DO-IT Prof: A Project to Help Postsecondary Educators Work Successfully with Students Who Have Disabilities

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This publication describes promising practices and resources funded through the DO-IT Prof project. It is expected that, ultimately, such efforts will result in greater postsecondary educational opportunities for individuals with disabilities and enhanced postsecondary classes with the perspectives of people with disabilities. Others are encouraged to replicate its successful practices.


The DO-IT Center at the University of Washington has, since 1992, worked to increase the success of individuals with disabilities in postsecondary education and employment. DO-IT, which stands for Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology, has been recognized for its efforts through several awards including the 1995 National Information Infrastructure Award in Education; the 1997 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring; the 1999 Golden Apple Award for excellence in education; the 2001 AHEAD Recognition Award for outstanding work for students with disabilities; and the 2007 Innovation Award for Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities.

The DO-IT Prof project applied lessons learned by DO-IT and other researchers and practitioners nationwide to implement a comprehensive professional development program for college faculty and administrators. It was initially funded by the U.S. Department of Education (Grant #P33A990042, 1999-2003). Prof was selected as part of the project name to represent two project characteristics—"professional," the quality of project materials and strategies, and "professor" its primary target audience.

DO-IT Prof was designed to improve the knowledge and skills of postsecondary faculty and administrators in order to make them better prepared to fully include students with disabilities in academic programs on their campuses. Responding to the diverse content and scheduling needs of faculty and administrators, the DO-IT Prof team has created and continues to deliver six models of professional development.

Model 1: A 20-30 minute presentation to introduce participants to basic legal issues, accommodation strategies, and resources specific to their campuses.

Model 2: A 1-2 hour presentation with special focus on providing accommodations to students with a variety of disabilities.

Model 3: A tailored workshop for more in-depth training on topics selected for a specific audience.

Model 4: A televised instruction option using a series of video to deliver on public television.

Model 5: A distance learning "anytime-anywhere" course that provides lessons and discussion delivered via email and is available at .

Model 6: Self-paced, web-based instruction in The Faculty Room at

The DO-IT Prof team included faculty, disabled student services staff, and administrators at institutions of higher education in twenty-three states. The nationwide recruitment process was highly competitive, attracting more than one hundred applications. DO-IT's Academic Advisory Board selected applicants that had the potential to contribute to project efforts and to create a team with diverse characteristics.

Project partners included representatives from AHEAD (Association on Higher Education and Disability), the National Center for the Study of Postsecondary Educational Supports, the HEATH Resource Center, and WAPED (Washington Association on Postsecondary Education and Disability).

Project team members chose institutional partners in their states. If a team member was from a four-year institution, the partner school was a community or technical college; if the team member is from a community or technical college, the partner school was a four-year school.

Project team members participated in three-day collaborative meetings in Seattle in 2000 and 2001. Before the first meeting, team members conducted focus groups with students who have disabilities, teaching assistants, and faculty members. At the working meetings, team members discussed faculty and administrator support issues and strategies. They developed professional development materials, data collection plans, and timelines for their home institutions.

All team member and partner campuses delivered professional development programs, disseminating materials, providing technical assistance to faculty and administrators, and institutionalizing successful strategies in their schools. Some continued these efforts as part of subsequent projects, DO-IT Admin ( and AccesscollegeAccessCollege (http (, also funded by the U.S. Department of Education (Grant #P333A020044 and Grant #P333A050064, respectively).

Completion of this project made faculty and administrators better prepared to fully include students with disabilities on their campuses and contribute to systemic change within postsecondary institutions across the nation. The DO-IT Center continues to maintain The Faculty Room and other resources created during the DO-IT Prof funding period.

The Faculty Room

Campuses nationwide are encouraged to link to The Faculty Room at and refer faculty and academic administrators there to learn how to accommodate students with disabilities in their on-campus and distance learning courses, field experiences, and international studies programs. Useful training videos and materials can also be purchased from the DO-IT Center; request the DO-IT Videos, Books, and Training Materials publication for more information. All project materials, including online resources, videos, and printed materials, are offered in formats that are readily accessible by individuals with disabilities. Permission to copy and further distribute project products is granted for noncommercial, educational purposes.

DO-IT Prof Team

Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph.D., directs DO-IT Prof activities. Members of the original DO-IT Prof team and their partner institutions were:

Members of the project team and their partner institutions were:

Carol Achziger
Computer Access Center Coordinator
Arapahoe Community College
Littleton, Colorado
Partner: University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado

Victoria Amey-Flippin
Coordinator/HELP Office
Northeastern Illinois University
Chicago, Illinois
Partner: Oakton College, Des Plaines, Illinois

Alice Anderson
Coordinator, Technology Access Program, Division of Information Technology (DoIT)
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Madison, Wisconsin
Partner: Madison Area Technical University, Madison, Wisconsin

Patricia Bunge
Learning Disabilities Specialist/Counselor
Guilford Technical Community College
Jamestown, North Carolina
Partner: North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, North Carolina

Deborah Casey-Powell
Dean of Students
South University
West Palm Beach, Florida
Partner: Santa Fe Community College, Gainesville, Florida

Rosemary Coffman, Ph.D., C.R.C.
Counselor, Students with Disabilities
Lee College
Baytown, Texas
Partner: Rice University, Houston, Texas

Jill Douglass
Special Services Director
Santa Fe Community College
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Partner: College of Santa Fe Santa Fe, New Mexico

Mary Ann Ferkis
Instructional Accommodations Specialist, Adaptive Programs
Purdue University
West Lafayette, Indiana
Partner: Ivy Tech State College, Bloomington, Indiana

Pam Griffin
Coordinator, General Disability Services
University of Minnesota, Duluth
Duluth, Minnesota
Partner: Fond Du Lac Tribal and Community College, Cloquet, Minnesota

Beverly Boone Harris
Coordinator, Supporting Students through Disability Services (SSDS)
Norfolk State University
Norfolk, Virginia
Partner: New River Community College, Dublin, Virginia

Nancy Hart
Manager, Disability Services
Lane Community College
Eugene, Oregon
Partner: Western Oregon University, Monmouth, Oregon

Elaine High, Learning Disabilities Specialist
Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities
Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan
Partner: North Central Michigan College, Petoskey, Michigan

Alison McCarthy Ionvanna
Coordinator of Disability Services
Tunxis Community College
Farmington, Connecticut
Partner: Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, Connecticut

Richard Jones
Assistant Director, Disability Resources for Students
Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona
Partner: South Mountain Community College, Phoenix, Arizona

Jana Long, M.R.C., C.R.C.
Coordinator of Disability Support Services
Southwest Missouri State University
Springfield, Missouri
Partner: St. Louis Community College, St. Louis, Missouri

Ralph McFarland
Director, Student Disability Resource Center
Humboldt State
Arcata, California
Partner: College of the Redwoods, Eureka, California

Richard Radtke, Ph.D.
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Honolulu, Hawaii
Partner: Leeward Community College, Pearl City, Hawaii

Lisa Badia Rhine
Director, Office for Students with Disabilities
University of Dayton
Dayton, Ohio
Partner: Sinclair Community College, Dayton, Ohio

Patricia Richter
Coordinator, Services for Americans with Disabilities
Office of Human Diversity
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
Kutztown, Pennsylvania
Partner: Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Vicki Roth
Assistant Dean
University of Rochester
Rochester, New York
Partner: Finger Lakes Community College,
Canadaigua, New York

Al Souma
Director, Disability Support Services
Seattle Central Community College
Seattle, Washington
Partner: Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington

Chrystal Stanley
Coordinator, Student Disability Services
Drake University
Des Moines, Iowa
Partner: Des Moines Area Community College, Ankeny, Iowa

Marcia Wiedefeld
Coordinator of Disability Support Services
Loyola College in Maryland
Partner: Community College of Baltimore County, Dundalk, Maryland

Model Demonstration Projects

DO-IT Prof was one of twenty-two Model Demonstration Projects to Ensure Students with Disabilities Receive a Quality Higher Education. Funded by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education, 1999-2003 their purpose is to develop innovative, effective, and efficient teaching methods to enhance the skills and abilities of postsecondary faculty and administrators in working with students who have disabilities. Links to all of the projects can be found at

About DO-IT

DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) serves to increase the successful participation of individuals with disabilities in challenging academic programs such as those in science, engineering, mathematics, and technology. Primary funding for DO-IT is provided by the National Science Foundation, the State of Washington, and the U.S. Department of Education. DO-IT is a collaboration of UW Information Technology and the Colleges of Engineering and Education at the University of Washington.

To order free publications or newsletters use the DO-IT Publications Order Form; to order videos and training materials use the Videos, Books and Comprehensive Training Materials Order Form.

For further information, to be placed on the DO-IT mailing list, request materials in an alternate format, or to make comments or suggestions about DO-IT publications or web pages contact:

University of Washington
Box 354842
Seattle, WA 98195-4842
The Faculty Room:
206-685-DOIT (3648) (voice/TTY)
888-972-DOIT (3648) (voice/TTY)
206-221-4171 (fax)
509-328-9331 (voice/TTY) Spokane

Founder and Director: Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph.D.

DO-IT Funding and Partners


The contents of this publication were developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, #P33A990042. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.

Copyright © 2012, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2002, 2000, University of Washington. Permission is granted to copy these materials for educational, noncommercial purposes provided the source is acknowledged.