Hi,

We are writing in from I-Stem (Inclusive Stem). We are a group of
self-advocates pursuing STEM education and careers in India who happen
to be blind or visually impaired. We aim to work towards changing
mindsets, resource availability and opportunities for persons with
blindness and low vision to pursue STEM education and careers in
India. You can know more about us at inclusivestem.org

We just recently completed our first successful event towards this
goal. The I-Stem Hackathon 2018 held at IIIT-Bangalore. You can read
about the event at: inclusivestem.org/hackathon.html.

Are you wondering why we are asking you to join our community?

We are a group of 10 people who started I-Stem (9 persons pursuing
STEM education and careers motivated by our own individual journeys on
this road and 1 of us who fears STEM the most but feels so strongly
about anyone being denied a choice that she has been working on making
STEM accessible for persons with blindness and low vision because it
continues to remain one of the most inaccessible education and career
choices for blind and low vision persons in India)

We envisage the I-Stem community to be a group that acts as a support
network to its members at different stages of their Stem journey. We
also aim to build it up as a resource network for creating accessible
solutions in the space and also leverage its power to advocate for the
much needed legal and mindset shifts.

We are inviting you to join one of our 4 clubs which you feel are most
applicable to you.

I-Stem Juniors: Meant for young school students with blindness and low
vision (5th-12th Std.) interested in anything to do with maths and
science : Don’t get worried with what your parent or teachers might
tell you about you not being able to do this or it’s difficult and you
will miss marks. If you like it and love it, it’s the right reason to
do it! I-Stem junior can be your space to connect with other students
and also get mentorship from I-Stem Core Committee members.

I-Stem Youth: Meant for students pursuing higher education STEM
careers: You made a choice to pursue STEM Education and now have to
face the music of lack of resources? Together we can make it better.
Co-sharing of accessible content, or just needing to talk about that
one more day of people questioning your choice can go a long way in
making you stay grounded on your journey to pursue your passion.

I-Stem Mentors: Meant for persons with blindness and low vision
working in STEM careers: You’ve seen through the education and thought
the big hurdle was over. STEM careers have their unique at work
challenges. I-Stem Mentors is envisaged as a group that can work
together to find solutions for accessibility challenges at work, the
network where I-Stem Youth can reach out for career guidance and a
group that can lead technology solutions for accessibility.

I-Stem Friends: Meant for anyone – corporates, educators, scientists
(Blind or sighted) keen on working at accessibility and inclusion with
a keen interests in STEM accessibility. Inclusion is about
partnerships. Just as the saying of the disability rights movement
goes – Nothing for us without us, the reverse of that is also true –
Nothing for us only by us. No group lives and works in isolation and
inclusive STEM is only possible with lasting partnerships and
collaborations with the sighted community as well. This group aims to
be that space.

You might wonder what will joining one of these groups mean?

For starters we create a google group for each of our 4 clubs. We will
then follow It up with sharing specific ideas and projects that we
would like to start working on and people interested volunteer who
then get formed into project teams to take those ideas ahead. In
addition the group also remains a support group where members can
share their STEM access needs and ideas.

Please complete a form at
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdwcyaaVBF44Oc9O6tvapZYZo3lyiwaOiIL2NSPrFwzZeqy_A/viewform
if you're interested.

We look forward to you joining us in this exciting journey!

Regards
-Kartik
(On behalf of the I-Stem Team)




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