DO-IT Pals

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Who can be a DO-IT Pal?

[A mentor works with a high school student in a computer lab.]

Are you a teenager with a disability?

Do you want to attend college?

Are you interested in pursuing a challenging career?

Would you like to meet other teens with disabilities who have similar goals? Get tips for success from college students and other adults with disabilities?

Do you want to learn about scholarships, internships, and other opportunities?

Can you get access to a computer and the Internet?

If you've answered yes to these questions, YOU would make a great DO-IT Pal!

What do DO-IT Pals do?


Frequent email and personal contacts with Mentors support DO-IT Pals' academic, career, and personal goals. Mentors are college students, faculty, and practicing engineers, scientists, and other professionals. Many DO-IT Mentors have disabilities themselves. Experienced DO-IT Pals also develop and practice communication and leadership skills by acting as peer mentors for incoming DO-IT Pals. They make friends and motivate each other to achieve their goals.


[A student in a wheelchair uses assistive technology to access a computer.]

DO-IT Pals use the Internet to explore academic and career interests. It is their door to the information and resources they need for success.


Some DO-IT Pals apply their skills and knowledge in projects based on their interests. DO-IT Mentors and staff act as resources and provide assistance. Examples of possible projects include: complete an exhibit or a paper about assistive technology for people with disabilities for a school assignment; be a "mentor" to younger students with disabilities in the community - become their friend, encourage their interests in school, show them how to use a computer and the Internet; or give a presentation to recruit DO-IT Pals.

What's expected of DO-IT Pals?

DO-IT Pals come from all over the world. Most activities take place online. DO-IT Pals:

What happens when DO-IT Pals graduate from high school?

A DO-IT Pal who graduates from high school can become a DO-IT Mentor. A DO-IT Mentor helps with program activities, participates in electronic communications, and mentors younger DO-IT participants. DO-IT Mentor Application.

What's a DO-IT Mentor?

[A student accesses the Internet with a laptop.]

DO-IT Mentors are valuable resources for DO-IT Pals. As guides, counselors, teachers, and friends, they inspire and facilitate academic, career, and personal achievements. Relationships developed with Mentors become channels for the passage of information, advice, opportunities, challenges, and support with the ultimate goals of achievement and fun. DO-IT Mentors offer:

To get to know Mentors, DO-IT Pals:

How do DO-IT Pals access technology and electronic resources?

[A mentor collaborates with a high school student in a wheelchair on a project using a laptop.]

To become a part of DO-IT Pals, you'll need to have access to the Internet, probably from your home, library, or school. You'll also need an email account.

DO-IT does not provide funding for computers, assistive technology, or Internet access for DO-IT Pals; however technical assistance for selecting equipment or an Internet service provider is provided by DO-IT staff.

To contact staff, request publications, ask technical questions, or find out more about the program, email:

DO-IT Pals automatically become members of an electronic discussion list, doitpals. To communicate with other Pals, email:

To discuss issues pertaining to individuals with disabilities and their pursuit of science, engineering, and mathematics (sem) and other challenging academic programs and careers, DO-IT Pals are automatically subscribed to the larger doitsem discussion list. To send a message to the group use the following address:

Parents and others can joining this list by sending an email request to:

What is DO-IT Pal "Netiquette"?

[A student accesses the Internet with a laptop.]

Electronic mail guidelines for DO-IT Pals include:

How do I apply to be a DO-IT Pal?

[A high school student uses assistive technology with her laptop.]

Teens with disabilities who want to go to college and who have an email address are encouraged to apply to become a DO-IT Pal. Applications can be obtained online or by requesting the form via email:

Complete and return the application via email. Applicants are informed of their acceptance within two weeks of receipt of their application.

Parents of DO-IT Pals can join an online community of parents of DO-IT Pals and other participants by sending a request to join the DO-IT Parent List to:

What is DO-IT?

The University of Washington helps individuals with disabilities transition to colleges, universities, and careers through DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology). Computers and Internet technologies are used as empowering tools. Primary funding for DO-IT is provided by the National Science Foundation, the State of Washington, and the U.S. Department of Education.

Additional grants and gifts have been received from the Boeing Company; Institute for Human Centered Design; Dole Foundation, Telecommunications Funding Partnership; Dynamac Corporation; Eisenhower Professional Development Program, Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction; Jeld-Wen Foundation; Microsoft Corporation; Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation; NASA; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); NEC Foundation of America; Samuel S. Johnson Foundation; The Seattle Foundation; U.S. Department of Labor; Visio Corporation; and many individuals.

Additional Information

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
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

Copyright © 2011, 2003, 2000, 1997 University of Washington. Permission is granted to copy these materials for educational, non-commercial purposes provided the source is acknowledged.