NII Award Acceptance Remarks

Sheryl's acceptance remarks at the NII Awards Ceremony, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Washington, D.C. I'm the lucky one who gets to accept this award on behalf of the entire DO-IT team - participants, staff, volunteers, and sponsors.

In project DO-IT a teenager who is blind reads the news independently for the first time in his life. He uses a computer, screen reading software, and a speech synthesizer to access news feeds on the NII.

In project DO-IT deaf students and mentors communicate with others without assistance - over the Internet.

In DO-IT a person without use of his hands presses the keys on his keyboard with a mouth stick. He has a job developing Web pages and training others in the use of the Internet.

In DO-IT a young woman who is blind attends college with a four-year scholarship from NASA. She shares her experiences with high school students with disabilities from a five-state region using electronic mail.

In DO-IT students from cities and rural communities, from rich and poor families, from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, and with disabilities that affect their vision, hearing, mobility, health, and learning, come together in an electronic community and experience life on a level playing field.

Today, the DO-IT project, which is primarily funded by the National Science Foundation, is honored to receive an award for its creative use of the national information infrastructure. We look forward to the day when stories like ours are no longer exceptional, but commonplace.

Dr. Sheryl Burgstahler
Director, DO-IT
University of Washington