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Chemistry Overview - Preparation - Specialty Areas - Co-ops and Internships - Employment - Earnings - Profiles of Chemists - Career Path Forecast -Professional Organizations

Overcoming Challenges
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 chemistry students.

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.

People with Disabilities
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.

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