How DO-IT Does It

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The screen is divided into three sections and each flashes the faces of talking men and women. "How DO-IT Does It!"
[Sheryl] Hi, I'm Sheryl Burgstahler, director of the DO-IT programs at the University of Washington in Seattle. There are thousands of students on this campus, and some of them have disabilities that at one time would have blocked them from academic achievement. Attitudes have changed, career and school opportunities have changed, even the law has changed. What hasn't changed is that all students need academic and career skills, self-confidence, self-advocacy skills, and determination.
In a classroom...
[Sheryl] Since 1992, DO-IT has applied research-based, proven practices to help students with disabilities build these strengths. Now we'd like to share with you our knowledge and experience. We'll show you what we do and how we do it.
On a divided screen, students work at a computer, carry boxes, and attend a class. "What is DO-IT?" Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and technology
[Sheryl] Through our DO-IT Scholars program, we prepare high school students with disabilities for college and careers.
DO-IT scholars share comments...
[Hank] It taught me a lot of things about college.
[Ali] That gave me some, you know, belief or strength that I can do things.
[Jessica] I'm loving every minute of it. It's really great. The people here are so nice; you can relate to them; it's been a wonderful experience.
[Matt] DO-IT's helping me get to the level I need to be.
[Instructor] After that, then you can take biology.
[Sheryl] DO-IT encourages students to prepare for college and for challenging career fields such as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
[Michael] I want to become a pediatric psychiatrist because I want to be able to help children with disabilities.
[Shavonne] I was thinking about majoring in law or journalism, something like that.
[Susanna] Probably computer science, software, maybe software engineering. Maybe I'll help Microsoft make software or something; build it, design it, you know.[laughs]
[Doug] This is for the appearance you can choose for the different-sized fonts...
[Sheryl] And DO-IT offers access to empowering tools such as computers, assistive technology, and the Internet.
[Computer] On this tool bar you will find buttons that help you write.
[Norma] I think the support, the internships, being able to ask questions, being able to have things explained to me, that allows me to improve my own process and develop my skills.
[Senait] It's, like, really fun 'cause we get to learn how college is going to be like and what to do, what not to do, and the services that are out there for us that we never knew about.
[Sheryl] There are three phases in the DO-IT Scholars program.
In a classroom...
[Lyla] You should be able to select electronic portfolios - the DO-IT Scholars...
[Sheryl] In Phase I, students learn to use computers for educational enrichment and enhanced communication.
[Jamie] Yeah, I use it a lot, because my cerebral palsy makes my hands very tight and writing hurts a lot and takes me a long time. I use it for almost everything-typing, my homework, and making things, and e-mailing.
[Sheryl] They explore the Internet and connect electronically with Mentors and other Scholars.
[Jamie] I've been on Internet, and I've, you know, had experience with that; but it really just opened my eyes to other things that were on the computer.
[Sheryl] DO-IT provides the computers, including assistive technology, for all students in the Scholars program.
DO-IT scholar Norma is using sign language...
[Norma] I am so excited, I'll be able to use it for school, I'll be able to use it at home, I'll be able to e-mail people, I'll be able to use it in high school, I mean there are so many options, it's great.
A key unlocks a door.
[Intern] Here you go.
[Sheryl] During Summer Study, Phase I Scholars spend two weeks living in the dorms at the University of Washington.
[Brad] Staying in the dorm, it really helps with getting the mindset of being more independent.
[Val] Here's your folder and your nametag. Inside your folder is your schedule and....
[Sheryl] Summer Study offers classes, labs, field trips, dances, and just hanging out with new friends.
[Sara] DO-IT Scholars are definitely teenagers first and students with disabilities second. There's all the social interaction that's usual, there's the interest, there's the energy level, there's just the excitement of being a teenager.
[Michael] I think you hit "enter" to get it to pop up.
[Sheryl] In Phase II, Scholars begin practicing leadership skills by acting as peer mentors for new Scholars. This is done on the Internet throughout the year, and in person during the Summer Study. They also work on individual projects.
[Cynthia] I want to learn the Web page so bad, and right now they get me into this workshop, and I learn how to do a Web page, and like how to write a newsletter article and all those, it's really good.
[Sheryl] Summer Study during the second year is one week of living on campus.
[Rima] My name is Rima Saha, and I'm a Phase II Scholar, and I was involved In the Web accessibility workshop this week....
[Sheryl] Phase II Scholars work in groups to design and complete projects and then deliver presentations to a large audience of peers and parents.
A student unpacks boxes of groceries.
[Sheryl] In Phase III, Scholars contribute to the DO-IT community by developing programs, writing newsletter articles, and assisting as interns in the Summer Study.
[Michael] I really liked the fact that DO-IT opened up that new opportunity for me, so it's a real positive building experience.
[Scott] We expect them to find participants who are maybe shy or a little bit lonely or just out of place, and interact with them and try to introduce them to some of their peers. And also in the evenings, we have a lot of just recreation activities and down time, and it's kind of their job to pull out games and come up with ideas for everyone to have fun and put groups together and get people kind of mingling in that way.
[Tynesha] By my third quarter, I found, like, the right people that I needed to get ... in touch with, and things started to get better after that.
[Sheryl] When Scholars have graduated from high school and completed Phases I, II, and III, they can become DO-IT Ambassadors. Ambassadors help with the program, participate in e-mail groups, and, most importantly, mentor younger Scholars.
[Lucas] I'm able to help and be able to give back, and just help out the staff of what they've been doing for me for the last couple of years. And it makes me feel better, you know, that I can give back to a program that's done so much for me.
On a divided screen, students work with computers, pose together for a photo, and dance. "DO-IT makes a difference."
[Sheryl] At DO-IT, we know we're making a difference. We can see it as the Scholars go on to college and careers. We measure our success by their choices and achievements.
A woman has a guide dog.
[Sheryl] As a group, people with disabilities don't find the same career success as their peers without disabilities. And yet, today's high tech careers offer great opportunities. Assistive technology provides access to computers and scientific equipment, and some employers are learning that a small investment in accessibility can pay off in attracting great workers. DO-IT helps students visualize a successful future... and take the steps to get there.
[Sheryl] DO-IT applies research findings in preparing young people for college and careers. Our practices are consistent with youth development research. These practices include:
[Sheryl] Research tells us that when these elements are integrated into a comprehensive set of activities, they're more successful than isolated efforts. In the DO-IT Scholars program, we achieve that goal by combining computer and Internet access, multiple Summer Study programs, year-round mentor and peer support, and work experience.
[Sheryl] So, how does DO-IT do it? Well, something like this.....
In fast motion, Sheryl walks through an office. Staff members put away board games. Post-it notes are stuck on a dry-erase board. Boxes are loaded into a van. Students assemble information notebooks, a man is driving and a woman is on the phone. A laptop is set up. Food supplies are unloaded from a mini-van. Clothing is placed in a dresser drawer. Students make their way through an outdoor buffet line. Others are playing pool. Later, a young man plays ping pong. Students are dancing. A s
[Sheryl] Did you get all that? Obviously, running our summer program isn't quite that frantic, but it does take a lot of planning. Let's run through it a little slower, and we'll show you how we put it all together.
Staff members sit around a table, a form is filled out, a woman points to a brochure. "Recruiting the scholars." A student enters the counseling/guidance office.
[Sheryl] Washington State high school students who have disabilities and hope to go to college are encouraged to apply for the DO-IT Scholars program. To let potential Scholars know about us, we provide information about the program to high schools, as well as to other organizations working with students.
[Sara] The students who attend end up being a real combination from different geographical parts of the state, you know, rural versus urban; some are in special ed, others are pretty much mainstreamed and they have a couple of classes in a resource room; and also just students with different backgrounds in terms of their family support, some of them have had a great deal of support all the way through school, others, this is a real change and maybe the first time that they're learning about what the possibilities are.
[Sheryl] This will be Tressa's first year in Summer Study. We encourage students to apply in January of their sophomore year in high school. That's when DO-IT's Advisory Board begins reviewing applications and selecting Scholars. Sophomores are given first priority, then juniors.
[Sheryl] It's best when students start Phase I in the spring of their sophomore year.
Sheryl is outside.
Then, when they move on to Phase II as juniors, we can help them with their college applications.
[Tressa] I'm sure it will help me with my college plans, because it will open a huge support group for me, I won't be nervous, I won't have to depend on my mom to get all the information for me and go and make sure it's all okay,
Tressa smiles. Later, a staff member works with her on a computer.
I'll be able to do it all myself.
[Tressa] Hey!
[Doug] Hi, Tressa. How are you?
[Tressa] I'm excited.
[Sheryl] Tressa is following her older sister into DO-IT. When Scholars join the program, the loan of a computer is a part of the package. Scholars use the computers at Summer Study, to participate in DO-IT throughout the year, and to succeed with school work.
[Tressa] With the school work it will, with the note taking, will be way easier. With it there, I can get through it without having a horrible headache, without, you know, stopping and saying, "I can't do it anymore," and I'll be able to finish it, be able to get good grades and finish and be very excited.
[Doug] So we got all the Scholars laptops this year.
[Tressa] That's really cool!
[Sheryl] Our technology specialist works with each Scholar individually before camp starts, delivering computers to homes and setting up connections. DO-IT provides both hardware and software for each student's particular needs. Tressa, for example, has a learning disability and migraine headaches.
[Doug] For Tressa, she got a computer, a scanner, and then scanning and reading software. And the scan read software allows users to either get an existing digital document and have it read back to them, or take hard copy, sit it on a scanner bed, scan in those pages, have it converted and read back to them. Click the "read" button to read your document.
[Tressa] That was so exciting, I was so excited! I thought having a laptop would help me the best for college, because I could take my notes and have it right there...and I love photography, and so to have that scanner to scan in pictures just is amazing, so I'm very excited.
Another student works on a computer.
[Sheryl] Tressa's sister Lacey, a former DO-IT Scholar and now a DO-IT Ambassador, received a computer with other assistive technology. It was a breakthrough for her.
[Lacey] The Internet opened up a big new world because it gave me a way to talk with all my friends and family.
Doug types in an email.
[Sheryl] Once Scholars receive their computers, an e-mail message goes out from DO-IT to Mentors, Scholars, and Ambassadors, asking them to welcome the new student.
[Doug] So as soon as their computer is set up at home and they log on, suddenly all these e-mails will show up welcoming them to the larger DO-IT community.
[Sheryl] Throughout the year, DO-IT staff is available to answer computer questions.
[Doug] We've got a coverage program through the firm that we buy the computers from, which covers the hardware issues. So if there's a hardware failure, we have on-site tech support, can just show up to their home, fix the hardware issue. If it's a software issue, they've done something wrong and messed up the system, they usually call me. And if there's something we can work out over the phone, I can talk them through, they can fix; otherwise, there's times where I'll visit them in person and fix those issues.
Students are in a cafeteria. Others are outside on campus, while staff members are packing games into a storage bin. "Planning". At a staff meeting...
[Scott] So if we do the ice cream on Thursday night, Then do we have all our other evening activities covered?
[Sheryl] Long before camp starts in August, our staff is planning the program and all the details that go into making it successful. There's a long list to consider, including classes, instructors, field trips, dorm rooms, food, computer labs, volunteers, interns, accommodations for activities, and supporting students who are beginning to learn about independence.
[Val] For a lot of them, this is the first time where they're staying away overnight, and that brings up a lot of issues, not only their issues of being away from Mom and Dad for the first time, but it's figuring out how they're going to take care of the things that Mom and Dad have always taken care of for them, how to manage their medications; how to, for those of them who need personal care, are they going to have to hire somebody, or is that something they can do on their own?
"Workshops and activities". Students are working together in a lab...
[Instructor] Ooh, we've got a double bypass in progress here, huh?
[Tracy] We want to get them excited about things that they might be doing in the future; we like to give them a lot of hands-on or kind of demonstration-type activities, 'cause that seems to hold their interest and attention.
[Instructor] Today, we're going to use solar ovens to cook hotdogs.
[Sheryl] Over the years, we've offered solar cooking classes, sheep heart labs, astronomy classes, computer workshops, and trips to the seismology lab.
[Instructor] Particularly in the summertime at St. Helens, it dries out a lot. It's quite dangerous inside the crater at St. Helens...
[Tracy] We try to find professors that have been involved with perhaps K through 12 or just high school programs, there's several professors on campus that are involved with those programs and have interest in working with high school students.
[Sheryl] We've built a network of people on and off campus who like to work with us, both online as Mentors and on-site as Summer Study instructors.
[Group leader] ...and it's good to have people to talk to...
[Sheryl] Besides the classes, adults lead discussion groups on asking for accommodations from professors and applying for jobs.
[Mentor] I'm deaf, and I have an interpreter, Microsoft makes sure that I have an interpreter whenever I need one...
[Sheryl] We recruit people from our campus and the community, people who are successful in careers and in life.
[Pete] And there we are, six of us, on the top of the mountain.
[Sheryl] We find adults with disabilities to serve as role models for our students.
[Joshua] Pete Rieke, he came and talked about his snow pod experience; I love camping, hiking, so that really interests me.
Two students are playing pool.
[Sheryl] Then, we also plan a lot of fun.
[Annemarie] I think I had most fun at, like, the zoo, when you're allowed to go explore, kind of in small groups, or on the scavenger hunt, when you're wandering around campus and you get to kind a little more independent.
At a dance, students move to the music.
[Sara] The college experience is a lot more than academics, and sometimes, especially if you're a student with a disability, I think there can be a tendency to be so focused on what do I need for my classroom accommodations, how am I going to succeed academically, that you can ignore all the other things that are going on on a college campus, which, for a lot of us, were some of the most memorable and meaningful experiences.
"Living on campus". Students are eating in a dining hall.
[Sheryl] Part of the college experience is living in a dorm, eating in the cafeteria, and making new friends. During the DO-IT summer program, we provide that experience-with a lot of consideration given to safety and comfort.
[Sara] Early in our planning, we meet with the conference services staff, who've been terrific, and over the years have gotten to know us and the students that come quite well. And they're very diligent about not only making sure that the services and accommodations work for our group, but they take it quite seriously to make sure that they're doing an educational effort with the staff that are going to be serving food in the cafeterias, or the dorm staff that are going to be at the desk. And we really appreciate that, and I think it makes a big difference for the students, and hopefully it also paves the way for other students with disabilities who might be using those facilities.
Tressa walks into a dorm room with her mother and another young woman.
[Tressa's mom] Here you go.
[Tressa's sister] I got the light.
[Sheryl] Safety is a concern with any group of students staying in a campus facility. For DO-IT Scholars, we address additional considerations about communication and evacuation in case of emergency.
[Sheryl] DO-IT staff members reside on each floor that houses students, and we plan emergency procedures with both the dorm staff and the scholars themselves. We also communicate with emergency medical services, the police, and the fire departments, as part of our safety planning.
In the dining hall...
[Sheryl] Campers eat in the dorm dining room for breakfast and dinner, and in other campus restaurants for lunch. If a student needs a specific diet for health reasons or because chewing is difficult, we'll arrange for that. We'll teach the student how to make that request in a college cafeteria. And before camp starts, we shop for LOTS of snacks.
In fast motion, cases of snacks and soft drinks are unloaded from it. Students help cart the food inside.
[Sheryl] Well, that'll last a couple days.
"Access and transportation". A student rolls his wheelchair along a ramp and into the back of a van.
[Sheryl] Both on campus and for field trips, we have to consider moving students from place to place.
[Sheryl] To move between activities on campus, DO-IT rents wheelchair-accessible vans.
[Val] For the around-campus transportation, it's usually not the kids that have power chairs; it's either the kids that have manual chairs, when we're going up or down a big hill, that can be kind of a challenge for them; and then the kids that have mobility impairments that use walkers or just have kind of low mobility, but aren't using chairs, that really tend to have a hard time going the distances. 01:44:53 [Sheryl] Students who are blind may also have concerns about getting around campus, and we often pair them with other Scholars or Interns. For field trips to Microsoft, the Pacific Science Center, and other locations, we rent accessible buses.
[Val] The first year that we tried to reserve buses it was a major headache, it was a lot of, "What, you want a wheelchair bus for how many kids??"
[Val] This is Valerie with the DO-IT program...
[Val] Now we work with the same companies year after year, and they're very supportive of the program.
"communication". Sheryl and Sara are working together. Later, Sheryl is on the phone.
[Sheryl] Great, thanks. Communication is an important part of the DO-IT program. We use the Internet, we use paper, we talk, we meet, and we make sure that everybody knows exactly what to expect.
At a meeting...
[Sheryl] Lyla, when are you going to be coming over?
[Sheryl] We use teleconferencing for our staff meetings, in order to include both our Seattle and Spokane offices.
[Sheryl] So my thought was, we focus on the knowledge base...
[Sheryl] There's a huge amount of interaction during the planning process.
[Sara] A lot of our early meetings are actually walking through, day by day, talking about how we're moving the group from one place to another, what equipment has to be there, what supplies are needed for a given session, who's preparing the next site, what's happening with the Interns as well as the Scholars. Then, we're able to anticipate both where we might run into trouble, where we might need to have additional staff assisting, and hopefully where we might have a problem and need to make an adjustment.
[Sheryl] Communication with parents and Scholars involves many forms to fill out.
[Tressa] Oh, hey Mom, can you help me come sign this?
[Sheryl] Besides all the usual emergency contacts and permission forms, DO-IT gathers information on accommodations for dorms, diet, classes, and transportation. A DO-IT staff member also calls families for a personal discussion of these issues.
[Tracy] When we're planning for the dorms, one thing that's really important is that we work with the students ahead of time, we talk to them on the phone; and we also...we try to focus on the students, but we do have conversations with their parents in terms of specific accommodations that they need, in terms of living in the dorm and personal care-type issues, and those are really important to address ahead of time.
[Sheryl] During spring planning, Phase III Scholars may apply for internships at Summer Study.
[Scott] In early spring, the Scholars are invited to do their internship. And to apply, they have to send a current resume and fill out an application which includes several essay questions about why they would like to be an Intern and what they have to offer to the program, and things of that nature.
[Sheryl] There's also communication with our community at large. Publicity includes sending press releases to television, radio, and newspapers around the state.
[Scott] We think that our press releases are really important, because we really like the community to know what we're doing here at our Summer Study. We send out major press releases to a lot of the bigger local papers and then some national papers as well. And then we tailor a press release for the home towns of different Scholars. So that's pretty exciting for them to see their name in the paper, too.
[Sara] One group that you'll be with will be at the Science Center.
[Sheryl] Okay.
[Sheryl] Once Summer Study begins, staff members are in constant communication. Despite all our planning, things can change unexpectedly, and we keep in touch by cell phone, two-way radio, e-mail, and in person.
[Sara] There's often a glitch, whether it be, you know, a reservation for a bus that didn't come through or something completely unexpected that we didn't anticipate. Our strategy is really to do what we need to do to fix it at the moment, and then usually a couple of people at least take note of it, and then we talk about it later on to figure out how to avoid it for next year.
[Sheryl] Can anyone remember which discussion list, which distribution list is the one where most of the discussions occur?
[Sheryl] And of course, during Summer Study, we are constantly communicating with Scholars.
[Sheryl] Every one of you is going to send out a question to the doitchat list. Periodically, I help Scholars connect what they've just learned with earlier lessons. We also discuss how these activities apply to college, careers, and life. And we talk about how Scholars can keep building knowledge and relationships by communicating with peers and mentors in DO-IT's year-round Internet community.
[Ed] I think it's a great way for the mentors and the students to keep in touch during the school year, when we might be thousands of miles apart.
[Bridget] When I met Ed Pottharst, I never really knew any adults that had a hearing impairment, so I wondered what my life would be like, because I have a major handicap, and... but when I met him, I was so surprised how he had such a normal life, and he had a family, and he worked with people that had normal hearing, and so that made me feel a lot better about my future.
"The Computer Lab". Doug packs a laptop into a case.
[Sheryl] Scholars bring their DO-IT laptops and assistive technology to use during Summer Study. Staff members network these computers for academic activities.
[Doug] The summer program, I'm in charge of the computer lab, so that entails making sure we've got 24, 25 computers set up, networked to the UW network, including an instructor station with presentation capability, probably VCR, and some other things as well. We set up the hubs at multiple tables and run network cable all across the room, and then we have to tape everything down so that people aren't tripping over that.
"Supplies". Staff members pack games into a storage container.
[Scott] Well, I think this one's ready to go.
Scott puts a lid and a label on it.
[Sheryl] Organizing supplies is a big job. Over the years, we've accumulated some things, like games and science lab supplies, that are used each summer.
[Scott] As we purchase supplies and games, it's really important for us to keep in mind the different abilities of the different participants, so we try to go with a wide variety of different types of games, from real hands-on type stuff to more brain-oriented thinking-type games.
[1st intern] Oh, here's Braille playing cards!
[2nd intern] Oh, wow!
[Sheryl] We make sure that games and academic materials are accessible to students with various types of disabilities. One example is making game cards in Braille.
[Intern] That's pretty cool.
[Scott] This is the sheep heart dissection science activity, and so it's really important that we have the Braille instructions and the raised line drawings, so that everyone can participate.
[Sheryl] Much of what we use needs to be purchased each year, such as sheep hearts for labs and snacks for students. Timing is everything.
[Scott] Inventory is always a challenge, because some of the items are perishable, like our beverages and snacks, so we start buying items early in the spring and try to have all the non-perishables in house by at least a month before summer study, and that way we can focus on the more challenging parts of the schedule and logistics as we get closer to Summer Study.
"Publications". Val hands a stack of binders to a student.
[Sheryl] As our plans go together, we build a notebook for each Scholar. Here's everything the kids and the parents need to know.
Staff members are putting together the notebooks.
[Intern] Just put them in here?
[Staff person] Mmhmm.
[Scott] The binders are pretty important for Scholars. In there, they'll find all the printed information about accommodations and careers and college, and we like them to have those binders to take home with them, so that after Summer Study they have all those references in one place.
[Sheryl] So we also are giving you your notebooks back, and I'm going to mention this to parents....
[Sheryl] The information is also available in alternate formats, such as Braille and large print. The notebooks make great references once Summer Study is over.
[Sheryl] When you get home and you ask your child what they did in the summer program and they say, "Oh, nothing," then you can look in the notebook, that's what they did in the summer program. There's some useful resources in there, including national and statewide resources for parents of students with disabilities.
On a divided screen, students are in class, one rides a hand powered bicycle, Another shoots water at a target. "Two Weeks of Action". In a classroom..."
[Sheryl] What we're going to do this morning is an Internet scavenger hunt.
[Scholar] Judge.
[Sheryl] The payoff for all our planning is two intense weeks of fun and learning.
[Conrad] We went to the zoo, Pacific Science Center, and Microsoft.
[Tressa] You make so many friends here, and they can be lifetime friends...
[Jamie G.] The dance was also a wonderful thing...
[Instructor] This magnet seems to be attracted, because the light is going down...
[Natasha] The classes that really made me involved were science, and the labs, and including the computers.
[Andrew] Ewww.
[Jessie] I really enjoyed the sheep heart lab that we did.
[Instructor] I want you to touch this. Touch this one.
[Andrew] Probably the bioengineering one, that was pretty interesting; I'd never really thought about engineering and stuff like that, but that really tweaked my interest.
[Instructor] Try stopping again, Jessie, so you can...oops [laughs]
[Val] One that is consistently just fabulously reviewed by all the kids is SKIFORALL. They bring all these different bikes that have all these different adaptations, so that kids with any disability, they figure out a way to get them on a bike.
[Instructor] So this class isn't about teaching creativity. It's about releasing creativity.
[Sheryl] When camp is over, Scholars take home more than a computer.
Students work on computers.
[Sara] The biggest lesson that we hope they walk away with is the ability to be more self-reliant, to be able to speak up for yourself and know what you need and what you don't need.
[Shavonne] I'm, like, more comfortable about my disability and being around others, now, than I was before. And aware of certain things I need and not afraid to ask for help when I need it.
[Carson] Well, the technology they've given me has allowed me to do everything totally independently, and I guess that's been the biggest help, and also just the network of people, you get to meet a lot of very diverse people, and form relationships with them that can last a long time.
[Eileen] You see these tight bonds forming, and everyone's helping everyone else and learning to be advocates for themselves and get what they need. It's been a remarkable process to watch.
[Joshua] I'm definitely planning, when I go back to school, to apply some of the skills that I've learned, such as self-advocacy and independence, to my everyday life.
[Sheryl] So congratulations to the Phase I Scholars, you are now Phase II Scholars. Let's give them a round of applause.
[Sheryl] As they leave camp, Scholars are beginning a long-term connection with DO-IT.
[Sheryl] Unlike a lot of programs, DO-IT doesn't really go away from your life. It's more like a family, you know, you've become part of the DO-IT family now.
[Sheryl] Carson, have you met Tynesha?
[Sheryl] DO-IT stays connected with Scholars and parents in various ways throughout the year. Mostly, it's within our online community of mentors and peers. Sometimes it's a videoconference pizza party.
[Scholar] I see Travis.
Students are eating pizza at video conference.
[Trenchcoats] I can see clearly now, the rain is gone...
[Sheryl] And each year in Summer Study, mentors, Scholars, and staff get together in person for food and fun.
[Trenchcoats] Yes, it's gonna be a bright, bright, bright, bright sunshiny day...yeah!
[Computer] DO-IT Pals, an electronic community of students with disabilities...
[Sheryl] Through internet discussion list, students keep in touch with each other and adult mentors.
[Zachary] My mentor was really encouraging and made sure that, I knew I had the capability to do what ever I wanted to do.
[Karyn] Making friends is really big. I mean, I have friends from all over, you know, and e-mailing them and keeping in touch with them, that's great. I like that. A lot.
[Sheryl] Those ongoing connections are part of what makes DO-IT so powerful.
[Tracy] I plan on staying in this program for awhile, maybe forever; I mean, it's fun, I've had a blast.
[Scott] You have all that support behind you, but really it's up to you. And your the one that actually gets to use the information, or not use it.
[Rima] The DO-IT program is all about being connected to people and staying as a family forever.
[Sheryl] DO-IT's secret to success lies in three simple but vital points. First, we rest our practices on decades of research that tells us what works. Second, we develop program plans in detail. And finally, we never lose sight of our ultimate goal of college and career success for students with disabilities.
[Sheryl] We continually evaluate our programs through focus groups and surveys of participants and parents. Most importantly, we track the success of the DO-IT Scholars. They show us that DO-IT is worth doing.