About AccessERC


Promoting the engagement of people with disabilities in NSF-funded Engineering Research Centers (ERCs) and the development of ERC products, websites, facilities, and events that are welcoming and accessible to everyone.

AccessERC builds the capacity of ERC faculty, staff, and partners to fully include individuals with disabilities in all aspects of ERC endeavors.

Engagement of ERC Faculty, Staff, and Partners

ERCs nationwide can engage in AccessERC training, consultation, community building, recruitment, and activity and resource development.

  • Online Community of Practice
    Faculty, education directors, and diversity directors can join the community to discuss strategies and share resources for promoting the participation of people with disabilities in ERCs.
  • Capacity Building Institutes and Training
    ERC personnel can learn about best practices and resources at collaborative meetings and presentations sponsored by AccessERC.
  • Seed Grants
    ERCs can apply for a limited number of seed grants that provide funding for direct costs of activities that promote AccessERC objectives.
  • Consultation
    ERC personnel can consult with AccessERC staff regarding the creation of accessible websites, spaces, events, and products.

Engagement of Students

 AccessERC staff members encourage students with disabilities to pursue opportunities at ERCs and careers in related fields.

  • ERC Activities
    Students with disabilities can learn about opportunities through ERCs and AccessERC, such as Research Experiences for Undergraduates programs, accessibility reviews, engineering presentations, academic programs, and internships.
  • Online Mentor and Peer Support
    Students with disabilities can engage in an electronic community of peers and mentors to succeed in college studies and to prepare for research, graduate school, and engineering careers.


AccessERC shares resources:

  • Searchable Knowledge Base of questions and answers, case studies, and promising practices
  • Guidelines for making engineering instruction, activities, facilities,  documents, and departments welcoming and accessible to students with disabilities
  • Proceedings of capacity building institutes exploring issues related to disability and engineering fields
  • Videos featuring accessibility guidelines and students with disabilities pursuing engineering careers 

Impact of Our Work

AccessERC outcomes benefit society by 

  • Increasing the participation of people with disabilities in education and careers in engineering 
  • Improving engineering fields with their perspectives and expertise

AccessERC Leaders

PI: Rajesh Rao, PI of Center for Neurotechnology
Director: Sheryl Burgstahler, Director of DO-IT
Manager: Scott Bellman, Programs Manager for DO-IT
University of Washington


AccessERC engages with ERCs and their partners nationwide.


AccessERC is funded by the Engineering Research Center program of the National Science Foundation as a supplement to the Center for Neurotechnology (Award Number EEC-1028725) at the University of Washington. The content of this brochure does not necessarily represent the policies of the NSF, and you should not assume their endorsement.