opinion

Science suffers when STEM students with disabilities leave the field

Different chemistry beakers full of chemicals in the colors of the rainbow
“Hundreds of tweets posted with the hashtag #WhyDisabledPeopleDropOut illustrate what can happen when talented students don’t receive the accommodations that they need,” Bayer and Marks say. Image: four different beakers on a table contain red, orange, yellow, and green liquids, respectively. [Photo: flickr]
Having a disability has made Gabi Serrato Marks and Skylar Bayer better scientists, according to a recent Scientific American article by Marks and Bayer that was published last week. The women note that even though creativity and the ability to think differently are valuable skills for any scientist to have, scientific research is rarely designed to accommodate scientists with medical conditions or disabilities. Marks and Bayer, a postdoc and PhD candidate, respectively, say academic institutions need to provide more institutional supports to scientists with disabilities if they don’t want to lose out on promising young talent.

Read Marks and Bayer’s piece in Scientific American online by clicking here.

New York Times: The Opinion Pages

Better Pay for the Disabled

In a letter to the editor, Mississippi U.S. Congressman Gregg Harper wrote a recent court settlement regarding segregated work places in Rhode Island is not enough. Harper said a new bill he is cosponsoring, the Fair Wages for Workers With Disabilities Act, would phase out the practice of paying workers with disabilities less than the federal minimum wage over three years. Read more.

The New York Times

The Opinion Pages: Fake Disability Claims

In a letter to the editor, Les Greene, president-elect of the American Group Psychotherapy Association, wrote a recent article about fraud charges against first responders was “hardly” shocking. The Jan. 7 article “Charges for 106 in Huge Fraud Over Disability,” detailed retired New York City police officers and firefighters accused of faking symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder and other psychological injuries. According to Greene, “The tragedy is that compensation doled out by government agencies can be readily taken advantage of…by those who need to identify themselves as victims, and thus entitled to reparations by others.” Read more.

U.S. News & World Report

The U.S. Doesn’t Need the U.N.’s Disability Treaty

The United States does not need to ratify the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities because the U.S. already protects its disabled citizens, according to an opinion piece by Steven Groves in U.S. News & World Report.

According to Groves, U.S. federal laws are more specific than the “ambiguous” codes shaped by international opinion in the CRPD. Moreover, the U.S. legislation, including the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disability Act, can be expanded and modified.

CRPD activists pushing for ratification claim it will improve accessibility on a global level. Not so, says Groves. Read more.