The purpose of this short communication is to inform readers of the journal about an innovative NSF funded project at Wright State University aimed at "Creating Laboratory Access for Students in Science", commonly referred to as the "CLASS Project". The project, now in its second year and under the leadership of Michele Wheatly (Chair of Biological Sciences), represents a collaboration between academic units (Tim Wood, Biological Sciences and Patricia Renick, Teacher Education) and student services (Jeff Vernooy, Director of Office of Disability Services).
Individuals with physical disabilities are significantly underrepresented in mainstream science. Until recently the enterprise of science has involved "hands-on" experimental work and students with physical disabilities have been largely excluded from participating in laboratory science. Their experience in grades 7-12 has typically been limited to watching other students or aides as they perform experiments or, even worse, being exempted from the lab requirement altogether. Under preparedness in grade school science places entering undergraduates at a disadvantage upon entering college where most are directed away from science and into fields such as rehabilitation, counseling and education.
Renick, P. R.,
& Vernooy, J. A.
Electronic Journal for Inclusive Education, 1