SciAccess: Making Space for Everyone
Anna Voelker(Ohio State University)
Astronomy is often thought of as a visual science. The public imagines stargazers scouring the night sky with their telescopes when in reality, astronomers heavily rely on non-visual means of studying the cosmos. In fact, over 95% of the Universe is invisible to the human eye. If the investigation of our Universe does not rely on sight, then why limit space science outreach to visual means? This session will cover the latest developments in the new and exciting world of accessible space outreach. From 3D-printing galaxies for blind students using Hubble Space Telescope data to implementing University-level disability mentorship programs in space science, this talk will showcase ideas and resources applicable to any astronomy professional who wishes to further their knowledge on inclusion. Participants will be invited to critically evaluate the accessibility of their own work or academic environments and will be challenged to develop inclusive astronomy outreach approaches using the Universal Design for Learning. This session will showcase the ongoing work of the SciAccess Initiative, an international effort dedicated to promoting disability inclusion in STEM. It will share the results of SciAccess 2020, a virtual conference which took place on June 29, bringing together 555 people from all 7 continents. Participants will learn about upcoming SciAccess events and will be invited to join the SciAccess Working Group, providing them with an opportunity to connect with others who are passionate about STEM inclusion.