Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, Technology (DO-IT)

The following article, reprinted with permission, appeared in the Spring, 1994, issue of the UW publication The Trend in Engineering, Vol. 44, No. 1.

DO-IT Scholars using virtual reality equipment at the UW Human Interface Technology

DO-IT summer program students view virtual reality at the UW Human Interface Technology Laboratory.

Eighteen high school students with disabilities from Washington and Oregon spent two weeks during the summer on the UW campus, exploring high technology and science. The session was organized by the College's new DO-IT program, a three-year program funded by a $1.5 million grant from NSF to provide access to engineering by disabled students. Students used advanced computers, plotted global earthquake activity, designed and built model bridges, and interacted with engineers and scientists. Some of the instructors - composed of faculty from UW and other institutions, as well as professionals from industry - have disabilities. Following the summer program, students will communicate with each other and an international network of volunteer mentors using electronic mail. One of these mentors is famed British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, disabled from Lou Gehrig's disease, who met with disabled students from the area when he spoke in Seattle in July.