American Association for the Advancement of Science
Roadmaps & Rampways


For students with disabilities, no single rampway leads onto the science career superhighway. Rather, there are many entrance ramps - key life experiences and opportunities - that point individuals toward productive careers in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology. But there are always unexpected barriers, and no E-Z-passes at the tollbooths.

The authors and artistic team of Roadmaps and Rampways conceived of the Roadmaps Game as an imaginary game, a graphic design which symbolizes the process and some of the most important rampways that sustain the flow of students with disabilities as they persist in their education and career goals. All of these rampways and crossovers on the science superhighway lead to the ENTRY POINT, which may be an internship leading to a job in a competitive technical field. The entrypoint is not, by any means, the conclusion of the student's journey. Rather it is the beginning of what can be a lifetime of intellectual adventure and achievement.

The Roadmaps Game can be played by any number of players. The players' life experiences are symbolized by any or all of the eight loops on the game board, each of which is a different color. Almost all individuals with disabilities, for instance, benefit from assistive technology, persistence, and the support and encouragement of their families, and they would certainly travel through those loops. Other experiences, such as chance, the late diagnosis of a learning disability, or immigration to the United States, may be specific to some students and not at all to others.

In the Game, the color yellow represents a cross-over which takes the player into other loops. Black stands for an intersection where the color loops back on itself, just as some ramps have to be travelled over and over again. Grey is a barrier-free route; it might be the road for a student without a disability. Yellow also represents the ENTRY POINT. Every player will arrive there, by his or her own map. Remember that there are many routes to a science career. Every player is a winner.


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Profiles: Assistive Technology | Persistence | Beyond All Expectations | Late Diagnosis | The Golden Door | Informal Science and Popular Culture | The Pinball Effect | Families

Additional Materials: The Roadmaps Game | Afterward | Students' Backgrounds | Assistive Technology | Notes on Disabilities | 1990s Profile of Disabled Disabilities in Higher Education | Acknowledgments | References

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