Jul 24, 2022

Math Monday: Highlighting Mathematicians with Disabilities in the Classroom

This Math Monday, we’re celebrating Disability Pride Month with profiles of three amazing mathematicians with disabilities that you can bring into your classroom.


Find these profiles - and 30 more! - in the Math in Action slide deck!


Farida Bedwei

Farida Bedwei is a software engineer, entrepreneur, and disability-rights advocate. She co-founded the fin-tech company Logicel, where she led the creation of a banking software for the micro-finance industry in Ghana. 

Watch this excerpt from her talk at Wesleyan or read this short profile to learn more!

Discussion Questions:

  • Why did Bedwei decide to start her own company?
  • Bedwei says her goal is to “get up in the morning and know that what you are doing is making a difference”. In what ways does Bedwei use her skills to make a difference?


Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking was a famous physicist, author, and public figure. His research tackled complex cosmological topics; however, Hawking made the science of the universe more broadly accessible through his public appearances and bestselling books, including “A Brief History of Time”.

Watch his 10-minute TED Talk or read this profile to learn more!

Discussion Questions:

  • What scientific discoveries is Hawking best known for?
  • Hawking said “People have the mistaken impression that mathematics is just equations. In fact, equations are just the boring part of mathematics.” Describe a time you have either felt bored or excited by math. What made you feel that way?


Daniel Reinholz

Daniel Reinholz is a math professor at San Diego State University. Their research focuses on creating tools to transform education and improve equity. 

Read their short autobiography to learn more!

Discussion Questions:

  • How did Reinholz discover their love of mathematics?
  • The social model of disability is the theory that a disabled person is disabled by the barriers in society, not by their individual attributes. What is one barrier that Reinholz describes?
  • Reinholz writes that they first developed a disability identity during the COVID-19 pandemic. What impact did that have? Why is their disability identity important to them?


Want More? Check out these additional resources:

About the Author

Kathryn Dawson

Kathryn (she/her) is excited to join the NGPF team after 9 years of experience in education as a mentor, tutor, and special education teacher. She is a graduate of Cornell University with a degree in policy analysis and management and has a master's degree in education from Brooklyn College. Kathryn is looking forward to bringing her passion for accessibility and educational justice into curriculum design at NGPF. During her free time, Kathryn loves embarking on cooking projects, walking around her Seattle neighborhood with her partner and dog, or lounging in a hammock with a book.

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