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AccessATE: Accessibility for Community College Technician Education

Worker fixing an engine

Shutterstock | ndoeljindoel

Project Name
AccessATE (Advanced Technological Education): Making Community College Technician Education More Accessible for Everyone


The National Science Foundation’s ATE program operates throughout community and technical colleges across the USA and is responsible for research on STEM technician education and building the capacity of the STEM technician workforce.

The AccessATE project goal is to support the ATE community and provide grantees with the tools and knowledge to increase the accessibility and usability of their resources and activities. CAST will be providing technical assistance on accessibility and Universal Design for Learning to ATE Centers and ATE research grants.

The three goals of the project are to:

  • Raise awareness of accessibility issues and requirements.
  • Increase understanding of what it means to make deliverables and activities accessible and universally designed.
  • Provide guidance toward accessibility solutions and support pathways.

By partnering with CAST, ATE grantees will receive hands-on assistance in creating accessible and universally designed curricula to address the wide variety of learners who will be accessing these courses. The follow-up case studies will highlight before and after examples, interviews, photos, and usage scenarios, as well as accompanying resources and materials. Selected case stories will be featured on the project website.

ATE grantees who choose to partner with CAST may select from several different supported areas to apply Universal Design for Learning practices including:

  • Syllabus Development
  • Media Development
  • Building an OER Strategy
  • Assessments

Participating ATE grantees will engage with CAST for 4-6 virtual learning sessions as well as one session at the ATE PI meeting to develop and integrate UDL principles into the ATE curricula design and implementation process.

Photo collage of people working with machines, taking notes, and exploring with microscopes

Ensuring Universal Access to Technical College Education

Emerging fields like mechatronics and nanotechnology are desperate for expertly trained technicians. Find out how we're helping to attract a larger and more diverse group of talent to advanced technology programs.

Read our story

Case Studies

CAST collaborated with ATE grantees to revamp curricula using Universal Design for Learning and accessibility principles, developing a series of case studies documenting the work to help others developing courses.

Visit the AccessATE Case Studies


2018 – 2022


National Science Foundation (NSF)


Internet Scout
National Center for Accessible Media

Project Leadership

Rachael Bower, University of Wisconsin-Madison, PI
Donna Lange, DeafTEC, Co-PI
Edward Almasy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Co-PI
Sam Catherine Johnston, CAST, Co-PI
Rory Cooper, HERL, Co-PI


For more information about this project, please email

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