Lightyear Foundation launched SEN in STEMM in 2018, following an overwhelming response to our CEO’s speech at the Royal Society’s Diversity conference. We chaired a SEN in STEMM roundtable, bringing together 21 attendees from major science associations to tackle SEN in STEMM collaboratively. These included The Royal Society, UK Association for Science & Discovery Centres, London Zoological Society, Sense About Science and Employment Autism amongst others. This event clearly showed that there was a real need for an established network with a central connector to break down barriers to STEMM SEN inclusion.

Lightyear is excited to lead this network to share best practice, raise awareness, train and inform so that together the network empower the SEN in STEMM community. We offer a unique opportunity to support, motivate and inspire organisations to get more disabled people into STEMM.

Dr Sheila Kanani, Education Outreach and Diversity Officer, Royal Astronomical Society
“Using demographic data of our members we realised that we needed to do more work in engaging with people with visible and invisible disabilities. I wasn’t sure where to start, and it was my job to do so, as I am the RAS diversity officer! Before joining the SEN in STEMM group, I was struggling in STEMM SEN – trying to make what I do more accessible but finding it hard. The support, ideas, space to openly discuss ideas and challenges has been brilliant for me – it’s transformed how I’m approaching my work. One recent and particularly useful example is the group helping me to write a ‘space sensory story’ to deliver in a local special school. This is an exciting opportunity for me and should be fun for the young people too!”

Joe Burton, Education & Public Engagement Manager, The Linnean Society of London
“The Lightyear Foundation offers a wealth of reliable information, advice and practical steps on improving our engagement with a wider scope of society. Their help has been crucial in giving both myself and my organisation the confidence to move forward in this field and broaden our educational offer and create impact within SEN communities.”

If you work for a STEMM organisation that is interested in joining this network, please get in touch!