Research Documents Value of DO-IT Activities to Participants

September 14, 2004

A recently published article written by Drs. Wool Soon Kim-Rupnow and Sheryl Burgstahler presents findings of a study on the value of DO-IT practices to participants. It is published in the Journal of Special Education Technology.

This article reports the results of a retrospective study to assess the social, academic, and career outcomes of the interventions of an exemplary technology-based college and career preparation program for students with disabilities. This article reports how participants perceive the impact of key components, including technology-enriched summer study and year-round computer and Internet activities, on their social, college, and career skills. Participants consider access to adaptive technology and computer and Internet access and use to support their development of social, academic and career skills. As a result of their participation DO-IT's technology-based transition program, they report growth, in descending order: (a) in preparation for college, (b) Internet skills, © preparation for employment, (d) self-advocacy skills, (e) computer skills, (f) independence, (g) perceived career options, (h) social skills, (i) self-esteem, and (j) perseverance.

Other programs should consider similar practices that assure technology access to support the development of academic and career skills, peer and mentor interaction, and smooth transitions between academic and employment levels of involvement. To benefit other programs, they should also undertake efforts to clearly document their practices and follow up with participants to assess program outcomes and the relative value of specific program components and then disseminate information about successful practices. Such efforts have the potential to improve the postsecondary academic and career outcomes for people with disabilities.

For more information consult the following article:

Kim-Rupnow, W. S., & Burgstahler, S. (2004). Perceptions of students with disabilities regarding the value of technology-based support activities on postsecondary education and employment. Journal of Special Education Technology, 19(2).