Director's Digressions

Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph.D.

In a meeting with the Phase I DO-IT Scholars on the last day of Summer Study 2006, our annual two-week live-in college prep program at the University of Washington, I asked each of them to tell me at least one thing he or she gained from Summer Study. Below are their thoughtful answers in the order they were given. Together, they offer a picture of what first year DO-IT Scholars take away from this experience:

  • I learned how to get prepared for college.
  • I made friends.
  • I learned how to speak to professors about my disability.
  • I learned how to advocate for myself.
  • Here, a disability is not a major deal.
  • I learned how to self-advocate.
  • I fine-tuned my self-advocacy skills.
  • I learned a lot about other types of disabilities and how the world works.
  • If I ever design something, I need to make sure it is accessible to everyone.
  • I made friends.
  • I practiced self-advocacy.
  • I found out that some places are easy to get to and some are not as wheelchair-accessible. I need to check places out ahead of time.
  • Phase I, Phase II, Ambassadors, Mentors... we're all one big family.
  • We should advocate for ourselves AND for each other.
  • I learned not to let others do everything. I know I have to do it!
  • I saw people with disabilities do miracles.
  • I made lots of friends.
  • Even though we have challenges, we can do it!
  • I know I want to go to college.
  • I learned about different disabilities.
  • I learned how to organize my email.
  • College classes take more than just walking a few steps. I need to make time to go between classes.
  • I learned about technology used by people with different disabilities.
  • I learned how to find scholarships.
  • Be sure to SAVE important email messages.
  • I learned about the daily lives of people with different disabilities.
  • My self-advocacy skills are better.
  • At school I never asked for accommodations. Maybe I will now.
  • I have a feel for what university life is like.
  • I learned not to be shy and how to speak my mind.
  • I learned to participate more—I did everything—like DO-IT.

This issue of DO-IT News features some of our efforts in promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) academic studies and careers. These efforts include activities in the AccessComputing and AccessSTEM alliances.