This is an archived article.

July 20, 2001

UW program shows students with disabilities they can DO-IT

A summer camp of a different stripe will begin later this month at the University of Washington.

More than 40 college-bound high school students with disabilities from Washington and other states will gather at the UW campus in Seattle for the summer study sessions of the Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking and Technology (DO-IT) Program. DO-IT is an award-winning program intended to show students how to develop the skills needed to enter a college and succeed in a higher-education setting.

“This program shows students what they can do in college and beyond,” said Sheryl Burgstahler, DO-IT program director. “It puts them in touch with other students and mentors who can help and encourage them to achieve their goals. By living in the dorm and participating in activities, the students learn what college life is like and how science and other academic activities can be adapted to provide access to them.”

Participants will come in two shifts. First-year DO-IT scholars will stay for 11 days beginning July 30. Scholars taking part for the second year will stay for one week, Aug. 4-10. Scholars who have participated for two years will have the opportunity to return to summer study as interns.

Participants will take part in a variety of activities, including virtual reality sessions at the UW’s Human Interface Technology Lab, a session with Microsoft Corp. investigating computer accessibility and usability for persons with disabilities, a lab to perform “bypass surgery” on a sheep’s heart and workshops covering a wide range of academic and career preparation topics. In addition, scholars will test their pedaling prowess on customized bicycles and visit the Pacific Science Center, the Experience Music Project and attend a dance.

DO-IT, founded in 1992, targets high school juniors and seniors with disabilities and seeks to encourage their participation in challenging academic programs and careers. Participants are loaned computers, modems, software and adaptive technology to use in their homes as they learn to use the Internet to gather information and communicate with others. Each year, 20 new scholars enter the program, beginning their experience with the summer camp. The program continues with independent projects and Internet interaction with mentors, teachers and fellow scholars during the school year. Initially funded by the National Science Foundation, DO-IT is now funded by the state of Washington and other donors.

Here is a list of potential photo opportunities:

„h Computer learning labs: “World Wide Web” Aug. 2, “Troubleshooting and Protection” Aug. 6, “Computer Hardware” Aug. 7 and “Shortcuts and Timesavers” Aug. 8, all from 9:30-10:30 a.m. in Odegaard Undergraduate Library, “Collaboratory” 2 (one of two specially designed computerized classrooms in Odegaard).

„h “Get to the Heart of It!” sheep heart dissection, Aug. 2, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Odegaard 220.

„h Virtual reality sessions, Aug. 7,8 and 9 from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Human Interface Technology Laboratory, Fluke Hall.

„h Customized bicycling on modified bikes, Aug. 7, 7-8:30 p.m., location TBA.

„h Career panel of professionals with disabilities, Aug. 7, 2-3:30 p.m. in Odegaard 220.

„h DO-IT offices open house, Aug. 8, 7-9 p.m., 3737 Brooklyn Ave. N.E.

„h Closing ceremonies, Aug. 8, 1:30-3:30 p.m., Terry Hall Lounge.

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For more information, contact Scott Bellman at (206) 685-6222 or swb3@u.washington.edu