Chapter 5: Summer Study

Image of two DO-IT Scholars dissecting a heart

This chapter describes organizational details of the DO-IT Summer Study residential program for DO-IT Scholars and provides specific examples of successful DO-IT activities. A sense of what the program is like can be gained by viewing the video Snapshots: The DO-IT Scholars. It can be purchased in DVD format from DO-IT. The video may also be freely viewed online at www.washington.edu/doit/Brochures, along with a yearly publication with the same title. They share bios and perspectives of DO-IT Scholars and Ambassadors.

Universal design principles provide a foundation for accessible program planning that meets the needs of students with a wide range of abilities and disabilities. Details are intended to help you systematically plan and implement your own program. You can begin by taking the following first steps:

  • Put together a planning team.
  • Outline your instructional goals, activities, and schedule.
  • Find a facility for the academic program and the live-in program.
  • Develop program support materials, forms, and student correspondence.

The following figure, titled DO-IT Scholars Program Planning at a Glance, illustrates the year-round planning timeline used by DO-IT staff. A checklist of major planning areas follows. Evaluation instruments along with other useful forms and documents can be found in the Appendices of this book.

Graphic explaining the Scholars Program over a timeline of October to September. It lists the tasks the expected timeline they will be accomplished over. Scholar recruitment and selection - October to January. Overall program development and support - October to September. Facilities planning - October to September. Academic program planning and scheduling - January to September. Technology consultation - January to September. System setup in home - May to September. Scholar postal mail correspondence

DO-IT Scholars Program Planning at a Glance

Listed below are key program planning components in the DO-IT Scholars program.

Recruitment and Selection

  • Information dissemination
  • Application distribution
  • Selection process
  • Pre-program interest survey

Facilities Planning

  • Academic program facilities
  • Lodging
  • Meals
  • Safety and emergency plan
  • Transportation
  • Access
  • Signage

Program Planning and Scheduling

  • Phase I academic program
  • Phase II academic program
  • Intern schedule
  • Special events
  • Evening activities
  • Field trips

Scholar Correspondence

  • Notification
  • Program details
  • Permission forms
  • Accommodations
  • Follow-up
  • Parent communication

Program Development and Support

  • Staff
  • Volunteers
  • Instructors
  • Mentors
  • Media/publicity
  • Personal care assistants

Technology Consultation

  • Computer lab
  • Personal computer/AT selection and setup
  • Technical support during Summer Study
  • Year-round tech support
  • Email discussion lists
  • Equipment delivery

Supplies and Equipment

  • Non-perishable supplies
  • Perishable products
  • Notebooks
  • Binders

Feedback and Evaluation

  • Summer Study Participant
  • Evaluation
  • Daily formative feedback
  • Participant Computer and Internet Use Survey
  • Faculty/Instructor Feedback
  • Parent Feedback
  • Work Experience Survey

Universal Design

Principles of universal design are applied throughout DO-IT Summer Study activities to fully include and maximize the participation of all students. Universal design is defined as "the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design" (www.design.ncsu.edu/cud/about_ud/about_ud.htm). Universal design principles can be applied to any product and/or environment, including curriculum and instruction.

The DO-IT video, Equal Access: Universal Design of Instruction, shares principles and applications of universal design. It can be used to help program instructors make their presentations, workshops, and labs fully accessible to all participants. It can be purchased from DO-IT in DVD format or freely viewed online at www.washington.edu/doit/Brochures. A complementary publication with the same title provides expanded content and references to resources. For other applications of universal design, select Universal Design from the DO-IT home page at www.washington.edu/doit.

It should be noted that universal design of instruction minimizes, but does not eliminate, the need for accommodations for some students. For example, a sign language interpreter might be needed for a student who is deaf. For examples of accommodations for students with disabilities, consult the DO-IT video that was developed for postsecondary faculty, Building the Team: Faculty, Staff, and Students Working Together. It can be purchased from DO-IT in DVD format or freely viewed online at www.washington.edu/doit/Brochures.

In DO-IT, universal design principles are applied to the overall design of instruction as well as to specific instructional materials, facilities, and strategies such as curricula, lectures, classroom discussions, group work, handouts, web-based instruction, labs, and demonstrations (www.cast.org). Examples of universal design strategies DO-IT employs include the following (Burgstahler, 2006b):

Class Climate

Activities are designed to facilitate a learning environment that respects and values both diversity and inclusiveness. Scholars are encouraged to discuss disability-related accommodations and other special learning needs.

Physical Access, Usability, and Safety

Efforts are made to assure that classrooms, labs, and field trip locations are accessible to Scholars with a wide range of physical abilities and disabilities; that equipment can be used by all students; and that everyone is in a safe environment.

Delivery Methods

Instructors are encouraged to use multiple modes to deliver content, including lecture, discussion, hands-on activities, and Internet-based interactions. Group work allows Scholars with different abilities and disabilities to support one another. For example, in a science dissection activity, a Scholar who cannot use his hands may direct another Scholar who is blind to do the physical work.

Two DO-IT Scholars in wheelchairs pose for a picture with Staff member Scott

Information Resources

DO-IT uses captioned videos and makes the content of printed materials available in electronic format, large print, and Braille.

Interaction

Scholars interact with each other through multiple modes of communication, including in-class questions and discussion, group work, and email. Some participants use FM systems, sign language interpreters, or alternative communication devices. Efforts are made to assure that all participants can communicate effectively.

Feedback

Instructors and support staff provide effective feedback during and after activities.

Assessment

Scholars are encouraged to explore multiple ways to demonstrate knowledge. For example, they are required to do a focused project in between Year I and Year II Summer Study programs. Project formats and requirements are flexible in order to address individual interests and needs (www.washington.edu/doit/Brochures/Academics/instruction.html).

Accommodations

DO-IT staff plan for accommodations with students for whom the instructional design does not meet their needs. Such accommodations include sign language interpreters and alternate formats, such as Braille, that may be necessary to maximize the access and participation in some activities. The figure titled Building the Team: Faculty, Staff, and Students Working Together provides other specific examples. Applying universal design concepts in program planning assures full access to the content for all Scholars and minimizes the need for special accommodations.


Typical Accommodations for DO-IT Scholars in Summer Study

Deaf or Hard of Hearing

  • Sign language interpreter
  • FM system
  • Written/email communication

Mobility Impairments

  • Personal care assistant
  • Accessible transportation
  • Note taker
  • Single occupancy dormitory room
  • Alternative computer keyboard/mouse

Visual Impairments

  • Preferred seating
  • Braille
  • Text-to-speech software
  • Enlarged print and images

Learning Disabilities

  • Text-to-speech software

Health Impairments

  • Rest breaks
  • Single occupancy dorm room

Program Schedule and Activities

The academic schedule for Summer Study includes lectures, demonstrations, field trips, labs, and small group activities. Classes are taught by campus faculty, graduate students, community educators, and DO-IT staff. Academic classes promote positive outcomes in key areas as summarized in the following paragraphs.

Self-Determination

Self-determination skills, including self-advocacy, are fostered throughout the DO-IT Scholars program (Burgstahler, 2006d). Workshops and activities promote self-knowledge, awareness of personal strengths, development of academic and career interests and skills, disability-related accommodations, goal setting, awareness of rights and responsibilities, and creation of a network of support. In addition, Scholars are given opportunities to practice skills by self-advocating for accommodations during Summer Study, role playing with UW professors participating in internships, serving on panels, and taking advantage of the many other opportunities DO-IT offers.

College Preparation

College preparation activities include educating students about their rights and responsibilities in postsecondary settings, the roles of disabled student service offices, understanding and advocating for the accommodations they need, and communicating with faculty members about their disabilities. Skills are practiced in a role-playing exercise with university professors.

Image of a DO-IT Scholar in a wheelchair having a woman in a wheelchair.

Academic and Career Exploration

These activities involve mini-workshops, science labs, and demonstrations on interesting and innovative topics in science, engineering, and other areas. Presentations and labs have featured topics ranging from nanotechnology, aeronautics, and robotics to sheep heart dissection.

Career Preparation

Employment preparation activities include job readiness experiences such as résumé writing, interview strategies, mock interviews, and work-based learning. Presentations and workshops introduce and encourage exploration of challenging careers and courses of study. They also provide opportunities to discover what types of accommodations Scholars might need in specific fields.

Technology

DO-IT Summer Study technology instruction focuses on general computing skills, web design, Internet exploration, and assistive technology. Some Scholars have had extensive technology experience before entering the program; others have had very little. Planned activities are flexible and address the innate challenges presented by a group with diverse technology skills, interests, and types of assistive technology.

Sample Summer Study Sessions

Examples of academic- and career-oriented sessions that can be offered in a Summer Study or other program for teens can be found on pages 40-57.

Phase I Academic Program

Phase I Scholars participate in a variety of 60- to 90-minute workshops and classes, generally introductory in nature, that focus on college preparation, career exploration, technology, and academic fields. Examples of program sessions that include objectives and an overview of the lessons can be found on pages 40-56.

Phase II Academic Program

Phase II Scholars indicate their project interests and then are assigned to a group for their entire week of Summer Study. In a special interest workshop, they work closely with faculty and four or five other Scholars on one specific area of study every morning. Each group delivers a final presentation on the last day of Summer Study and writes an article about the workshop in DO-IT NEWS. Examples of Phase II workshops are described on page 57; in the shaded box is an example of a DO-IT NEWS article written by a Phase II workshop participant.

Phase II Projects

Between the first and second Summer Studies, Scholars are expected to complete independent projects based on their interests. Project guidelines are flexible. Staff members work with Scholars to monitor progress and provide support as participants develop their projects. Scholars present their projects at the following Summer Study to staff, peers, and the new Phase I Scholars in a mini-symposium. Scholar projects have included web page development, job shadows, school presentations to younger peers about their disabilities, accessibility assessments of schools, and community service activities.


Phase II Scholars Explore the "Art" of Computing

by Phase II Scholars Annemarie, Jessie, Tasha, and Jamie

As frequently as we all use computers, rarely do we realize the complex problem-solving skills necessary to create the programs. In August, we touched the surface of such programming in The Game of Life Summer Study workshop. Instructed by Professor Richard Ladner, several undergraduate and graduate assistants, and a DO-IT intern, Scott, we worked on separate projects for a week that demonstrated a few of the different uses for computer programming.

Scott created several "hunter and prey" and "maze" games. He had to work through the difficulties of "debugging," or finding errors in the program code and use logic to create the appropriate behavior for the characters of his games.

Creating programs for an entirely different use, Scholars Tasha and Jamie developed maps of the University of Washington campus for blind students and visitors. They had to first simplify the visual maps through image processing and then add Braille text to the resulting images. These maps were printed on a tactile printer that has the ability to punch bumps into paper.

Annemarie used image processing to configure gray-scale images into black-and-white images using a process called dithering, which is like pointillist art. Additionally, she applied sharpening programs, edge detections, and background filters to find crystallized proteins automatically from images.

Jessie worked with Stephen Wolfram's A New Kind of Science as a basis for using more classical programs. Several of these resulted in complex and beautiful patterns and shapes.

The workshop revealed the wonders of computer programming as well as the frustrations. (DO-IT, 2004)


Assistive Technology Overview and Consultation Summer Study Session

Area of Focus
Technology

Objective for Session
Students will learn about the wide variety of available assistive technology (AT) that provides computer access to people with disabilities and about how to better use their individual assistive technology hardware and/or software.

Materials/Space Needed

Overview
Participants learn about the wide variety of assistive technology usage and features of their particular adaptive technology.

Outline of Session
Introduce topic and activities.
Define and give examples of assistive technology.
Show video.
Discuss assistive technology in the lab, encouraging students to share information about their own systems.
Staff provide AT guidance as students use their technology to send email to each other and mentors.


Computer Security Summer Study Session

Area of Focus
Technology

Objective for Session
Participants will learn how to keep their computer secure and free from viruses, worms, adware, spyware, keyloggers, and other threats.

Materials/Space Needed
Computer lab with Internet-connected computers equipped with assistive technology

Overview
Students learn about the major threats to their computers and strategies to minimize or prevent exploitation of their machines. Some hands-on examples can be incorporated into the session.

Outline of Session

  • Introduce topic and activities.
  • Define terminology (e.g., virus, worm, spyware, adware, keylogger). Survey class on techniques they use to protect themselves, "What do you use and why?"
  • Antivirus programs—Describe how they work, how to keep them up-to-date, and their limitations. Give URLs of sites for further directions/information.
  • Firewalls—Describe how they work and why they are necessary.
  • Other adware/spyware detection and removal tools—list specific products and what they do (e.g., Ad Aware, Spybot Search, Destroy). Discuss how these threats can invade your system, privacy concerns, system performance degradation, and strategies to deal with threats.
  • Keyloggers (physical and software version)—Describe what they are and how they threaten computer users.
  • Consider physical access to your computer, BIOS passwords, shoulder surfing, strong passwords, and wireless network issues.
  • Summarize what was covered and why topics discussed are important to participants.

Planning for College Summer Study Session

Area of Focus
College preparation

Objective for Session
Participants will learn what services postsecondary disability services offices typically provide.

Materials / Space Needed
Classroom
Projection system
DO-IT video titled College: You Can DO-IT!
DO-IT publication titled College: You Can DO-IT!

Overview
Students are introduced to the typical services of a campus disability services office; differences between requesting accommodations in high school and college; and responsibilities regarding disability disclosure and documentation for academic accommodations. Ideally, a college student co-presents the session.

Outline of Session

  • Introduce session goal.
  • View video College: You Can Do It!
  • Present and discuss postsecondary disability services and accommodations typically available on college and university campuses.
  • Discuss typical differences between two-year, technical, small liberal arts colleges and universities, and larger research institutions.
  • Answer questions from participants.
  • Summarize content and share resources for further information.

Web Search Strategies Summer Study Session

Area of Focus
Technology

Objectives for Session
Participants will learn how to make quick and efficient use of web search engines when making use of the World Wide Web.

Materials / Space Needed

  • Computer lab with Internet-connected computers equipped with assistive technology as needed
  • Scavenger hunt handout with list of words (e.g., red boat, teddy bear), placed face down at each workstation until the start of the activity

Overview
Participants are queried as to what their favorite search engine sites are, learn about Boolean logic as it applies to searches with examples of how it helps narrow down number of results to "fine tune" the process, and apply search strategies while doing an Internet scavenger hunt.

Outline of Session

  • Introduce topic.
  • Discuss how the Internet would be chaotic without search engines.
  • Informally survey class on favored search engines, "What do you use and why?"
  • Discuss Boolean logic—What is it and how does it help you get the best search results?
  • Conduct scavenger hunt—Participants look for pictures of objects described on the handout, working individually or in pairs. Each individual/pair may use a specific website collection (e.g., Google Images) only once.
  • Collect sheets, score, and give out prizes for those with the most finds.

Taking Charge Summer Study Session

Area of Focus
Self-determination

Objectives for Session
Students will increase their understanding of the importance of self-determination and what it means to be self-determined.

Materials / Space Needed

  • TV /VCR
  • One video in DO-IT's 3-video series Taking Charge: Stories of Success and Self-Determination
  • Handout from DO-IT titled Taking Charge: Stories of Success and Self-Determination
  • Worksheet that lists suggestions outlined in the video and handout with space for writing after each.
    • Define success for yourself.
    • Set personal, academic, and career goals. Keep your expectations high.
    • Understand your abilities and disabilities. Play to your strengths.
    • Develop strategies to meet your goals.
    • Use technology as an empowering tool.
    • Work hard. Persevere. Be flexible.
    • Develop a support network. Look to family, friends, and teachers.

Overview
Students are introduced to the concept of self-determination. Following the viewing of video, the different components of self-determination are emphasized. They are asked to define success, set goals, and identify two strengths, two strategies, technology, and risks they have taken. Students begin to identify support in their network.

Outline of Session

  • Introduce the concept of self-determination.
  • View video.
  • Discuss video content.
  • Provide participants with handout that lists the seven issues identified in video.
  • Have participants identify at least one goal and write a specific strategy relevant to this goal for each of the areas.
  • Discuss what participants learned and how they will apply it.

Preparing for College (Careers) Summer Study Session

Area of Focus
College (or career) preparation

Objectives for Session

  • Participants will be more aware of college types, offerings, admission steps, and resources for students with disabilities; or
  • Participants will increase their awareness of career interests, options, and preparation steps.

Materials / Space Needed

Overview
Participants are introduced to web resources for college (or career) preparation to explore college (or career) decision-making and academic majors. Students are encouraged to research and compare and contrast two colleges according to their interests and the parameters provided (e.g., size, cost, location) or two career fields.

Outline of Session

  • Introduce session topic and goal.
  • Distribute and discuss handout contents.
  • Give students assignments (independently or in pairs) to consult specific college (or career) resources and to explore other resources as time permits.
  • Discuss as a group what students learned about themselves, about steps to college (or careers), and about resources available to them.
  • Ask participants to share what steps they will take to move them closer to a successful postsecondary education (or career)?

College Life Summer Study Session

Area of Focus
College preparation

Objectives for Session
Participants will:

  • Learn to address academic and nonacademic (e.g., student housing, campus life) issues tied to specific disabilities.
  • Interact with interns, older students, and adults who share their disabilities.
  • Become familiar with the many aspects of nonacademic life involved in postsecondary education and what considerations may be involved to assure their involvement.
  • Share their experiences in accessing and participating in academic and nonacademic activities in order to learn from each other.

Materials/Space Needed

  • Large room with tables and chairs that can accommodate groups of 5-8 people
  • Group facilitator for each group
  • Materials for note taking
  • Provide guiding questions for each topic area related to academic and nonacademic life for small group facilitation, such as the following:
    • What accommodations have you used in the past? What kinds of accommodations do you think you will need in a classroom? In a lab? In a residence hall? At a sporting or arts event?
    • In what ways do you do things differently from your peers who do not have disabilities similar to yours?
    • What areas of participation in the university/college setting are important to you? Do you want to be in student government, join a fraternity or sorority, go to sporting or arts events, participate in a religious group? What will you need to facilitate your participation in these activities?
    • Where do you expect to live while attending college? Will you live with a roommate in college? What disability-related issues, if any, will you need to acknowledge if living in a residence hall, fraternity, sorority, or apartment? Have you ever lived with a roommate? What was that like for you? What are your expectations of your roommate? What issues would you need to address with a roommate?
    • How do you envision connecting with friends and romantic partners? What will make it easier for you to make connections? What will make it harder for you to connect with other people? What steps can you take to have a satisfactory social life?

Overview
Participants will learn about what campus life will be like for them both academically and nonacademically. Upon entering the room, participants are assigned small groups based on their disability; a flip chart or LCD display can facilitate this process. Students are seated around tables marked with place cards for their areas of disability along with a group facilitator. Small groups spend time going through a series of questions posed by the facilitator related to academic and nonacademic areas of college life. They learn from each other and from their facilitators. Each group compiles a list of tips to take with them. After the small groups meet, everyone reconvenes as a large group to share what was learned. This session may take approximately 90 minutes.

Outline of Session

  • Set up a large room with separate tables for each group. Use a large place card to indicate the specific disability group for each table.
  • Place a large flip chart or projector image near the door that participants will enter with group designations so that they can be immediately seated at their group table with their facilitator.
  • Give a brief overview of the session, and format.
  • Direct each group to discuss specific questions posed by the facilitator and have one participant record responses.
  • Have groups reconvene as a whole and share tips for college success. Ask note takers to submit notes.
  • After the session, compile a list of tips for college success and send them to participants via postal or electronic mail.

Articulating Your Needs and Communicating With Faculty Summer Study Session

Area of Focus
College preparation

Objectives for Session

  • Students will understand the general process and best practices for requesting accommodations at college.
  • Faculty will understand their role in meeting the student's needs through accommodation.

Materials / Space / Faculty Needed

  • One faculty member for each group of four or five students
  • Room large enough for group to break into small groups of four or five people each
  • Projection system
  • DO-IT video titled Working Together: Faculty and Students with Disabilities or Building the Team: Faculty, Students, and Staff Working Together
  • Flip charts (optional)
  • Handout from DO-IT titled Working Together: Faculty and Students with Disabilities

Overview
A video will be shown. Then faculty will be introduced in a panel format and, in small groups, students will role play with faculty.

Outline of Session

  • View video and discuss.
  • Introduce concept to be covered:
    • key relationship between student, professor, and disability services staff
    • impact of disability on individual student in a particular class
    • successful strategies and accommodations
  • Introduce faculty members who are encouraged to share in a panel format:
    • past interactions with students with disabilities
    • areas of expertise and courses taught
  • Break into small groups for participants to role play with faculty member. They should:
    • introduce themselves and disclose disability and how it might affect class participation (e.g., a learning disability that makes reading a slow process)
    • emphasize strengths and steps they take to assure academic success (e.g., use of a computer with speech output software)
    • request an accommodation, if needed
  • After all students receive feedback, each student role plays again with the same faculty member.

Learning Styles and Strengths Summer Study Session

Area of Focus
College and career preparation

Objectives for Session
Students will gain an understanding of their preferred learning style and how it influences their academic experience.

Materials / Space Needed

  • Computer lab with computers connected to the Internet and assistive technology as needed
  • Handout: PLSI Scoring Sheet from website
  • Examples of questions to use for discussion at end of presentation: What did you learn about yourself? Did the assessments seem to match your perception of yourself? Did they differ? How do you think knowing more about yourself will help you choose and succeed in college and careers?

Overview
Students identify individual learning styles using the Paragon Learning Style Inventory (PLSI) located at web.calstatela.edu/faculty/jshindl/plsi/index.html, along with coping skills, locus of control, anxiety, and procrastination tests located at discoveryhealth.queendom.com.

Outline of Session

  • Introduce types of learning styles.
  • Introduce the PLSI, which provides personality descriptions rather than learning strengths and limitations. Have students complete the PLSI located at web.calstatela.edu/faculty/jshindl/plsi/taketest.htm.
  • Have students score their assessments and read through descriptive information related to their score. Direct students to complete the coping skills, locus of control, anxiety, and procrastination tests. Have students write a summary about their personality type and characteristics, learning styles and skills that could possibly be part of a personal web-based portfolio.
  • In a large group have students share what they learned and how this understanding can help them be successful in college and careers. Questions to consider include:
    • What did you learn about yourself?
    • Did the assessments seem to match your perception of yourself?
    • Did they differ?
    • How do you think knowing more about yourself will help you choose and succeed in college and careers?
  • Summarize session content.

Internships and Scholarships Summer Study Session

Area of Focus
Career preparation

Objectives for Session
Participants will:

  • Gain a greater understanding about the value of work-based learning.
  • Learn about available options for internships and scholarships.
  • Create a plan for completing applications in the coming year.
  • Increase their enthusiasm for participating in these programs.

Materials / Space Needed
Handout of internships and scholarships available to participants
Calendar to write in deadlines
Projection system
DO-IT video titled Learn and Earn: Tips for Teens
Handouts: DO-IT publications College Funding Strategies for Students with Disabilities and Learn and Earn: Tips for Teens

Overview
Participants learn about work-based learning options. They hear from students who have participated in these programs in the past. They create a plan for completing applications in the coming year.

Outline of Session

  • Discuss college funding options.
  • View video.
  • Discuss programs that provide work-based learning opportunities (e.g., AAAS, Workforce Recruitment Program, National Disability Mentoring Day).
  • Discuss scholarship opportunities.
  • Solicit testimonials from students who have participated in such programs.
  • Direct participants to create plans for completing internship applications for the coming year.
  • Answer questions; share plans.

Science Activity Summer Study Session

Area of Focus
Access to science and hands-on activities

Objective for Session
Participants will learn about basic steps in conducting surgeries and about how they can work with partners who have different types of disabilities to build on their strengths.

Materials / Space Needed

  • Large room with work tables so that partners can work together
  • Sheep hearts or similar materials on which to perform surgery
  • Surgical instruments

Overview
Participants work in groups to conduct "surgeries" on sheep hearts. Each pair has complementary abilities/disabilities (e.g., a blind student paired with a student who is quadriplegic) so that, between the two of them, they have all skills to complete the tasks. Note that this approach, to pair students with complementary abilities/disabilities, can be used for any STEM or other hands-on activities. It causes participants to focus on what they can do, rather than what they can't do.

Outline of Session

  • Share the purpose of the activity with the participants.
  • Summarize the steps they will go through during the activity.
  • Give students directions to perform specific "operations" on the sheep hearts (e.g., bypass surgery).
  • Assist pairs throughout assignments.
  • Discuss experiences at the end, including how students were able to work together to utilize the strengths of each partner.
  • Talk about how they can apply the partner experience in school by offering, when they are in groups, to take on a specific task at the beginning of an activity so that they are not left out of active participation.

Access to Science Summer Study Session

Area of Focus
Access to science

Objective for Session
Participants will develop skills for adapting science activities for themselves and for students with other types of disabilities.

Materials / Space Needed

Overview
Participants explore ways to adapt science activities for students with disabilities like and unlike their own.

Outline of Session

  • Tell participants the goal of the session.
  • Give small groups printed directions for a typical science lab activity and assign one disability (e.g., blindness, low vision, hearing impairments, mobility impairments, and learning disabilities) to each small group.
  • Direct small groups to discuss and record possible accommodations for students with various levels of disability in the disability categories they have been assigned.
  • As a full group share accommodation strategies.
  • Describe universal design (see publication Equal Access: Universal Design of Instruction) and ask students to identify accommodation strategies that a teacher could build into his/her instructional strategies for all students. Note that when universal design is applied, it reduces the need for accommodations for specific students with disabilities and benefits all students.
  • View video(s) and discuss content.
  • Distribute handout(s) for further reading and discussion as appropriate.

Career Panel Summer Study Session

Area of Focus
Career preparation

Objective for Session
Students will learn about what it takes to be successful in school and on-the-job from professionals with disabilities in a variety of career fields.

Materials / Space Needed

  • Microphone and speakers
  • List of sample questions
  • Three to six professionals with disabilities (diverse professions and disabilities)
  • Large banquet style room or classroom with head table for 6-10

Overview
After a welcome and orientation by the moderator, each professional introduces themself and speaks about his/her job, background, career path, disability, challenges, and accommodations. An open forum for student questions is followed by all professionals giving closing comments and the moderator summarizing the content.

Outline of Session

  • Introduce process.
  • Have each professional on panel introduce him/herself, and share a work history, challenges, and accommodations used on the job.
  • Interact through student Q&As, such as the following:
  • How did you disclose your disability and request accommodations during an interview and job offer?
  • What have been your experiences with workplace culture regarding disability issues?
  • What are the greatest disability-related challenges you have faced?
  • How many times have you changed career paths? Why and when?
  • What was the hardest thing about going from high school to college? College to work?
  • Summarize key points made during the session.
  • Ask each panelist to share one career preparation recommendation to participants.

Effective Interview Strategies Summer Study Session

Area of Focus
Career preparation

Objectives for Session
Participants will gain knowledge and skills for completing a successful job interview process.
Students will begin to develop a disclosure and accommodation plan.

Materials / Space Needed

  • Possible handouts to develop:
    • Frequently asked questions and tips about the employment interview, disclosure, and accommodations
    • Sample post-interview thank you letter

Overview
Students learn tips for a successful job interview and discuss how to tell employers about their skills, experiences, disabilities, and necessary job accommodations.

Outline of Session
Discuss why it is important to prepare for an interview.
Go over frequently asked questions and discuss dos and don'ts in the interview process. Make this discussion fun by proposing some outlandish suggestions and asking if they are dos or don'ts.
Discuss accommodation options, when and how to disclose a disability, and how to request accommodations.
(Option) Conduct a panel discussion of employees with disabilities.
Share thank you letter samples and emphasize the importance of sending them.


Resume Workshop Summer Study Session

Area of Focus
Career preparation

Objectives for Session
Each student will leave with a current, well written résumé to use in the Practicing Your Interviewing Skills session.

Materials / Space Needed

  • Computers with word processing software and printer(s)
  • Volunteer helpers

Overview
Participants will create résumés.

Outline of Session

  • Contact students in advance to make sure they bring the necessary information to complete a resume (e.g., addresses, job dates).
  • Discuss the purpose of a résumé.
  • Give a brief overview of résumé content and style options. Create an outline of a sample résumé as a group.
  • Help students get information into resume format with the most effective wording, providing individual assistance.
  • Print résumés, save documents on disks, give printed and electronic copies to participants, and keep copies for staff that can be used in follow-up activities.

Practicing Your Interviewing Skills Summer Study Session

Area of Focus
Career preparation

Objectives for Session
Participants will gain interviewing skills and confidence in an interviewing situation.

Materials / Space Needed

  • Students bring resume draft (created in Resume Workshop session)
  • Pencils
  • Handouts with interview questions

Overview
Participants will practice interview skills with representatives from local companies and organizations. The student observer(s) and the employer will give feedback to each student interviewed within a group. Ultimately, each employer will conduct one mock interview with each of the students.

Outline of Session

  • Before the session date, identify one human resources (HR) professional for every two students.
  • Provide the HR volunteers with sample questions ahead of time and the goals, expectations, and agenda for the day. Have them arrive 15 minutes early for orientation. Note that the students may be dressed for summer camp, not for an actual interview.
  • Introduce students and volunteers. Assign one HR professional to two students.
  • Direct each HR professional to interview the first student.
  • Ask one volunteer and one student observer to provide feedback to the student interviewed.
  • Direct each HR professional to interview the second student.
  • Ask HR volunteer and student observer to provide feedback to the student interviewed.
  • Have HR volunteers move to a different pair and repeat interviewing process until each volunteer has interviewed every student.
  • Facilitate group discussion; ask who discussed their disability during the interview, what are some interviewing pointers, what were some of your observations, what useful feedback did you receive, what do you need to continue to practice, what went well, and what didn't go well?

Computer Labs

The academic program includes many technology-based learning activities in a computer lab. DO-IT staff have used existing campus labs, as well as set up labs specifically for the Summer Study program. Assistive technology activities include web-based scavenger hunts, exercises on computer security, the development of electronic portfolios, exploration of web resources for college and career preparation, and web page design. DO-IT technology specialists teach some of these sessions and offer technical assistance to other instructors. Email communication with peers and Mentors is integrated into lab activities and encouraged during open lab sessions. Scholars use lab computers to complete daily evaluations and to submit assignments, such as newsletter articles.


Examples of Phase II Small Group Workshops

As the World Turns: Time Zones, Seasons and Maps
Get to know the planet you live on using models, maps, and games. We'll make a globe, explain the seasons, and find our way using latitudes, longitudes, and GPS technology. We'll build a mountain, draw a map, explore websites, and learn about tides and time zones.

Interface Technology Workshop
Explore interface technologies; learn key principles and practices in spatial tracking, visual displays, spatialized sound, haptic (force feedback) interaction, and 3-D real-time graphics. Create underwater games using real oceanographic data. Gain an appreciation of the range of skills and interests needed to work on an advanced interface development team.

The Game of Life and Image Processing
The famous mathematician John Horton Conway discovered the "game of life," a simple solitaire game that is played on a grid of squares. The rules of the game consist of marking each square according to the contents of the surrounding squares. As it happens, changes to the rules of the game of life yield standard image processing operations such as filling in the enclosed area, finding the edges of a figure, and shadowing figures. In this workshop you will modify an application of the game of life in a computer program to produce different effects. You will learn how to solve processing problems and a little about computer programming.

Web Accessibility
Have you ever visited a website, found it difficult to use or inaccessible, and wanted to send feedback to the webmaster? With the publication of the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and the requirement that websites of federal agencies be accessible, evaluating websites for accessibility is a valuable skill. In this workshop you will run web accessibility evaluation tools, interpret the output, and generate evaluation reports.


Intern Activities

Third-year participants have the option of returning to Summer Study to complete an internship. Interns arrive at Summer Study one day before the Phase I Scholars arrive. They use this time to review the schedule, receive assignments, ask questions, tour facilities, assist with Summer Study setup, and complete team-building activities.

Interns assist Summer Study staff in all areas of the program. Specific job duties include:

  • escorting DO-IT Scholars to activity locations
  • assisting with labs and classroom activities; acting as a role model and mentor
  • enforcing rules and offering feedback to campers
  • helping all Scholars feel included
  • organizing, setting up, and cleaning up snacks
  • assisting with administrative duties, such as inventory and event preparation

Since the interns have already participated in the Summer Study program, sharing their knowledge about the program is invaluable as they interact with new participants. Many Interns have begun college; their insights into college transition are called upon during program activities.

Interns are assigned to specific duties and activities throughout the Summer Study session. Each Intern generally follows the Phase I or Phase II schedule in which he/she is assigned duties. A DO-IT staff member supervises the Interns. He/she delivers program orientation, schedules strategic meetings, and gives individual feedback and guidance.

Image of DO-IT Scholars having fun participating in Karaoke.

Program Schedule

Separate schedules are made for Phase I and Phase II Scholars. A title, time, location, and brief description of each activity appears in the schedule. Staff refer to versions of schedules with additional text that lists operational details, such as staff on duty, equipment, supplies, and setup regarding each activity. A sample Summer Study schedule can be found in Appendix K.

Evening Activities

Activities that are social and recreational in nature are scheduled each evening. Favorite evening activities include:

  • craft night, featuring tie-dying of T-shirts
  • field trips to natural history and art museums on campus
  • adaptive cycling with loaned equipment from Ski-for-All, a local adaptive sports organization
  • ice cream social/karaoke night
  • a dance with a DJ and popular music

Following these scheduled evening activities, some Scholars choose to retire to their rooms. Other Scholars are given options for recreational pursuits around the residence halls. These activities provide Scholars with time to relax and socialize. They include:

  • outdoor activities (basketball, volleyball)
  • crafts
  • board games
  • movies
Image of a DO-IT Scholar in a helmet that rides a scooter.

Field Trips

On- and off-campus field trips are part of the Summer Study agenda. Field trips are designed to be both educational and fun and offer opportunities for Scholars to interact in a variety of environments. Weekend field trip locations that have been successful include the Pacific Science Center, the Museum of Flight, the Seattle Aquarium, the Experience Music Project, and the Woodland Park Zoo. At each site, the students attend specific activities for educational purposes, but also have plenty of time to relax and socialize. On some field trips DO-IT staff bring boxed lunches; on others lunch arrangements are made with food services at the destination.

Each year a field trip to the Microsoft campus, Starbucks, or other corporate headquarters is scheduled during the week. These outings increase career exploration and knowledge of workplace expectations and accommodations. Participants experience a high-tech workplace, talk with employees who have disabilities, and learn about new research and developments.

When arranging field trips, advance planning and clear communication with facility staff are essential. Issues to address relate to accessible transportation and facilities, staffing requirements, and meal and snack options. Staff should tour the facilities and assure accessibility to all participants.

Special Events

Each Summer Study session features several special events. Often members of the DO-IT community, including Mentors, Ambassadors, and parents, are invited to these events. Including guests allows people to interact with DO-IT participants and facilitates networking. DO-IT Advisory Board members are also invited to these activities. Special events held each year include those described below.

Image of a DO-IT Scholar wearing sunglasses poses in her wheelchair on a patio.

Career Panel and Advisory Board Luncheon
Successful Mentors and Ambassadors join the Scholars for lunch and share their employment experiences on a career panel. Scholars have opportunities to ask for information and advice.

Keynote Address
Each year DO-IT features a keynote speaker who has a disability. The keynote speaker typically has a successful career and multiple achievements in an area of expertise and serves as a role model for the students. He/she presents a lecture as part of a luncheon or evening event and sometimes conducts an additional Phase I and/or Phase II workshop.

Parent Meeting
Parents are invited to attend a meeting with the DO-IT Director prior to the closing ceremonies of Summer Study. This meeting gives parents an opportunity to meet each other and discuss the DO-IT program and college transition issues with parents of other DO-IT Scholars and DO-IT staff.

Closing Ceremonies
On the last day of Summer Study, Scholars, parents, staff, and instructors gather to celebrate achievements. Phase II Scholars share their group projects. Awards are presented to the DO-IT Phase I and Phase II Scholars. Besides program completion certificates, a unique award is given to each Phase I Scholar (e.g., Karaoke King, Pool Shark, Dancing Queen). Staff also distribute copies of the Snapshots yearbook publication, which is described later on page 61.

Supporting Activities and Materials

The following paragraphs describe support strategies, documents, and materials for Scholars.

Correspondence with Scholars

Scholars are notified by mail and by phone of their acceptance. Initial correspondence includes details about the program and forms for Scholars and parents to complete and return. Samples of the following forms are included in the Appendices:

Notebooks and Handouts

Each DO-IT Scholar receives a notebook with schedules, publications, and handouts in both printed and electronic formats upon their arrival at Summer Study and take the notebooks home. The notebooks include key information for reading and reference during and after Summer Study. The notebooks also provide a way for parents to review content covered during the program and become aware of resources. Most of the publications included in the DO-IT Summer Study notebook can be found at www.washington.edu/doit/Brochures/publist.html.

Students also receive copies of the DO-IT Snapshots yearbook with pictures, personal biographies written by participants, and email addresses. Examples of Scholar biographies appear in the figure below.

DO-IT Snapshots: The Scholar Yearbook

Each year, Scholars receive a yearbook with Scholar and Ambassador photos, biographies, and email addresses. Scholars are encouraged to share information in their bios about their interests, disabilities, and college and career goals. The Snapshots publication also provides them with a convenient archive of email addresses for staff and Mentors. Two Scholar biographies from Snapshots 2004 are below. Previous issues of DO-IT Snapshots, with last names and email addresses removed, can be found at www.washington.edu/doit/Snapshots.

2004 DO-IT Scholar Maryann sits in her wheelchair with her golden retriever by her side.

 

 

Maryann '04 Scholar
My name is Maryann. I am eighteen years old. I live in Lynnwood, Washington. I go to school at Edmonds Woodway High School and am going into the eleventh grade. I have Cerebral Palsy. Two major accomplishments for this year are getting inducted into the National Honor Society at my school and going downhill skiing for the first time. After high school I would like to go to college to study law. I will go to a two-year college and then to a four-year. 

2004 DO-IT Scholar Andrew smiles for the camera.
 

Andrew '04 Scholar
Hey guys. My name is Andrew and I'm going to be a senior at Skyline High School. I'm energetic and easy to talk to. During the school year I'm busy with choir and performances that I do with my voice teacher. All year I am in training for the track season, where I throw the javelin. This year I was seventh in King County for javelin and alternate to State Solo and Ensemble Competition. This summer I attended the Ironwood Throwers Camp. I have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and a learning disability in reading and writing. Accommodations, like extra time on tests, have been very helpful. My favorite subjects are math, science, and choir.

Accommodations

Adequate preparation and provision of accommodations are essential considerations for academic support, safety, and comfort during the program. Students who need accommodations in the residence halls or during academic classes request them in advance of Summer Study. DO-IT staff members interview Scholars on the phone and send out questionnaires to determine their needs. Helping students articulate their needs and request accommodations provides important self-advocacy practice for the participants. These skills are reinforced throughout the program. Typical accommodations requested by Scholars include:

  • sign language interpreters
  • room and board for personal care assistants (PCAs)
  • materials in large print or Braille, and scribes

Personal Care Assistants

Some students with significant physical disabilities require personal care assistants (PCAs). DO-IT staff members do not provide personal care but work closely with Scholars to help them secure the assistance they need. A stipend is offered to help a Scholar cover the cost of hiring a personal care assistant. For most Scholars, it is a new learning experience to hire and supervise an assistant who is not a family member. For them, this is an important step toward leading an independent adult life. Regularly, staff members make it clear that a personal care assistant is supervised by the Scholar, not by DO-IT staff. Appendix L includes tips to help students and PCAs understand their roles and responsibilities during the program.

Supplies and Equipment

DO-IT has a supply of lab equipment, adaptive recreational activities, and games for Summer Study. Each year there are also perishable and nonperishable supplies that must be ordered. Acquisition of supplies and maintenance of inventory are essential duties for the Summer Study program staff.

Residence Halls and Meals

DO-IT Scholars live on campus in a residence hall and use campus meal services for the duration of the residential programs. Planning for and scheduling conference and facility services begins one year in advance. Staff members work closely with a representative from the university Summer Conference Services to make residential arrangements.

Special attention is paid to the accessibility of dormitory rooms, showers, and rest-rooms. Staff also address special dietary requests and emergency procedures. These meetings facilitate communication between DO-IT program staff and the summer residence hall staff. Residence hall staff members have ample time to prepare for the Scholars' arrival and are given tips for working with them, like Helpful Communication Tips on page 63. Conference service staff also assist with the emergency procedures and provide a list of students and room locations to campus emergency personnel.

Classrooms and Computer Labs

Space for classroom and lab activities must be reserved well in advance. Working with respective campus services to acquire appropriate facilities is an important early planning consideration.

Helpful Communication Hints

Treat people with disabilities with the same respect and consideration with which you treat others. There are no strict rules when it comes to relating to people with disabilities. However, here are some helpful hints.

General Guidelines

  • Ask a person with a disability if he/she needs help before providing assistance.
  • Talk directly to the person with a disability, not through the person's companion or interpreter.
  • Refer to a person's disability only if it is relevant to the conversation. If so, refer to the person first and then the disability. "A man who is blind" is better than "a blind man" because it emphasizes the person first.
  • Avoid negative descriptions of a person's disability. For example, "a person who uses a wheelchair" is more appropriate than "a person confined to a wheelchair." A wheelchair is not confining—it's liberating!
  • Ask for permission before you interact with a person's guide dog or service animal.

Visual Impairments

  • Be descriptive for people with visual impairments. Say, "The computer is about three feet to your left," instead of "The computer is over there."
  • When guiding people with visual impairments, offer them your arm rather than grabbing or pushing them.

Learning Disabilities

  • Offer directions/instructions both orally and in writing. If asked, read instructions to individuals who have specific learning disabilities.

Mobility Impairments

  • Sit or otherwise position yourself at the approximate height of people sitting in wheelchairs when you interact.

Speech Impairments

  • Listen carefully. Repeat what you think you heard and then ask the person with a speech impairment to clarify and/or repeat the portion that you did not understand.

Deaf or Hard of Hearing

  • Face people with hearing impairments so they can see your lips.
  • Speak clearly at a normal volume. Speak more loudly only if requested.
  • Use paper and pencil if the person who is deaf does not read lips or if more accurate communication is needed.
  • In groups raise hands to be recognized, so the person who is deaf knows who is speaking.

Psychiatric Impairments

  • Provide information in clear, calm, respectful tones.
  • Allow opportunities for addressing specific questions.

Staffing

DO-IT staff have a variety of backgrounds and experiences. Essential to the program are technology specialists, counselors, educators, program coordinators, and support staff. Several program staff work on the planning year-round. During the actual Summer Study program, the number of staff increases, due to the adjusting of assignments of full-time DO-IT staff and the hiring of summer-only workers. At least two staff members, one male and one female, spend each night of Summer Study sessions in the residence hall. During the academic and evening programs, several staff members are on duty to support the Scholars individually, teach sessions, help with computer labs, transport students, and troubleshoot. An example of a program staff job description can be found on page 64. A criminal history background check is conducted prior to acceptance as a volunteer or staff member. New staff members are provided with training as appropriate.

Volunteers and Instructors

Instructors and other volunteers are important members of the Summer Study team. Most have little, if any, previous experience working with students who have disabilities. They are provided with guidelines and training that are appropriate for their assignment.

Instructors are recruited from the university and from K-12 and postsecondary schools in the community. Many of the Summer Study instructors who are university faculty work with K-12 campus outreach programs and collaborate with educators in other programs. Staff members communicate with instructors before their scheduled presentations or workshops to discuss strategies to reach all students and to communicate effectively.

Several DO-IT videos and publications can help prepare instructors to teach students with disabilities. They include:

These videos can be purchased in DVD format from DO-IT or freely viewed online along with publications at www.washington.edu/doit/Brochures.

Emergency Procedures

Careful attention is paid to the well-being and safety of the Scholars during the Summer Study program. Emergency procedures are coordinated carefully with residence hall staff. Personal information and emergency contact information for each of the participants is stored to assure confidentiality and availability to staff should an emergency or health-related incident occur. Copies are available to staff in the dormitory, in the program computer lab, and on field trips. A specific emergency plan is also developed each year. Appendix N includes an example of an emergency plan. Staff also have copies of the dormitory emergency plan.


Sample Job Description

Position:
DO-IT Summer Study Dorm Assistant Counselor/Coordinator

Dates:
July 18 to August 6, 2005

Hours:
40 hrs per week, specific times/days to be determined

Assist with implementation of the DO-IT Summer Study program for high school students with disabilities. Supervise and coordinate specified activities, including overnight dorm accommodations, evening activities, and off-site field trips.

Duties:

  • The person in this position will do the following:
  • Supervise volunteers, interns, and program staff working with evening activities.
  • Assist with setup and coordination of evening activities and field trips.
  • Supervise interns and assist Scholars during morning preparation and breakfast activities.
  • Live in dorm. Manage "night shift" activities and staff.
  • Act as lead resident advisor/counselor and chaperone.
  • Serve as contact for housing and emergency issues during evening and overnight shifts.
  • Assist with on-campus transportation of students as needed.

Requirements:
Some college experience. Experience and demonstrated ability to effectively work with teenagers and with people who have disabilities. Must be versed in issues related to the education and/or employment of students with disabilities, including legal issues and appropriate accommodations. Excellent communication, planning, problem-solving, and organizational skills. Must be willing to live in a dorm at the University of Washington during the 2005 Summer Study. Valid Washington State driver's license is preferred. Successful completion of a criminal history background check is required prior to hire.


Parent Involvement

While DO-IT promotes the development of self-determination and self-advocacy skills of the Scholars, staff also acknowledge that parents continue to be important guides for their young adult sons and daughters and are important members of the support network that youth with disabilities need to succeed in the postsecondary environment.

Therefore, in addition to communicating directly with DO-IT Scholars, DO-IT staff communicate with their parents to maximize the value of Scholar participation in all aspects of the program. Communication helps parents stay informed of program goals and activities, encourage the ongoing development of self-determination skills, and otherwise support their children's transition from high school to college and careers. In the DO-IT program, parent communication is facilitated through:

  • detailed correspondence about program goals, activities, and expectations
  • a parent email discussion list
  • parent meetings
  • invitations to specific Summer Study activities and other DO-IT events

An excerpt of a sample letter that welcomes DO-IT Scholar parents and illustrates how DO-IT promotes parent involvement is included on page 66.


Excerpt from a Parent Welcome Letter

We are looking forward to welcoming your son/daughter to the DO-IT Scholars program this summer and commend you for your support of his/her participation. We have a full schedule of stimulating and fun academic, technology, and career preparation activities lined up.

As you may have noticed, we are sending all Summer Study correspondence to the Scholars. Our staff would like to communicate directly with each Scholar as much as possible in an effort to promote self-determination skills. Please encourage your son/daughter to share DO-IT information with you. If you have questions, feel free to contact DO-IT staff members.

Summer Study Events
As a parent, you are welcome to observe Summer Study activities and to participate in some programs. Special events you may want to attend include [Note: In the actual letter, dates, times, and locations are included]:

  • Opening Day, Welcome Meeting, BBQ, and Success Panel of DO-IT Interns
  • Evening Reception and Keynote Presentation
  • Advisory Board Luncheon and Career Panel
  • Closing Day Parent Meeting (where parents have the opportunity to meet and discuss the DO-IT program and college transition issues with DO-IT staff and other parents)
  • Closing Ceremonies (where participants get certificates and Phase II Scholars deliver presentations)

DO-IT Parents Electronic Discussion List
Our online DO-IT Parents discussion group is available to all Scholar parents. It is a great place to share ideas in helping your children transition to college, careers, and other adult life activities. It is also a place where DO-IT staff post information about resources and events of interest to parents.

Technology
As a DO-IT Scholar, your son/daughter is eligible to be loaned selected assistive technology and computer equipment. Our technology specialist will assist with his/her specific needs. This equipment is on loan from the University of Washington but is available to the Scholars as long as they are active participants in the program. Please encourage your son/daughter to maintain an active email account and notify us when his/her home address or email address changes.


Troubleshooting

Despite careful and detailed planning, incidents that require troubleshooting and problem-solving can be expected to occur. Staff develop and share with each other strategies for addressing unplanned occurrences or challenges.

Despite efforts to select facilities that are accessible, unanticipated barriers can be encountered. In most cases staff can resolve immediate accessibility issues directly with individual students. On field trips and in campus facilities, students are encouraged to advocate for their needs and constructively communicate accessibility barriers and improvement suggestions to the facility manager or other personnel where barriers are encountered. Their suggestions are collected via email and anonymously shared with appropriate personnel.

Student Medication

DO-IT staff do not administer medication. When a Scholar requires medication, the Scholar and family put a plan in place prior to attending the Summer Study program. For example, parents have called the student as a reminder or negotiated with staff to provide a reminder to the student as an accommodation. In some cases the campus health center has administered medication. This policy is consistent with a goal of Summer Study to have students practice procedures that could be employed in a college setting.

Personal Assistants

DO-IT does not provide personal care assistants (PCAs) for DO-IT Scholars. In some cases, a parent or sibling accompanies the Scholar as a PCA. Otherwise, students who need PCAs are required to work with their parents or guardians to hire them on their own. DO-IT offers a stipend for families to help cover payments to non-family member assistants. Participants apply for stipends before the live-in program begins.

It is recommended but not mandatory that PCAs be over the age of eighteen. When reasonable, Scholars who have PCAs have Scholar roommates, and the PCAs reside in a room nearby. A Scholar who uses a personal care assistant of the opposite gender may room with the assistant on the floor for participants of the same gender as the Scholar. A sign is posted outside of the community gender-specific restroom in the residence hall when the Scholar and assistant are using the restroom or showers.

Staff Communication

Staff are equipped with cell phones to communicate efficiently during Summer Study. Day and evening staff connect and inform each other of relevant issues during staff turnover times. Staff schedules and phone number lists are provided to all staff.

Personal Care Equipment

DO-IT covers the cost and arranges for hospital beds in the residence halls when needed by Scholars. Participants who need additional specialized personal care equipment (e.g., Hoyer lifts, shower chairs) are responsible for providing it and work with staff to make any special arrangements for use.

Image of a DO-IT Scholar pictured with a nebula in the background

Student Safety

Student safety is a priority throughout the Summer Study program.

For many students, this is the first time they have been away from home for an extended period of time. A staff member is on duty in the residence hall each night, with duties similar to a typical college resident advisor (RA). DO-IT Scholars are required to abide by a curfew and are not allowed to leave campus, except with staff and parent permission, while participating in the live-in program. DO-IT staff members regularly consult with institutional experts on physical safety, risk management, and legal issues to assure that reasonable safety guidelines are put into practice.

Sample Documents

Consult the following Appendices for samples of program information sheets, publications, forms, and evaluation instruments related to Summer Study.

The next chapter describes work-based learning activities where DO-IT Scholars can gain real-world work experiences and apply what they learn in Summer Study and through online mentoring and support.