DO-IT News May 2013

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Volume 21, Number 2

Meet the 2013 Scholars!

Sheryl Burgstahler

This summer DO-IT will host its twenty-first annual Summer Study program for DO-IT Scholars, providing participants the opportunity to experience life on a college campus and explore challenging academic and career fields such as those in science, engineering, and computing. Primary funding for the Scholars program is provided by the state of Washington. For more information, visit www.uw.edu/doit/Brochures/Programs/scholars.html.

Candid photo of DO-IT Scholars at the 2012 new scholar BBQ. In the forefront are (from right to left) 2012 Scholars Eric, Ryan, and Garrett, who is talking to his PCA.

A new group of DO-IT Scholars meet for Summer Study on the UW campus.

I am pleased to introduce you to the new Scholars:

Alex likes studying math and science at Walla Walla High School. He is interested in learning about space travel and understanding the universe. He uses his artistic abilities as a way to express himself. Alex has cerebral palsy.

Antonio enjoys history and writing. He hopes to graduate from high school with First Honors, which requires a 3.7 GPA or higher. He would enjoy a career as a radio or television sports announcer. He is the manager for his high school basketball team and a baseball umpire.

Brenna, who has learning disabilities, attends Jefferson Community School in Port Townsend. She was the youngest filmmaker in the Port Townsend Festival. She is on a mountain bike team and enjoys photography and sports.

Clarissa has cerebral palsy and left-sided hemiplegia. She lives in Everett and attends Kamiak High School. She likes to sing and enjoys learning Japanese.

Courtney is an honor roll student and hopes her interest in English might lead to a degree in journalism and a career as a magazine or newspaper editor. She is also in the Olympic High School symphonic band. Courtney has a visual impairment.

Dustine, who attends Roosevelt High School in Seattle, has Asperger syndrome. He would like to study either law or computer science. He enjoys sports, particularly the Seattle Seahawks.

Ellen lives in Seattle and attends Aviation High School. She has learning and speech disabilities. She is interested in pursuing a career in either aeronautical science or mechanical engineering. Right now her favorite subjects are math and science.

Hannah's favorite classes are science and language arts. She enjoys reading and plays flute in her school band. She has participated in several mission opportunities in the past few years.

Julian attends Kamiak High School in Lynnwood. His favorite classes are math and creative writing. He hopes to eventually go into product design related to the sports industry. Julian has a traumatic brain injury.

Karly goes to Nova High School in Seattle. She has a non-verbal learning disability and ADD. Her two favorite classes are language arts and advanced French. She participated in a Reel Grrls workshop called Dis This! where her group made a short video about disability awareness.

Kayla lives in Lynnwood and attends both high school and college through Running Start. She is interested in math, English and science. She hopes to go to law school to pursue a career in disability law or civil rights. Kayla swims for the US Paralympic Swim Team.

Photo of 2012 Scholars Alicia, Grace, and Aaliyah pose with 2010 Intern Benjy wearing decorated paper glasses and mustaches in front of a polka-dot backdrop.

Good times ahead! The 2012 Scholars get goofy in the Summer Study photo booth.

McKenna enjoys volunteering and playing wheelchair basketball. She traveled to the Netherlands as a youth Paralympic ambassador. She is from Arlington and attends Lakewood High School. McKenna has arthrogryposis.

Michael attends Henry M. Jackson High School in Mill Creek. He enjoys computer programming in Visual Basic and would like to become a programmer analyst.

Nicole attends Kentwood High School in Kent. She has cerebral palsy. She would like to pursue her master's in special education with some studies in business. She is also considering a career as a writer since she enjoys her English classes.

Olivia attends Mt. Rainier High School and hopes to begin Running Start soon. Her favorite subject is science. She is very athletic; she's played wheelchair basketball as a Junior Sonic, has swum with the Shadow Seals, and was on her high school track team. Olivia has cerebral palsy.

Rahil is very interested in science and technology. He attends Bothell High School. He has Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Ryan, who has Asperger syndrome, attends Shadle Park High School in Spokane. He hopes to get a degree in mathematics with a focus on engineering of some sort. He enjoys designing and building complicated machinery in Minecraft.

Disability Mentoring Days

Debra Zawada, DO-IT Staff
Photo of 2011 Scholar Deicy sits next to a microscope, lab sink, and other various lab equipment.

For some students, Mentoring Days provide their first experience in a real lab.

For many years, DO-IT has been involved with Disability Mentoring Day, a nationwide effort to promote career development for students with disabilities through hands-on career exploration, championed by the United States Department of Labor, Office of Disability and Employment Policy.

Traditionally, this event is scheduled for one day in October, but DO-IT was able to extend activities for Seattle Public School students throughout the months of October and November of 2012.

Over sixty-five students participated in events at four locations. They were fascinated by cameras that capture activity happening in every corner of the Port of Seattle at SeaTac Airport; climbed through dark and narrow tunnels at the University of Washington Power Plant; fed bugs to carnivorous plants at the University of Washington Botany Greenhouse; and toured the lab, talked with scientists, and saw malaria-infected mosquitos at Seattle Biomedical Research Institute.

When presented with the challenge of dissecting mosquitos at Seattle Biomedical, some students initially thought the task was "gross" or "nasty." However, once they adjusted, many requested a second mosquito to work on. For some, it was their first opportunity to work in a real lab setting.

Photo of A student wearing a large white hazmat suit with purple gloves, a paper face mask, and a large plastic face guard stands in the center, while a woman in the back of the shot helps someone else.

A student tries on a hazmat suit at Seattle Biomedical Research Institute.

Away from a typical high school setting, these students rise to the expectations of the environment. They appreciate employees taking time to share valuable knowledge and are truly interested in the working world, especially in settings that are rarely seen by the general public. Take the airport control room—few of us knew the hub of airport activity is eighty feet below ground.

2012's Disability Mentoring events were so well attended and successful, we offered two more events in Spring 2013. A nanotechnology interactive workshop was held at SHINE (Seattle Hub for Industry-driven Nanotechnology Education), located at North Seattle Community College. Seattle Children's Hospital also hosted an event where students interacted directly with employees to learn about job possibilities.

For more information on these and other DO-IT events, email doit@uw.edu.

 

 

 

 

DO-IT Student Accepted into a Neural Engineering Scholars Program

Scott Bellman, DO-IT Staff
Photo portrait of DO-IT Scholar Colton

Colton, DO-IT Scholar

Colton, a 2012 DO-IT Scholar, was accepted to the highly competitive Young Scholars Program of the UW Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering. The ten-week summer program places students into research labs on the UW Seattle campus, and offers a stipend for the students' work. Students also receive trainings in ethics, communication, lab safety, and scientific presentation skills. At the end of the summer, students participate in a research symposium to gain experience preparing and presenting research results to the scientific community.

The Young Scholars program is designed to provide a solid foundation for future scientific study. The DO-IT community is excited for Colton, who follows in the footsteps of fellow DO-IT participants Jessie (2011 Scholar) and Angela (2010 Scholar), who participated in the program during the summer of 2012. We're proud that their academic accomplishments and leadership skills have been recognized by acceptance to the program. More information about the Young Scholars Program is available through the CSNE website at www.csne-erc.org/education/young-scholars-program-ysp.

To learn more, check out the DO-IT Knowledge Base article, "What is sensorimotor neural engineering and how does the field benefit people with disabilities," at www.uw.edu/doit/articles?522.

 

UW Opens New D Center

A logo saying 'D Center' with the D, in blue, overlapping with the C, in black.
Noah Seidel, DO-IT Staff and Scholar

The D Center at the University of Washington had its grand opening on April 5, sponsored in part by DO-IT's AccessSTEM project.

The space will be used to host meetings, film screenings, discussions, and drop in hours for students to study, eat, relax, and meet other folks who want to be involved with the Disability and Deaf community. DO-IT and AccessSTEM have been working with the D Center to help them create a space that utilizes universal design and will be welcoming for disabled and deaf community members and students. The D Center strives to create an inclusive, accessible space affirming of all bodies, minds and identities by fostering a culture of social justice and pride.

On opening night, the room was full of University and community members getting acquainted with the new space, which includes a Disability Studies library, along with couches, chairs, and tables for folks to use. Two D Center coordinators spoke about how they hope people with disabilities can use the space along with members of the Deaf community to engage people who may have felt isolated in University settings.

The D Center is located in 024 Mary Gates Hall. For more information, upcoming events, and hours, visit depts.washington.edu/dcenter/wordpress.

Reaching Out to Code.org

Kayla Brown, DO-IT Staff and Scholar

Recently, AccessComputing leaders Terrill Thompson and Richard Ladner reached out to code.org, a free website that offers lessons in computer coding, to encourage them to caption and describe their video, What Most Schools Don't Teach. The video, which features celebrities from all walks of life discussing the importance of education and computer code, makes a compelling argument for individuals to educate themselves in computer code and computing fields in general.

Terrill and Richard offered specific recommendations for how to caption and subtitle the video using Amara.org, a website that specifically works to help individuals caption videos on the web. Within 24 hours, the video had been captioned in English and subtitled in Spanish.

As of April 8, the video has been subtitled in twenty-one languages and has over ten million views on YouTube. Thanks to people who spoke up about accessibility—including Terrill and Richard—code.org's video is now accessible for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as students worldwide who don't understand spoken English. Countless students with disabilities and language barriers can now be exposed to this message, which could ultimately influence them to choose a career in computing.

Team Members Share Resources

Brianna Blaser, DO-IT Staff
Photo of 2012 Scholar Nolan working with 2010 Intern Marlise, papers, a calculator, a backpack, and an iPad between them.

Students working together to make the most of resources.

Periodically, AccessSTEM and AccessComputing student team members participate in activities designed to support their professional development through their e-mentoring community. This March, they were tasked with sharing valuable resources such as internship programs, websites with information about college or careers, and conferences or events. Students with the best entries, as judged by a jury of their peers who considered both the usefulness of the resource and how well the student explained the resource, won small prizes.

Students shared a variety of resources, including:

The Thread: Accommodations for Online Programs

Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph.D.

I wanted to share with you a question posed by a DO-IT Scholar in our Internet discussion forum and some of the responses so that you can get the flavor of the many rich conversations the DO-IT community has online. Some forum posts are edited for clarity and brevity.

I am currently thinking about applying to Full Sail University's online program. As I was reading and going through the application, it said that if I have a qualified disability (dwarfism, hearing loss, etc.) I need to contact their Student Success Team. I know that if I was going in person, I would need to go through that process, but should I still, even if I'll be studying from home? What are your suggestions?

Photo of 2012 Scholar Garrett wearing a blue shirt types on a laptop.

Accommodations can be helpful, even for online study.

DO-IT Mentor: If you might need accommodations during the school program, I'd recommend contacting their department. I can think of a couple cases where accommodations might still be desirable, even though you're studying online; sometimes, online courses utilize videos, etc., so if hearing is an issue for you, you might want to have it on record that you need accommodations, or if you need extra time to complete tests/assignments.

My guess is that even if you contact the Student Success Team, your classmates and maybe even your teachers won't automatically know you have a disability. When I was on campus, it was up to me whether I divulged my disability to my teachers or just used the school's resources without letting my teachers know or asking for accommodations from them. Because I attended classes in person and my disability is visible, this was a moot point for me. But if I was attending online classes, I think I'd get myself in the system, so to speak, so I had the option of getting accommodations if the need arose.

DO-IT Ambassador: I take lots of online classes because with them, I don't need any accommodations. The online format is perfect for me. If I took the same classes in a normal classroom I would need several accommodations. Three community colleges don't even know I have a disability because I have never needed to tell them. It's great!

DO-IT Ambassador: I think it is always a good idea to contact the Disability Services office (in your case, the Student Success Team), even for an online course. It does depend on what accommodations you use, though. In college, I receive extended time for writing assignments, which would still apply to an online class. Another benefit to contacting them is that you will have a support system within the school. I have found that the Disability Services is a great resource because you can contact them if you are having trouble or need advice. Lastly, it is always best to be safe and register with them, because if you decide mid-way through the quarter that you need accommodations, it would be too late.

DO-IT Mentor: I took an online course myself a while ago. I could not access the blackboard due to it being very graphics-based and needed to ask for an accommodation. All in all, it helps. Should an instructor choose to neglect my request for reasonable accommodations, the Disability office is already there to advocate on my behalf.

DO-IT Pal: Academic accommodations can be useful in online settings. I receive disability services at Everett Community College. In hybrid courses I have completed, I have received extended time on quizzes and exams. I suggest you apply for accommodations if you think they would help you.

DO-IT Ambassador: I have never taken an online class at a college. However, I would still recommend that you contact the disability resource center. Even studying from home, there may be certain aspects you need assistance with. For example, I am visually impaired and would need assistance with interpreting graphics on the screen. Students with hearing impairments would likely need closed captioning or possibly an interpreter. The disability resource center could work with your instructor on making the online class accessible.

Call For Articles

DO-IT is pleased to announce the development of a new online resource: a place to cumulate emerging examples of universal design applied in postsecondary education as complement to the book, Universal Design in Higher Education: From Principles to Practice, published by Harvard Education Press (www.hepg.org/hep/Book/83).

Articles should include specific ways practitioners and researchers have applied universal design in postsecondary settings along with evidence of success. Areas of interest include:

  • UD applied to online learning
  • UD applied to on-site classes
  • UD as a topic of instruction
  • UD and faculty training
  • UD applied to student services
  • UD and information technology
  • institutionalization of UD efforts 

Articles will be peer-reviewed by members of the Universal Design in Higher Education Community of Practice (udhecop@uw.edu), and if accepted, edited by DO-IT Founder and Director Sheryl Burgstahler. Articles selected for the online resource will be available free on our website. Authors will agree to these conditions while retaining copyrights to their individual contributions.

Articles may be submitted at any time to udhecop@uw.edu. For author guidelines, contact doit@uw.edu.

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More About DO-IT

DO-IT News is published at the University of Washington with input from DO-IT staff, Pals, Scholars, Ambassadors, and Mentors. DO-IT is primarily funded by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and the State of Washington.

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.

Grants and gifts fund DO-IT publications, videos, and programs to support the academic and career success of people with disabilities. Contribute today by sending a check to DO-IT, Box 354842, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-4842.

Your gift is tax deductible as specified in IRS regulations. Pursuant to RCW 19.09, the University of Washington is registered as a charitable organization with the Secretary of State, state of Washington. For more information call the Office of the Secretary of State, 1-800-322-4483.

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:

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Founder and Director: Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph.D.

DO-IT Funding and Partners

Call For Articles

DO-IT is pleased to announce the development of a new online resource: a place to cumulate emerging examples of universal design applied in postsecondary education, as complement to the book, Universal Design in Higher Education: From Principles to Practice, published by Harvard Education Press (www.hepg.org/hep/Book/83).

Articles should include specific ways practitioners and researchers have applied universal design in postsecondary settings along with evidence of success. Areas of interest include:

  • UD applied to online learning
  • UD applied to on-site classes
  • UD as a topic of instruction
  • UD and faculty training
  • UD applied to student services
  • UD and information technology
  • institutionalization of UD efforts

Articles will be peer-reviewed by members of the Universal Design in Higher Education Community of Practice (udhecop@uw.edu), and if accepted, edited by DO?IT Founder and Director Sheryl Burgstahler. Articles selected for the online resource will be available free on our website. Authors will agree to these conditions while retaining copyrights to their individual contributions.

Articles may be submitted at any time to udhecop@uw.edu. For author guidelines, contact doit@uw.edu.

For further information, to request this newsletter in an alternate format, or submit the Support DO?IT form, contact DO-IT at:

doit@uw.edu www.uw.edu/doit/ 206-685-DOIT (3648) (voice/TTY) 888-972-DOIT (3648) (toll free voice/TTY) 206-221-4171 (FAX)