UW Today

This is an archived article.

December 4, 2002

DO-IT program seeking students with disabilities for college, career prep

The DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking and Technology) Scholars program is now accepting applications from high school sophomores and juniors with disabilities who are interested in preparing for college and careers in challenging fields. Freshmen may also apply, but those applications will be reviewed on a space-available basis.

The DO-IT advisory board will review all complete applications received by Jan. 10 for the 2003 scholars program. After Jan. 10, applications will continue to be accepted until all available openings are filled.

The DO-IT Scholars program prepares high school students with disabilities for college and challenging careers. Students outside of the Puget Sound area and minority students are especially encouraged to apply, according to Sheryl Burgstahler, DO-IT founder and director.

Participants are loaned computers, software, and adaptive technology for use in their homes, where they can network with peers, DO-IT staff members, and working professionals with disabilities. The students attend a two-week, live-in summer study program at the University of Washington to learn about college selection, career possibilities, technology and self-advocacy.

Throughout their participation, scholars are encouraged to participate in work-based learning experiences.

“Some kids with disabilities have expectations that are lower than they need to be,” says Burgstahler. “Our focus is on the use of empowering technology and teaching students the skills they need to succeed in challenging careers.”

Approximately 20 students are selected each year. The program has served more than 200 students with disabilities since it began in 1992. DO-IT has received many national and regional awards, including the 1999 Golden Apple Award for exemplary contributions; the 1997 Presidential Award for excellence in science, mathematics and engineering mentoring; and the 1995 National Information Infrastructure Award in Education.

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For more information about DO-IT and the scholars program call 206-685-3648 (voice or TTY) or visit www.washington.edu/doit/. Media questions can be directed to Scott Bellman, DO-IT program coordinator, 206-685-6222 or swb3@u.washington.edu