Everyone will face
challenges as they transition from high school to college to the work
place. Women and minorities may face additional challenges.
Organizations and publications offer support and resources to these
Minorities are the fastest growing part of the U.S. population, and in the
next century, they will become the majority possessing both the clout
and talent to contribute significantly to the nation's future.
Minorities are underrepresented in the sciences. The ACS, the world's
largest scientific society, has committed to reach out and invite
underserved minorities to participate in the excitement and
opportunities that literacy in the sciences offer and execute this
commitment through its Diversity Programs. The mission of the Department
of Diversity Programs is to promote and facilitate programs, products
and services in ACS and throughout the chemical enterprise that increase
the participation of members of underrepresented groups.
Misconceptions have an unfortunate effect in deterring young people with
physical and learning disabilities from careers in science. Well-meaning
but uninformed parents, teachers, college admissions personnel, and
others imply or state that science is unsuitable as a career for a
person with a disability. They encourage bright, enthusiastic high
school students to avoid chemistry labs out of concern that mobility
aids-- or speech, hearing, or visual impairments - will represent undue
safety risks or interfere with traditional teaching methods. An
extensive report by Anne Swanson and Norman Steere, published in the
Journal of Chemical Education in 1981, found no basis for this concern.
It indicated that people with disabilities pose no greater safety hazard
in the classroom, laboratory, or workplace than their peers.
Few require any special pedagogical techniques.
The American Chemical Society and its
Committee on Chemists with
Disabilities published Working Chemists with Disabilities: Expanding
Opportunities in Science and Teaching Chemistry to Students with
Disabilities to address these misconceptions and increase opportunities
for people with disabilities in chemistry and other fields of science.
Assistive technologies and legislation already have eliminated many real
barriers. Some of the most serious remaining impediments are not
physical, but attitudinal.
Note: Most resources in this section are provided by the
American Chemical Society.