White House Names Christine Reich a "Champion of Change" for Dedication to STEM for People with Disabilities

May 7, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC- On Monday, May 7, the Museum of Science's Christine Reich will be one of fourteen individuals honored at the White House as Champions of Change for leading the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math for people with disabilities, the White House announced today. To watch this event live at 1:30 p.m. ET on May 7, visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/live.

"STEM is vital to America's future in education and employment, so equal access for people with disabilities is imperative, as they can contribute to and benefit from STEM," said Kareem Dale, Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy. "The leaders we've selected as Champions of Change are proving that when the playing field is level, people with disabilities can excel in STEM, develop new products, create scientific inventions, open successful businesses, and contribute equally to the economic and educational future of our country."

"We are thrilled and honored that Christine is being recognized by the White House for her work with the Museum in STEM education for people with disabilities," says Paul Fontaine, the Museum's vice president, education. "She has greatly expanded the Museum's role in the creation of multisensory, universally-designed exhibits and programs. For over 25 years, the Museum has worked to create informal science learning environments that welcome all individuals, including people with disabilities. We want people of all backgrounds to explore their interests in STEM and we try to send this message by fostering universal design principles within our own institution and the science museum field as a whole."

The Champions of Change program was created as a part of President Obama's Winning the Future initiative. Each week, a different sector is highlighted and groups of Champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community leaders, are recognized for the work they are doing to serve and strengthen their communities.

Christine Reich is director of research and evaluation at the Museum of Science, Boston, one of the world's largest science centers. The Museum of Science brings science, technology, engineering, and math to about 1.5 million visitors a year through its dynamic programs and interactive exhibits. As director of research and evaluation, Christine oversees a department that conducts research and evaluation studies related to various aspects of the Museum experience, but her passion and expertise focus on researching ways to advance the inclusion of people with disabilities in museum learning. Prior to her current position, Christine worked as a museum educator and an exhibit planner, specializing in the development of museums exhibitions and programs that are inclusive of people with disabilities.

Blogs, bios, and information regarding all of today's Champions of Change, will be posted later today: www.whitehouse.gov/champions .

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