaboration among institutions of higher education, industry, government, national labs, and local communities to address the education needs of students with disabilities in STEM disciplines.

“There are not many projects that focus on students with disabilities,” Takahashi said. “With the mentoring and collaboration as an alliance, we can tap into the untapped talents and support students with disabilities to succeed in the STEM fields.”

There is currently a cohort of nine students from UHM, six from KCC, and six from NMC with plans to add two additional partner institutions in the next year. To learn more about TAPDINTO-STEM, please view the video in a STEM FOR ALL video contest: http://go.hawaii.edu/xYf.


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