Summer Study '99: What Did the Phase I Scholars Do?

Picture of Phase I Scholars
DO-IT Phase I 1999 Scholars

DO-IT Phase I Scholars participate in a two-week, live-in summer study session on the University of Washington campus in Seattle, Washington. They learn about college life; surf the Internet; interact with peers, staff, and mentors; and have fun. Below, '99 Phase I Scholars share some of their experiences. Note that, reluctantly, some articles were edited by DO-IT staff to make them short enough to include in this publication. Additional articles by Scholars can be found in earlier newsletters at

Accessibility and UW Campus

by '99 DO-IT Scholars, Ali and Nate

The University of Washington is very accessible. They have wheelchair exits everywhere, elevators, and lots of computer programs that are used by people with different disabilities. We think it is very important to look for other people's needs because everybody is not the same. There are lots of different people who need different things and we have to help each other. When I (Ali) came to the United States, I felt like a normal person because I can go wherever I want and I can do whatever I want, like go to school and do many other things that I couldn't have done in my country because of my disability. In my country, I couldn't go to school because it wasn't accessible for wheelchairs. 

Picture of Zachary and Brandon on a bicycle
Zachary and volunteer, Brandon Benson, enjoy Skiforall

Dorm Life

by '99 DO-IT Scholars, Wolfgang and David

The room in McCarty Hall is somewhat small, dark, hot without the window completely open, has a fan that doesn't do what it's supposed to, and has blankets positioned where one had to pull them out in order to sleep on the bed. These are all somewhat small annoyances that could be worked out with some work. Now that we've experienced living under these conditions, we'll treasure the sleeping time we have at home more.

There are things that could be done to make living in a dorm room more pleasant. Next time you have to be in a dorm, bring a good radio that can be plugged in. Sleep with a night-light if absolute dark poses a problem for you. Bring a working fan, not the one that the university provides for you. Try to go to sleep early enough so that you can wake up on your own and do not have to be woken up by a noisemaker.

There are some good things about McCarty Hall. There are two beds to a room, so you will usually have a roommate to sleep with who should be interesting and fun to be with, even if they don't share the same interests as you. There are great things to play like pool and ping-pong. One can play more sports outside. The small lounge next to our rooms has a good television available for watching, and has a great balcony for just standing outside or sitting in a chair, looking relaxed and cool, especially at night.

Roommate Life

by '99 DO-IT Scholars, Zachary and Patrick

Roommate differences occur with everyone. Some of the experiences that you may encounter as roommates could range from none to getting along to becoming the best of friends. It's a life-long learning lesson on how to get along with people in close situations.

There's a good and bad side to having a roommate. The good side of having a roommate is having someone to talk to and do stuff with, and getting to know each other on a personal level. The bad side of having a roommate is that one may snore and the other one can't sleep the night, because the person may be a loud snorer.

In the end, roommates can be good to have. You may have your differences with your roommate so hold up your end of the bargain. Good luck with your future roommate.

Accessibility of Dorms

by '99 DO-IT Scholars, Kathy and Mi Mi

For people who use wheelchairs, dorm living can become difficult and frustrating. The rooms themselves can be far from perfect. To start, the spaces between the beds and the wall or closets may be too limited. The mirror may be too high for those in wheelchairs trying to see their hair or something. The closets need to be wide. The rod in the closet may be too high for those who are trying to hang stuff up such as towels or coats. Whenever there is more than one wheelchair in the hallways, one of them has to move so the other can get through if the halls are narrow.

In the restrooms they should have more than one stall for a wheelchair. Sometimes there are people in wheelchairs who need to use the restrooms immediately and they have to wait for the bigger one. For people with really wide wheelchairs, the entrances to the dorm rooms and the restrooms are sometimes too narrow. Showers should have railings for people to hold on to, especially the people in wheelchairs. If you plan to live in a dorm, check it out ahead of time and make sure to request the accommodations you need.

The Treasure Hunt

by '99 DO-IT Scholars, Kelci and Lacey

The Treasure Hunt took place on August 4th. We met in the McCarty Hall Lobby and broke into four groups. We were given our first clue and then were off and running. This activity took place for many good reasons. The clues lead us to buildings that we were going to visit in some of our next classes. This made us familiar with the campus and where we are supposed to go. This activity also gave us a break from the classes and a chance to get some exercise.

We liked this activity because it challenged us. We had to use our minds and be creative to figure out the clues. The first clue leads you to the next one and so on. The group that found the clues first and took them back to McCarty won, although everyone got one of Sheryl's "valuable" prizes.

Lacey using a computer at the Microsoft Museum
Lacey does it at the Microsoft Museum


Microsoft at Summer Study


by '99 DO-IT Scholars, Ryan, Roy and Brandon

The Microsoft museum was a great place to learn the history of the company. It started out with a collection of some of the first personal computers, starting with the Altair computer that had no keyboard or monitor, but used punch cards. On the opposite wall it showed how the company had grown in numbers from the original three. Their financial growth was also included on this wall.

The lunch that we had at Microsoft was really good. It came in a really cool box with all kinds of good stuff in it for food. In the box was a sandwich and fruit, your basic lunch in a box. It was just cool looking and the sandwich wasn't damp. It was all laid out, but what would you expect from this company?

The gift shop was truly amazing. It had almost every product that Microsoft has ever created (except for the older things). They had all kinds of Bill Gates clothes; they even had the Microsoft hat with the ribbed bill. What was also nice was the fact that all of the items in the gift shop were high quality, low-priced items. It was nice to be able to go into the gift store, and actually be able to buy a particular thing, without going "my God, look at the price!"

The Mariners Game

by '99 DO-IT Scholars, Oscar and J.W.

We really liked going to the Mariners game. Even though they lost it was still fun seeing them play the New York Yankees. At least we saw three home runs get hit out of the new Safeco field. The new stadium is a lot bigger than the old one and we think it looks a lot better. Oscar's favorite Mariners player is Alex Rodriguez. J.W.'s favorite player is Ken Griffey, Jr., who had the bases loaded but didn't hit a grand slam. Maybe next time.

Tynesha and Danielle at heart surgery workshop lab
Tynesha and Danielle at heart surgery workshop


Success - We Can DO-IT!


by '99 DO-IT Scholar, Crystal

There are many kinds of disabilities. There are visual and hearing impairments, mobility impairments, learning disabilities, and health problems. Many young people with these disabilities are highly motivated to succeed in life, to go on to college, to find the career of their choice, and to just do it. Although these young people have disabilities, they all lean toward one thing, success. They want to show other people what they are capable of doing and that they too can do it.

What do they do? They go into higher education after they graduate from high school and they study what they are interested in. They don't let anyone tell them that they cannot do it because they know that they can do it. And that is why it is so important to have goals. Goals then turn into bigger ones and that is what people with disabilities strive for. And that's what we want to do, to be able to dream big and aim for the brightest star in the sky, and to achieve everything we set out to do. And we know that we can do it!