Summary of Results from Grants from the Office of Postsecondary Education
Since 1992, DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) at the University of Washington (UW) has served to increase the success of people with disabilities in academic programs and careers. The efficacy of DO-IT practices has been recognized with numerous awards, shared in more than one hundred articles in the press, and documented by both student success and institutional change. Among its many grant-funded activities, it has had three U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE)-funded projects DO-IT Prof (grant #P333A990042), DO-IT Admin (#P333A020044), and AccessCollege (#P333A050064). Each new project progressively applies lessons learned in prior project(s), refines and continues the earlier activities, and expands the scope to include new content that reaches a broader audience. The results of these projects are summarized below.
In 1999, DO-IT implemented professional development to prepare postsecondary faculty and administrators to fully include students with disabilities in courses. DO-IT Prof partners, selected in a competitive process, represented twenty-three postsecondary institutions, each paired with a local collaborator school with different demographics, resulting in a diverse group of twenty-three four-year and twenty-three two-year institutions. Project partners
- conducted focus groups with students with disabilities and faculty;
- collaborated via email, telephone, and on-site meetings;
- created curricula and resource materials;
- developed, rigorously field tested, and implemented professional development programs for faculty and academic administrators;
- worked with an external evaluator to measure results; and
- disseminated materials nationwide.
Training - Staff and partners delivered 250 training sessions to 6,500 faculty, administrators, and teaching assistants to help them understand relevant legislation, learn about campus resources, apply universal design (UD) to instruction, and accommodate students with disabilities. Responding to the diverse content and scheduling needs of faculty, six training modules were created. They include a twenty-thirty minute overview for a departmental meeting, full-day workshops on specific topics, public television presentations, and web-based instruction.
Website - The Faculty Room developed in response to faculty needs, includes a searchable Knowledge Base of more than 200 questions and answers, case studies, and promising practices.
Publications and Videos - Eight thousand publications and videos on UD of instruction and accommodating students with disabilities were distributed; concise handouts provide teaching strategies; a comprehensive train-the-trainer curriculum includes an overview of research, presentation outlines, scripts, videos, visual aids, and reference materials for six models of professional development.
DO-IT Prof partners identified the need to increase the knowledge and skills of administrators and support staff in student service organizations (e.g., libraries, career services, registration offices, tutoring centers, computer labs) regarding UD, accommodations, and resources to make these services welcoming and accessible to students with disabilities.
In 2002, DO-IT implemented DO-IT Admin to continue to refine and deliver training and resources to faculty, as well as create and deliver training and resources tailored to student service personnel. Most DO-IT Prof partners participated in DO-IT Admin; new partners from states not yet represented were selected through a competitive recruitment process and, as before, each of the twenty-three partners worked with a collaborator school.
Training - Using the six previously developed models of instruction and six new models, staff and partners delivered 200 presentations to 7,300 faculty and administrators.
Websites - The Student Services Conference Room was developed for student service staff; its Knowledge Base includes more than 200 articles. The Board Room was created for presidents, provosts, and other high-level administrators and includes sixty articles. In addition, the AccessDL website was created to help administrators make distance learning offerings accessible to students and instructors with disabilities and shares distance learning program accessibility indicators.
Publications and Videos - Twenty-four thousand publications and videos were distributed. Concise, targeted publications include checklists for applying UD to specific student services (e.g., career services). A comprehensive train-the-trainer notebook includes guidelines and materials for the delivery of six new models of professional development.
DO-IT Admin partners identified the need for increased efforts to ensure that institutions and professional organizations are welcoming and accessible to people with disabilities.
AccessCollege continued to host and refine professional development activities for faculty and student service personnel and established more comprehensive interventions, such as the Summer Institute for Faculty and Academic Administrators; identified, validated, and applied campus accessibility indicators; and worked with professional organizations to implement measurable change in the accessibility of their conferences, publications, and websites. Project outcomes include the following:
Training - Staff and partners delivered 184 presentations to 7,300 faculty, student services personnel, and community stakeholders on campuses and at professional conferences nationwide.
Communities of Practice - Staff and partners developed ongoing communities of practice (CoPs) that focused on systemic change on twenty-two campuses nationwide.
Website - The Center for Universal Design in Education (CUDE) was created to promote the universal design of educational entities; the CUDE includes 200 searchable articles.
Publications - Videos and publications were created and more than 130,000 were distributed. Project staff edited a book, Universal Design in Higher Education: From Principles to Practice, published by Harvard Education Press. The forty-four authors include many leaders in OPE-funded projects; they synthesized research and shared specific applications of UD to instruction, information technology (IT), student services, and physical spaces. The project created concise publications and a train-the-trainer notebook, Building Capacity for a Welcoming and Accessible Postsecondary Institution.
Sample of Measures of Success
DO-IT's three OPE-funded projects have been recognized with numerous awards that include the Exceptional Program Award from the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD); achievement awards to DO-IT Prof and DO-IT Admin Teams for training faculty and student service personnel, respectively, from the Washington Association for Postsecondary Education and Disabilities (WAPED); six WAPED achievement awards to project staff and collaborators; the BizTech Accessibility award for making distance learning courses accessible to individuals with disabilities; and the Bright Idea Award from the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education (POD Network). Project success is also documented by positive outcomes as briefly summarized below.
In a quasi-experimental 2X2 research design, AccessCollege Team members collected grade data for students in classes taught by faculty who received training and for students in classes taught by "matched" faculty who did not. The grades of students with and without disabilities in those two categories were compared both before and after the training period to gather evidence regarding the impact of faculty training on student success. In summary, the grades of students with disabilities in classes taught by faculty who received training increased more than for those in courses taught by untrained faculty whereas the performance of students without disabilities stayed about the same before and after training. This result brought the performance of students with and without disabilities to close to the same level in the post-training period. This pattern was not observed in the grades of untrained faculty, thus suggesting a positive impact of faculty training on the performance of students with disabilities. Details regarding the analysis are provided in the following paragraphs.
Data collection and analysis involved 6,550 grades from 269 classes taught by forty-two instructors who received training and fifty-five instructors who did not, but who taught comparable classes in the same department in the same institution during the same time period. Those forty-two instructors gave out 1,379 of these grades prior to the training they received (sixty-five of them to students with disabilities) and 1,457 of the grades after the training (ninety-five to students with disabilities). The comparison faculty gave out 1,611 of their grades prior to their colleagues' training and 103 after (102 and 129 of them, respectively, to students with disabilities).
A subset of this dataset was used for the 2 (training group) X2 (pre- or post-training) X2 (with or without documented disability) analysis. Only classes with at least one student with a documented disability were included in this analysis and, of these, only those with data collected from classes taught both before and after faculty training; and of these, only those with a matched comparison instructor whose classes also met these data requirements. After the application of these restrictions, 133 classes remained, yielding 264 grades for students with disabilities, and 3,066 grades for students without. Forty-six of these classes were taught by faculty who received training (eighteen of the classes were taught prior to the training; twenty-eight after), and eighty-seven of the classes were taught by matched comparison instructors (thirty-two of them prior to their match's training, and fifty-five after).
Class was the unit of analysis for the analysis. Thus, the analytic database consisted of the average grade point average (GPA) for students with disabilities and the average GPA for students without disabilities for each class. Figure 1 presents the change from pre-training to post-training in average course GPA for students with disabilities and for students without disabilities in courses taught by faculty who received training.
The average GPA of the students without disabilities stayed at about 2.6 or 2.7 pre-and-post faculty training, respectively. The average GPA of the students with disabilities in the same classes increased from an average of 1.8 to 2.5. Note that this change brought the average grades of students with disabilities close to that of students without disabilities. Analysis of data presented in this figure shows that, overall, the grades of the students with disabilities were significantly lower than those of their non-disabled classmates (F(1,41)=7.9; p<.01) and that the increase in average GPA from pre- to post- faculty training among the students with disabilities is unlikely to be due to chance: (F(1,41)=5.9; p<.05).
Figure 2 presents similar information for the classes taught by the matched comparison instructors who did not receive training.
Again, this figure shows that, overall, the average GPAs of the students with disabilities are significantly lower than those of their non disabled classmates (F(1,81)=5.7; p<.05). However, unlike the classes of the trained instructors, the lower grades of the students with disabilities did not improve to match those of their non-disabled classmates over the same time period. This result suggests that the training had a significant impact on the ability of the instructors to better teach their students with disabilities.
In AccessCollege faculty training surveys, 98% of faculty reported they planned to change at least one thing about their teaching from the ideas they learned in the training. Planned changes included the following:
- Include a statement in my syllabus/program brochure/website that indicates how to obtain disability related accommodations. (65%)
- Use multi-modal presentations. (67%)
- Arrange the physical space I use to be more easily accessed by everyone. (65%)
- Ensure that all materials used in my class/program are available in alternate formats. (53%)
- Be prepared to respond to requests for accommodations. (85%)
- Ensure that commercial media I use (e.g. DVDs) are captioned. (38%)
- Create simple directions for assignments and forms and otherwise make them easier to complete. (65%)
- Regularly assess the accessibility of my course, service, or program. (69%)
Ten percent (10%) of participants reported other actions they intend to take, including those that impact their own teaching (e.g., offer alternate assignments that appeal to multiple intelligences and get feedback or input from students with disabilities in courses) and those that promote systemic change (e.g., encourage improved accessibility of online registration and other web pages, captioning of videos, and faculty and staff utilization of universal design principles).
Project Team members communicated with a sample of faculty members who participated in project training. These individuals reported changes that were a direct result of the training that suggest a project impact of making courses more welcoming and accessible to students with disabilities at participating campuses:
- "Faculty in the arts and sciences area who I have presented to said making class presentations in all modalities (visual, auditory, and haptic) has helped students tremendously."
- "One faculty member said he never realized that he himself was a strong visual learner and now realizes why all assignments must be given with written instructions."
- "Many instructors are now providing study guides to students. The students can copy off the guide and use it to take notes in class."
- "The majority of instructors now provide disability contact on their syllabi."
- "One faculty [member] we've worked with suggested best test taking practices for a student and suggested they break a math exam into two sections and complete one section at a time to help with focus."
- "Several psychology instructors have moved to universal design practices and placed their notes on their websites."
- "One of the computer faculty now offers Dragon Naturally Speaking [software] for any student who wants to use it, moving closer to universal design."
- "Reading faculty, who traditionally work with many students with learning disabilities, have added an advisor to each class section as a way to address and meet student needs."
- "The reading faculty now have Kurzweil [reading technology with speech output] available for students with learning disabilities."
Listed below are examples of feedback from participants that document the high quality of these presentations and their impact on increasing the knowledge and skills of participants to better serve students with disabilities:
- "Good use of audience participation."
- "I liked the interactive exercises. It keeps the audience involved."
- "Great information. I got a lot out of it. I learned a lot."
- "I'm glad I came, it allowed me to learn things I would have not really learned otherwise."
- "[I] learned about various disability/accommodation resources." (teaching assistant)
- "I felt our discussion groups were on target and were certainly full of relevant information for my position." (student service staff)
- "As an RA, I found the workshop very useful for any future encounters I may have with a resident who has a disability." (student service staff/student)
- "This presentation should be done at Faculty and Student Orientation and do a follow-up mid-year."(student service staff)
- "This is the best conference I've ever been to, because of your content presentations (not the accommodations)." (student service staff/administrator)
- "This (universal design of instruction) is such an important topic, thanks for the info." (student service staff/administrator)
- Great info and message, would love to link it also to UW-Bothell/UW-Tacoma settings." (faculty)
- "It was a good confirmation and reminder of what we need to continue to do in the classrooms to encourage student success." (faculty)
- "Very relevant to our coursework and student population." (faculty)
- "Presenter was great! She made the material interesting and not boring." (faculty)
- "Very good explanations of the concepts-reinforces the training we did." (faculty)
- "Although I knew some of this information because of working in K-12 it was beneficial to learn the differences in college and K-12 settings." (graduate teaching assistant)
- Great opportunity to educate/explore disability issues." (faculty)
- "Strength is that it was offered and provides opportunity for continued discussion." (faculty)
- "Well done! Student presenters were great. Good info overall!" (faculty)
- "Great session. Lots of good ideas conveyed that will be incorporated." (faculty)
- "Wonderful opportunity to share ideas with colleagues - also new faculty." (faculty)
- "Well organized and clear. Video was excellent." (faculty)
- "Give this workshop several times a year to as many faculty as are interested!" (faculty)
- "These indicators point out some important issues that I never really thought about." (academic administrator)
- "It would be great to see another workshop (CBI) that I can refer others to. The one I attended last year had some very useful information." (academic administrator)
- "I use DO-IT materials all the time, they are really useful to me and my peers." (faculty)
- "Most useful session I attended. Information was all relevant-presenters very passionate." (student service staff)
- "You guys are the best resource ever." (postsecondary staff)
The following comments regarding presentations suggest a positive impact on participant behavior:
- "This presentation resulted in approval of the following motion: CAPED will adopt a universal design philosophy in every aspect of the association, including a written statement of commitment to universal design on CAPED's home page." (student services administrator)
- "I left with a sense of empathy, tolerance plus some concrete resources."(faculty)
- "More comfortable with students with [learning disabilities]."(faculty)
- "[New faculty stated that they] will include a disability services statement on syllabi, will insure accommodations are provided, and will use UD concepts." (student services staff)
- "[At the parent orientation program] campus mentoring publications and PR include image of content related to disability and disability is included in campus discussions on and training on diversity and special populations." (student services staff)
- "I will apply the knowledge from this presentation to events and how I approach situations." (student service staff)
- I intend to build my programs around the concept of universal accessibility. I never placed a lot of stock [in it] before. Also, I will be more aware of disability related needs and referrals." (student service staff)
- "Great info! Can't wait to get chance for implementation." (administrator)
- "The Disability Resource Committee will be invited to the new faculty orientation to discuss universal design and appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities." (administrator)
- "[We] will make sure accommodations are provided for online courses [and] disability information is provided on the online website." (administrator)
- "[I] will add universal design concepts to syllabi [and] will add universal design concepts to the classroom" (faculty)
- "Very helpful overall-took away a number of ideas that I will try to incorporate into my classes." (faculty)
- "Great ideas that will encourage me to make changes in my teaching." (faculty)
- "This is a great way of thinking through my teaching. Thank you." (faculty)
Presenters reported feedback that supports training resulted in positive changes at postsecondary institutions. Comments included:
- "A faculty member said she would add a statement about accommodations to her syllabus; a director of a DSS office will share information on kinesthetics in the classroom with faculty; a faculty member said he would make laptops available for visual learners use in class; a faculty member will have a student email to him each day's class notes and the faculty member would then post the notes in a public folder for all students use."
- "In addition to the surveys, there was very positive verbal feedback [from faculty that suggests positive project impact]. One faculty member said she was going to include universal design as part of her course content on curriculum development in education! Several academic counselors stated they wanted extra materials to pass along to colleagues. One teacher said she would try some of the applications of UD."
- "Many individuals reported that they will look at how the offices and programs are set up in terms of accessibility. In addition, others are looking into how to influence their involvement in the capital improvements funds to make physical changes to the environment [at two-year colleges]."
- "The instructor thanked me for sharing ideas about behavioral issues and said that next time he is in a situation regarding behavior he will be very explicit about what is acceptable."
- "We determined equipment needs and solved student issues. Faculty was excited to use the resources from the DO-IT website."
- "Faculty [who attended stated that they] plan to use The Faculty Room [website]."
- "A special needs advisor [at the training I gave] said she will personally take each student to the technology room to be trained on the Kurzweil rather than leave training up to the student."
- "Two students, one visually impaired, and the other with LD/ADD spoke to the class, answering my questions as moderator. The class was very interested, asked good questions and the professor felt this forum worked well. Between the students and myself - important information was shared. They also enjoyed the video Building the Team."
- "[At the presentation I gave] the discussion went well, good questions were asked, and students took the handout. I also emphasized our website that is linked to DO-IT's."
- "[Student service staff and administrators] said they would put [disability] statements on their brochures and be more aware of these needs in the future."
- "[Disability] statements provided [in the training I gave] are now to be included in publications; these statements are now standard for public affairs [on our campus]."
- "Packets of DO-IT materials were distributed to all two year disability services staff [in the state of Washington]."
- "Deans and chairs state they feel comfortable that they can call disability services and not be afraid of being sued."
- "[New] faculty [stated they] will include disability services statements on their syllabi, will use universal design concepts, and provide accommodations in their classrooms."
- "Several administrators stated they planned to use the new SAR (Support for Accommodation Request) that was recently developed by the Department of Education to lessen documentation barriers."
- "The disabled student services staff members from my university said they now intended to work with admissions to include on a student's acceptance letter the contact person to send [disability] documentation to or call with questions."
- "Faculty stated they would visit the [DO-IT] website."
- "Created awareness about the publications that are distributed via the career and transfer center and are available in alternate formats, especially captioning for videos. [Received] commitment from the department that they will invite me again before the next training day to discuss universal design and accommodation strategies further."
- "One faculty member said she was going to include universal design as part of her course content on curriculum development in education!"
An online course for faculty on universal design created during an earlier grant was also available as a resource on our AccessCollege website and continued to be offered by Team members during Years 1-4 of the project. In Years 3 and 4 of the project it garnered these responses from faculty about its positive impact related to their training in universal design:
- "Regarding my class, the biggest impact is the idea of universal design - teaching the class in such a way that I might be able to accommodate the students without changing much, if anything. I've begun thinking about next semester's class in a different way and will keep all the disabilities discussed in mind when designing it. This has definitely been worthwhile. Thank you for administering the class!"
- "The most important thing I learned is that the extra time and care spent developing a course around universal design principles will minimize the need to alter it later for students with special needs. . .as with most projects, time well spent in the design phase pays dividends later."
- "I enjoyed this course and will be applying the new knowledge I have learned here to my course development for next year."
- "I've learned specific ways to make adjustments to my course that accommodate more students."
- "As each student is an individual, I'm mindful that there are accommodations that may work for one and not another and that I need to be able to be flexible. Working with the student and [the disability services] office is going to be key for future successes' just yesterday a student came to see me to explain how her narcolepsy has made it difficult to do the readings. If only I had known earlier! I could have suggested she see about acquiring audiotaped texts!"
- "I think the most valuable thing I have learned during this course [is that] I don't have to know how to accommodate everything on my own because we have so many resources through [the disability services] office that are available to our students and ourselves. I can try to do my absolute best at designing a class that considers the needs of my possible students and make it accessible, but if something comes along that I need help with; I will ask for help."
- "I have so much to think about related to the benefits of online courses for increasing access for all involved. Some of my courses would not be appropriate for online learning, but I have started to think about how to create an online class to help others access the information in more convenient ways."
- "The one thing I have learned in this course that will make my Physical Geology course more accessible to students who require accommodations is that disability services has a wide variety of tools to help such students. I was aware that the center was there to help students, but I had no idea the amount of resources that were readily available for our students. I will feel much more comfortable talking to students about how we can best meet their needs with the knowledge base I have gained from this course. It is very reassuring to me to be so well informed about the resources we have."
Developed with extensive formative evaluation from stakeholders, project websites are organized into one collection; online instruments and partner feedback continue to assess their usefulness and identify potential improvements. Respondent comments include: "An excellent website of comprehensive resources that any instructor can have access to 24 hours a day!" and "I will be adding a link to your website The Faculty Room, from my department's website." The usefulness of these websites is also measured by the large numbers of visits they experience each month: 60,000 for The Faculty Room; 20,000 for The Student Services Conference Room; 5,000 for The Board Room; 16,000 for The Employment Office; 2,500 for The Veterans Center; and 12,000 for The Center for Universal Design in Education.
Partner institutions reported systemic changes toward more inclusive campuses and professional organizations; some are shared online. They include policies to promote UD through faculty mentorships and training, disability-related statements for syllabi, accessible web and distance learning design, student technology fees used to purchase assistive technology, captioned videos on institutional web pages, the AccessCollege Campus Accessibility Indicators, and accessibility improvements of conferences.
Publications and Videos
Print- and web-based publications as well as video products were developed through an iterative process of formative evaluation that included individuals with disabilities. Evaluation instruments were also distributed with publications. The responses of recipients of project publications document their usefulness:
- "I will be doing a workshop for our faculty on the concept of universal design of instruction...the materials will be a big help and I have found the DO-IT web resources and other materials a tremendous help ever since DO-IT began. Every semester I have the opportunity speak with faculty during orientation to the semester, and always list the DO-IT site as a faculty resource. Several faculty members have let me know they have found it helpful. It was particularly helpful when a blind student was enrolled in a science class and the professor just assumed she would not be able to fully participate. We got some very good information through DO-IT. Keep up the good work!" (Director of Support Services)
- "I've wanted to have this brochure for years and am excited about having it to distribute to faculty this year." (Assistant Director, Counseling and Disability Services)
- "I have distributed [UD publications] to our Dean of Students office and have received lots of compliments." (Assistant Dean of Students/DSS Director)
- "The door hangers are great. What a wonderful idea. A class act as always! I would love to have 500, so I can distribute them to all faculty." (DSS Director)
- "[Our] college in Edmonton, Alberta, which serves over 10,000 students through full, part-time, and distance learning courses and is a member of an initiative called e-Campus Alberta, a consortia of 15 post secondary institutions offering online learning, created a publication outlining accessibility considerations for developing online learning courses which strongly recommends the incorporation of Universal Design for Learning principles and incorporates a modified version of DO-IT's accessible distance learning checklist." (DSS Staff)
- I think you have created an incredible resource and would appreciate it greatly if I could use it." (DSS Staff)
- The bookmarks, folders, and various handouts look professional and are wonderful for training sessions. We use them at every training session with our faculty and at state-wide conferences with the Dept of Ed." (DSS Supervisor)
- "Our university has benefited in many ways by the wonderful DO-IT materials." (DSS Director).
Feedback from recipients of the book developed from the cumulative efforts of DO-IT's OPE-funded projects, Universal Design in Higher Education: From Principles to Practice, document its high quality and usefulness. Specific comments include:
- "The book is excellent, and it is very extensive and in-depth. It covers many areas, including disabilities." (Higher Education Faculty)
- "I was impressed with the breadth of coverage. The chart on page one gives a wonderful view of the wide range of applications and helped to stimulate my thinking about what was to come and expanded my rather limited conception of UD." (Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs, Director, Center for Teaching Excellence)
- "The book is extremely useful. It is aimed both at the novice and also at those who are more experienced. Two things in particular that I liked are the introductory material that explains exactly what UD is and how to implement at a basic level. For me, much of the stuff I had been doing OK, was done purely by luck. This gave me something solid on which to build." (Independent Researcher and IT Education Specialist)
- "The references in this book are excellent. Thank you. Thank you for making this book available as a resource." (Academic Administrator)
- "I think it's a great book. As a faculty developer, I especially like the tables with the tips and strategies for designing instruction and assessment according to universal design principles." (Instructional Development Staff)
- "This is an excellent book compared to others I have read because it is couched in a way that motivates faculty to consider changes to the way we've always done things. While not trying to be, it is persuasively written. I especially liked the inclusion of the picture on page 201 and strategies for deeper understanding. The information in the book on uses in instruction such as the design of syllabi and communicating with students is excellent material for faculty developers." (Instructional Design, Development, and Evaluation Faculty)
- "I especially enjoyed the chapters on Professional Development, Faculty Development, Student Reflections, and Faculty Perspective. Being new to UD this was an excellent and comprehensive introduction for me!" (Higher Education Faculty)
- "A great resource, thank you for making it available to us!" (Academic Administrator)
- "My degree is in instructional design and this book would be a fantastic addition for folks who intend to work in academic settings. I will recommend it to the instructors who I think might find it helpful." (Higher Education Faculty)
- "I love the whole universal design thing and I think the people at DO-IT rock. For any and all in higher education, you gotta read Universal Design in Higher Education: From Principles to Practice. It's good, really good. I know it is a whole book and most of us don't have time to read a whole book that isn't in our area; but if you are teaching students, it is in your area." (Education Researcher and Evaluator)
- "A useful overview, both as a teaching tool and as a guide for our institution." (Higher Education Faculty)
DO-IT's OPE-funded projects made a unique contribution in the field by
- building on current research and evaluative data;
- developing methods and materials through a nationwide collaboration of geographically and demographically diverse set of two- and four-year institutions;
- delivering professional development using multiple delivery systems and evaluating effectiveness in different settings and for those with a variety of needs.
Data collected suggests that project activities
- changed teaching practices of faculty to make postsecondary learning environments more welcoming and accessible to students with disabilities and
- increased the success of students with disabilities in college courses nationwide. Its development of innovative online resources and communities of practice ensure ongoing and long-term impact.
It is expected that, ultimately, efforts such as those employed in DO-IT Prof, DO-IT Admin, and AccessCollege benefit society by increasing participation in postsecondary academic and career fields and enhancing these fields with the talents and perspectives of people with disabilities. They help ensure that we support "the best ideas from the most capable researchers and educators" (Congressional Commission, 2000, p. 3).