About DO-IT Prof
DO-IT 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 2001 Bright Ideas award.
The DO-IT Prof project applies lessons learned by DO-IT and other researchers and practitioners nationwide to implement a comprehensive professional development program for college faculty and administrators. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Education (grant #P33A990042). "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 serves 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 delivered 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 videos to deliver on public television.
Model 5: A distance learning "anytime-anywhere" course that provides lessons and discussion delivered via electronic mail.
Model 6: Self-paced, Web-based instruction in The Faculty Room at http://www.washington.edu/doit/Faculty/.
The DO-IT Prof team includes faculty, disabled student services staff, and administrators at institutions of higher education in 23 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 include representatives from AHEAD (Association on Higher Education and Disability), the National Center for the Study of Postsecondary Educational Supports, and WAPED (Washington Association on Postsecondary Education and Disability).
Project team members chose institutional partners in their states. If a team member is from a four-year institution, the partner school is a community or technical college; if the team member is from a community or technical college, the partner school is 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.
Each team member and partner campus delivered professional development programs, disseminated materials, provided technical assistance to faculty and administrators, and institutionalized successful strategies in their schools. Some continue these efforts as part of subsequent projects, DO-IT Admin (http://www.washington.edu/doit/Brochures/Academics/admin.html) and AccessCollege (http://www.washington.edu/doit/Brochures/Academics/access_college.html), also funded by the U.S. Department of Education (grants #P333A020044 and #P333A050064, respectively).
Completion of this project will make 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. Ultimately, this project will result in greater postsecondary educational opportunities for individuals with disabilities.