May 2020: ISLAND (Inclusion in Science Learning a New Direction) 2020 Conference now going Virtual!

Contributed by Robert Jaquis
Editor of Independence Science Newsletter

For 10 years, ISLAND has welcomed presenters and attendees in person and forged a community around the mission of making STEM accessible to persons with disabilities. Due to the CoVID-19 pandemic, we have decided to organise the first ever virtual ISLAND conference. 

ISLAND 2020 is now virtual and free. We invite you to attend the virtual 2020 ISLAND conference Saturday September 12. Registration is free but mandatory. 

As a result of the upheaval of CoVID, we have also extended abstract acceptances to July 1, 2020. Presenters will be notified by or before July 15, 2020. 

For more information about the ISLAND conference, to submit an abstract, or to register for the conference, please visit  

For questions, please send an e-mail to the conference organizers at

We are looking forward to seeing you at the 11th annual ISLAND conference.


The Inclusion in Science Learning a New Direction (ISLAND) conference on disability in STEM provides a forum to address how persons with disabilities can be more fully integrated into the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) professions. This forum provides a space for professionals, students, researchers, access technology developers, parents, and service providers to meet and network with one another for this purpose.

Persons with disabilities are often prohibited from full participation in the STEM subject areas due to misconceptions leading to lack of opportunities in STEM courses. Further, employers and advanced degree programs may be skeptical about the capabilities of a person with a disability and their ability to compete on equal terms with their non-disabled counterparts. Persons with disabilities have to problem solve to overcome their physical and/or cognitive limitations for their entire lives. Therefore, the more methodological and technological innovations that can be designed and disseminated in a forum such as the ISLAND conference serves to promote a community of practice for STEM educators to learn how a more inclusive and equitable STEM learning experience may be made possible.

The ISLAND conference attendees seek to shift the paradigm of science access for all learners.