Building Hawai’i Capacity for STEM Training/Employment Targeting IDD Young Adults


Talk Story / Paper


Many young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) can acquire STEM skills and employment with the right educational and employment supports. They have strengths such as strong focus, attention to detail, and out- of-the-box thinking that have attracted Fortune 500 employers like Microsoft and Ford Motor Co. But Hawai’i currently lacks the infrastructure to take full advantage of this untapped talent source. Young adults with both IDD challenges and strengths often age out of support programs after they leave college although they have continuing need for scaffolding and guidance. What will it take to develop our local capacity to teach, employ, support, and sustain STEM work for those with autism, ADHD, and other challenges? We explore this question with Tara May, the chief executive officer of Illinois-based Aspiritech, one of the country’s most successful programs providing training and employment for IDD individuals in STEM and related tech work.

Session Recording

STEMS² Pillars: Aʻo, Makawalu, Moʻolelo, Sense of Place, Advocacy


June 30th, 2022, 10:45am–11:45am HST

Location: Makawalu (Gather.Town)

  • user profile image
    Sandee Oshiro
    Hawaii Young Adults In Transition
  • user profile image
    Tara May
  • user profile image
    Patrick Gartside
    Work Now Hawaii