Snapshots 1996: A Yearbook for DO-IT Participants

Photo portrait of DO-IT director Sheryl Burgstahler

Welcome to DO-IT Snapshots 1996!

DO-IT Scholars are important players on the DO-IT team. Scholars are high school students with disabilities who have interests in science, engineering, and mathematics and want to go to college. They attend Summer Study programs on the University of Washington campus and are provided with computer systems and Internet network connections in their homes. They access resources and communicate with each other, DO-IT staff, and volunteer mentors. Most DO-IT Mentors are post-secondary students or have careers in the fields of science, engineering, mathematics, and technology and have disabilities themselves. DO-IT participants who succeed in Phases I, II, and III of the DO-IT Scholars program become DO-IT Ambassadors, helping further the efforts of DO-IT as they pursue post-secondary education and employment.

DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) is primarily funded by National Science Foundation. It serves to increase the participation of individuals with disabilities in science, engineering, and mathematics academic programs and careers.

Everyone wants to meet the DO-IT Scholars! The Phase I Scholars included in this album began the program in 1996; Phase II Scholars started in 1995; Phase III Scholars and Ambassadors started in 1993 and 1994. All participants submitted their autobiographies via electronic mail and the publication was created using computer tools.

I hope you enjoy meeting the DO-IT Scholars and Ambassadors!

Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph.D.
Director, DO-IT
College of Engineering/Computing & Communications
University of Washington

Phase I Scholars

Group photo of 1996 DO-IT Scholars


Image of David

My name is David. I am 16 and go to high school at Rainier Beach in Washington. I will go into the 11th grade. I have Attention Deficit Disorder. My favorite things to do are watch TV and read. I want to go to college and get a degree in chemistry. I love the Mariners and am a Star Trek fan.

Image of Cheri

Hey there. My name is Cheri, and I'm from Larchwood, Iowa. I am a paraplegic as a result of a farm accident. I like to do many different things. I play the piano and percussion, and I love to sing. I'm also in wheelchair track and basketball. Last June I competed in the Junior National Wheelchair meet and got first place in shot put and weightlifting. I also placed second in all my races. Besides these activities, I like doing just about anything fun and interesting. I definitely want to go to college after high school, and someday I hope to be a doctor or an astronomer.

Image of Dan

My name is Daniel. I was born on March 17, 1980. I am currently 16 years old and have just finished the 10th grade at Morgan High School in Clinton, Connecticut. In April 1990, I was in a bicycle accident in which another boy on a bike crashed into me. My head was x-rayed and a brain tumor was discovered. I had an operation to have it removed and when I came out of it, I could do absolutely nothing. I learned to walk and talk. I occasionally lose my balance. I like to work on my computer, usually programming. In school, I like math, and my favorite classes are classes that have something to do with computer programming. When I get a job, I would probably like to do something with computer programming.

Image of David

My name is David and I am a 17 year old senior at La Grande High School in Oregon. As far as my disability, I am Albino. My particular condition is what most call "full" Albinism, which includes lack of pigment in the hair, skin, and eyes. Consequently, I am extremely sensitive to light and burn easily in the sun. I also have a vision loss which came in the Albinism packet; I have the approximate acuity of 20/200, which can make life interesting at times. For hobbies, I work with computers most of my time--that and such activities as camping, hiking, fishing, and hunting. I also enjoy playing video games on various systems and at the arcade.

Image of Chris

My name is Chris and I am from Minot, North Dakota. I'm a 17 year old senior in high school. I have had a profound hearing loss since I was born. I am interested in computer technology. I hope to go to college and become a person who works with computers. I spend most of my time surfing the Internet and enjoying the outdoors.

Image of Lucas

My name is Lucas and I am hard of hearing. I was born in La Grande, Oregon and have lived there all my life. My dad is a police officer and my mom is a librarian. I have a younger sister who is 12. We have a miniature schnauzer named Satie. I'm 16 years old and have my license. Sports are a big part of my life. My favorite is baseball. Others I enjoy are football, basketball, golf, hunting, and tennis.

Image of Maria

I'm from Auburn, Maine, born on May 29, 1980. I am deaf, profoundly deaf. I go to a deaf school known as Model School for the Deaf. Now I am a junior and age sixteen. I have only one brother, age 19, Rusty who goes to Eckard College in Florida. He'll be a sophomore. I like to play softball and volleyball and to read harlequin romance books and mysteries. I like to do something fun instead of doing nothing! For example, I play pool, treasure hunt, whatever, maybe basketball (I'm lousy! But I don't care!), ping pong, variant! My interests are in mathematics and science. My future goal is to be a veterinarian, doctor, or a marine biologist. I hope to reach that goal; even though I am deaf, I must believe that I can do it and try it.

Image of Michael

My name is Michael and I am a 16 year old from Maine. I love computers, music, sports, and anything else fun! I have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), which is a pretty big problem in school. Most of my teachers are understanding enough for me to still do well. I think that if it weren't for computers, I would not be half as far along as I am now.

Image of Rebecca

My name is Rebecca. I was born February 8, 1980 in San Diego, California. I've had Cerebral Palsy since birth, affecting my limb motion, hearing, and eyesight. My hobbies include hanging out with my friends, listening to music, writing lyrics, and reading. I think I've had a better time at the DO-IT summer program than I've had in two years!

Image of Katrina

My name is Katie. I am 17 years old and have lived in Salem, Oregon all my life. I have juvenile diabetes. I have taken ballet all my life and enjoy most sports. I am still undecided on what I want to do or be when I grow up.

Image of Jodi

My name is Jodi and I live in Idaho. I am 18 years old and will be a senior in high school this fall. I was born in Korea and was adopted by my family when I was 11. I was born with Cerebral Palsy. It only affects my lower extremities. I have eight sisters, two brothers, and two dogs named Max and Zack. After high school I hope to be able to attend college and eventually become a physician.

Image of Anh

My name is Anh. I'm 16 years old and living in Sacramento, California. In the fall I will be a junior, attending Luther Burbank High School. My favorite sport is basketball, and my favorite players are Michael Jordan and Anferee Hardaway. My hobby is collecting magic and basketball cards. I have Larsen Syndrome, which affects the joints in my body, and I use an electric wheelchair.

Image of Travis

My name is Travis and I am blind. I am 16 years old and in my first year of the DO-IT program. I live in Nebraska near a small town called Dorchester. I live on a farm which my dad owns and operates. When I am at home, I usually help on the farm like feeding our hogs or helping with the irrigation of our corn. I am excited about the Internet and happy that I am getting some experience with it, since the information highway is getting very popular.

Image of James

I'm James and I'm nineteen years old. My disability is Cerebral Palsy, which was caused by a medical accident when I was two months old. I have a sister, Tiffani, and a brother, Aaron. I live in Hampton, Virginia. When I started school, I went to Robert E. Lee Multi-handicapped Center for six years. Then I moved to Chesapeake, Virginia where I attended Kirk-Cone Center. A year later I moved to Washington, DC. I spent three years on Bolling AFB. I attended Sharp Health School while in DC. Then I moved back to Hampton, where I attended the same school I started in for another two years. Then for the first time I entered mainstream classes at Poquoson High School in the fall of 1994. I have made straight A's for the last two years. I will be a junior in the fall. I hope to attend college. I am considering attending the University of Pittsburgh. I hope to open a business, like a restaurant. My interests are football, television, and mathematics.

Image of Dana

My name is Dana from Concord, Massachusetts. I like to cruise the 'Net, play soccer, swim, play volleyball, and play my bass. I have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and LD (Learning Disability) which makes it hard for me to write and understand certain things. My best subjects are science, math, and history. My worst is English.

Image of Josh

My name is Josh and I use a wheelchair. I am 16 years old and live in Independence, Iowa. I am a junior at Independence High School. My family and I live on a farm. My dad farms and milks cows. My mom helps milk the cows, makes and sells crafts, and subs at school. I have a brother, Jacob, who is 7 and a sister, Jackie, who is 15. They also use wheelchairs. We have Muscular Dystrophy. In my free time I like to be outside in my garden. I have a raised garden and a garden pond that I can get up to and feed the fish. I also like to play the computer, and I like animals, especially fish. When I am done with school, I would like to be a landscape designer or do something with computers.

Phase II Scholars

Group photo of 1995 DO-IT Scholars


Image of Jesse

My name is Jesse. I live in Fessenden, North Dakota and will be a senior at Fessenden High School this year. Some of my interests are computer graphic and sound design, and the Internet. Some fun stuff I like are biking, cross country skiing, listening to and playing rock with my guitar, and playing computer games like Doom.

Image of Bror

Hi, my name is Bror. I'm 17 years old, the second child of four. I have a learning disability. I heard about the DO-IT program through my math and science teachers. It sounded like a lot of fun and it is a lot of fun. I like all sports.

Image of CJ

My name is CJ and I am from Washington. I have Attention Deficit Disorder with some learning disabilities in English and spelling. I enjoy math, astronomy, playing my guitar, exploring music on the computer, bike riding, swimming, and roller skating. I'm firmly into the computer industry and love working on computers. Internet access gives me the tools to explore my interests in computer music and the sciences.

Image of Jeffrey

My name is Jeffrey and I live in Washington. I have Psoriatic Arthritis; it affects both my skin and joints. I have very limited range of motions and strength, and I'm sensitive to both extreme hot and cold weather conditions. My interests are biology, algebra, and computers. Since I was a kid, I've always been curious to find out how both living things and machines work. When not engaged in academics, I enjoy playing video games and collecting comics. Having a computer is great!! It assists me in my education and provides fun at the same time. I love it!

Image of Wes

My name is Wes. I am 19 years old and am very active. I would like to pursue computer animation as a career. In my spare time I like to hang out with my friends, draw, listen to music, play video games, and take walks. I am quadriplegic and use a wheelchair. I reside in Washington with my father, stepmother, and five sisters. I also have a stepbrother who is married, with a son. I enjoyed the DO-IT summer study at the University of Washington.

Image of Michael

I am Michael from Washington. I am going to be a senior in high school next year. I have a hidden disability called Dyslexia. I hope to become an architect, carpenter, or go into the Department of Fish and Wildlife. I like basketball, soccer, most all other sports, building, and fishing. The activities that I participate in at school are a club called Earth Corp and the swimming team (varsity, of course). I think that the DO-IT program is a wonderful opportunity to communicate with many different people.

Image of Jorja

I'm Jorja and I live in Boise, Idaho. I graduated from high school in June and will be attending Boise State University this fall. I have Cerebral Palsy and use a wheelchair. DO-IT has been a really good experience for me. I had a really wonderful time at the DO-IT Summer Study program. My hobbies are bumming rides from people, hanging out, and, of course, using the Internet.

Image of Aimee

Hello. My name is Aimee and I have a learning disability. I'm 17 years old, and I really love getting to know other people. I think email is the most wonderful thing since the low-fat candy bar. I am diabetic. I like to write letters, read just about anything (besides school work), write poetry, sing, and have a social life, even though I don't get to do that a lot. I have three younger sisters and two half sisters who are older than me. I have three step dads and a step mom.

Image of Shawn

Hi, I am Shawn from Washington state. I will be a senior in high school next year. I'm quadriplegic and use a wheelchair. I hope go to college and to become a computer designer. My hobbies include sports, computer, music, and reading. I think the Internet is one of the neatest things the computer industry has made yet. You can learn a whole lot in the World Wide Web. DO-IT is the best thing going.

Image of Matt

My name is Matt. My disability is deafness. On my right ear I hear 50% with my hearing aid on. I just graduated and am enrolled at Pierce College for one year to learn electronic engineering. Then I will transfer to Gallaudett University in Washington, DC for maybe four years of general education, and then transfer to Georgetown University for a Ph.D. in electronic engineering. I've been playing baseball for all my life and swimming for the last three years in high school. You all can call me "lewy" because it is my nickname.

Image of Jeremy

My name is Jeremy. I live in Washington. I like computers and to work on cars. I like sports. Next school year I'm going to start taking an electronic engineering technology class in Spokane. I have a brain injury from a bicycle accident.

Image of Bridget

My name is Bridget and I'll be a senior this fall in Washington. I'm hearing impaired and my interests include genetics, medicine, chemistry, and evolution. I just love to swim, travel, and work with animals. DO-IT is making me aware of how to prepare for college and what kind of disability-related issues to be thinking of. It's a great way to meet people and learn important things that we might not be aware of.

Image of Matthew

My name is Matthew. I'm a high school senior in Washington state. I have a disability called Epidermolysis Hysica. I don't make enough of a thing called collagen that helps hold skin cells together. I get blisters easily. I use a wheelchair. I like computers and physical science. I like learning about how the universe was created. But my love is computers. I want to design software for Nintendo or Microsoft. I like to play video and computer games, collect and play Magic: The Gathering, and I'm a big Star Trek fan. That's basically me.

Image of Janny

Hi, my name is Jannette. I am from Tacoma, Washington. In the fall I will be a senior at Lakes High School. I am very active in the choir there and had the opportunity to travel to the '96 Heritage Festival in San Francisco! We also had the opportunity to sing the National Anthem at Candlestick Park. That was a blast! Besides singing, I love to go camping with my older sister and parents. During the school year I attend the Running Start program which allows high school students to earn college credits. Running Start is a neat experience for me and it gives me a taste of the real world. In my spare time, I love to make jewelry for my friends and family. The DO-IT program is a ton of fun!

Image of Bill

My name is Bill and I live in Oregon with my mom, dad, and a dog named Chester Manly. I have Cerebral Palsy and very limited use of my left hand. Luckily, I discovered that I can still do many things. I raise pigs, ride horses, go tubing behind the boat, and ride four wheelers at the Oregon Dunes. My biggest interest is in animal science, and I am particularly interested in the great apes and zoo vet science. I have also always enjoyed computers. DO-IT has given me the opportunity to have a wonderful computer at home (which helps me tremendously with school work!), and has opened the door to the world through the Internet. My DO-IT summer experiences help me gain the help and knowledge I need to continue my education after high school.

Image of Todd

My name is Todd and I am a quadriplegic. I attend RCH Technical Institute. In September I will graduate with my A.A. in computer programming. After school I plan to get a job and maybe go to night school. My hobbies include programming, talking, and being very active in the social scene. Oh! I am 18 years old.

Image of Rachel

Hi! My name is Rachel. I will be a senior in high school in Washington state. My disabilities are end-stage renal failure and hearing loss. I'm in DO-IT because of my interest in biology. Other subjects I enjoy are English, reading, psychology, and history. Having a computer and access to the Internet helps me research and explore career options. I'm very glad to be a part of DO-IT. It's been an experience I will never forget!

Image of Priscilla

My name is Priscilla. I'm 18 years old and graduated from high school last spring. I'm going to a community college in the state of Washington this fall. I have Cerebral Palsy and it affects all of my limbs. The adaptive technologies that I use are a large print program and a voice activation program, Dragon Dictate, which types what I speak into a microphone headset. It took a lot of patience to train it to recognize my voice. DO-IT has given me several opportunities to demonstrate my computer system at conferences--one in Washington, DC! I love to surf the Internet, find library resources, and receive email from my friends.

Phase III Scholars

Group photo of 1994 DO-IT Scholars
Image of Anthony

I'm Anthony from Grand Forks, North Dakota. This past spring, I graduated from high school. This fall, I'm planing to attend Courage Center in Golden Valley, Minnesota to learn independent living skills, plus get some vocational training. After I complete this program, I am looking at beginning college to major in computer science or something in this area dealing with computers. My long-term goal is to become a developer of special technology like speaking devices. I really believe that my disability has been helped by technology, and I want to help other people like me with the aid of technology. I really thank DO-IT for pointing me towards this career.

Image of Ben

I'm Ben and I live in Washington state. I have Muscular Dystrophy. Well, another year has flown by, and I've made some significant changes in my life because of DO-IT. I graduated from high school last spring and will be attending the University of Washington in the fall. My subjects of interest have increased dramatically because now I can access information on a whim. I've traveled the world on the Internet without even leaving my room. DO-IT has taught me to meet people over the Internet. Through my DO-IT contacts I worked in a paid internship at Pacific Northwest Labs last summer. Without DO-IT, I'd still probably be watching other people have success, but now they're watching me. Look out world, because Ben is coming and he's going to just DO-IT!!

Image of Daniel

My name is Daniel and I live in Olympia, Washington. I am 18 years old. I have a learning disability. I have trouble with spelling and word comprehension. I graduated this year from River Ridge High School. I lettered three times in cross country and twice in track. I like scuba diving, down hill skiing, and a lot of other sports. I want to be a marine biologist when I get out of school. I am going to go to Pierce Community College this fall.

Image of Shawnna

Hi all! My name is Shawnna and I graduated from high school in Washington last spring. I am 18 years old. My illness is Muscular Dystrophy which attacks the muscles. But I get done what I need to, like going to school, which isn't really a task since I enjoy it. My hobbies include swimming, collecting baseball cards, watching TV, and working on my computer.

Image of Nguyen

I am Nguyen. I graduated from high school in 1996. In 1992, I suffered a gunshot wound to the right hemisphere of my head which paralyzed the left side of my body. I use a one-handed keyboard. I have lived many places, but I like Washington the best. I'm going to a community college next fall.

Image of Sarah

My name is Sarah. I graduated from high school in March of 1996. In April I attended a community college in Oregon. This fall I will be transferring to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, majoring in clinical lab science. My disability is a learning disability called Dyslexia which affects my reading, math, and spelling. The DO-IT program has really helped me a lot with understanding my disability and other types of disabilities. It has really made me open more doors for myself in believing I can DO-IT for life!

Image of Carolyn

Hi! My name is Carolyn. I will graduate from high school in Washington state this coming spring. In the future, I would like to teach science. I also enjoy writing in my spare time. I was born with Cerebral Palsy. I also have a neurological disorder that causes low vision.

DO-IT Ambassadors

Group photo of 1993 DO-IT Scholars


Image of Rachel

Hello! My name is Rachel. I just completed my freshman year at Columbia Basin College in Washington and have one more year and an extra quarter. I hope to attend the University of Washington in the fall of '97. My disability occurred in 1989, when I was 12. I had an AVM on the left side of my brain which caused me to hemorrhage and, therefore, had a stroke which paralyzed the right half of my body. I now have a limp and my right hand does not work very well. I am interested in the life sciences and anything that has to do with people in particular. I am not sure what I want to major in yet. I enjoy horseback riding (which I never thought I would do until my physical therapist started having me do it for therapy), writing, hanging out with friends, dancing, playing on the computer, and just having a good time! I've worked at Battelle Labs for two summers and was an assistant in the DO-IT summer study program in 1995. Being in DO-IT has been very valuable to me because I can find information all over the world. It has helped me in school and definitely at work!

Image of Mark

My name is Mark. I am attending Big Bend Community College in Washington. I have Muscular Dystrophy and use a wheelchair. I use Head Master so I can access the computer and the Internet using my head. My interests are astronomy, art, and writing. I helped with the DO-IT summer study program last summer as an intern. I really enjoy DO-IT!

Image of Katie

My name is Katie, and I live in Washington state. I have a hearing impairment. I am about to start my sophomore year at Washington State University. I live in a dorm. I love college life and am involved in a group interested in sign language.

Image of Jenny

My name is Jen and I graduated from high school in June of 1996. I'm attending The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington to get my degree in teaching (either environmental sciences or English). This has been a busy year for me!

Image of Nhi

Hi, I am Nhi from Washington state. Last year I attended the School for the Blind, learning mobility skills. My plans are to get a B.A. in computer science. I have Multiple Sclerosis (MS). My vision is limited as a result of MS. I use large print and voice output programs on my computer. I am glad to be a participant of DO-IT. It has provided me with great experiences.

Image of Ryan

My name is Ryan. I am 19 and will start my second year at Bellevue Community College in Washington. Over the summer I took one class and worked at Mervyns, a department store. My disabilities are ADHD and a learning disability in English.

Image of Maria

I'm Maria from Washington. I have post-polio. I'm going to be a sophomore at the University of Washington. I'm interested in psychology, biology, and chemistry. Having a computer helps me out with all of my classes. Instead of going to the library, I can have a head start finding crucial information to write a paper for my classes. More than ever I need my computer during my college years and, with the help of DO-IT, that's possible.

Image of Lloyd

My name is Lloyd. I am now living in Seattle. I am 21 years old and have a severe hearing impairment. I work in the UW Adaptive Technology Lab with Dan Comden and all of those wonderful people. Despite my hearing loss I am very musically talented. I can play trombone and baritone. I am interested in electronics, math, music, karate, and computers. I look forward to meeting new DO-IT Scholars.

Image of Randy

My name is Randy. I am a DO-IT Ambassador, in my junior year at The Evergreen State College in Washington, where I am working towards a major in computer science. I am blind, with two glass eyes, and use a guide dog (Mogul) for mobility. I use a computer with a speech synthesizer card and screen reading software to access the Internet, do homework, and take notes for classes. My hobbies include basketball, hockey, computers (of course), reading, taking long walks, and generally socializing.

Image of Travis

Hi, my name is Travis. I am from Idaho. I just finished my freshman year at Utah State, majoring in computer science. I lived in an on-campus apartment and enjoyed the campus life. Computers and computer programming are what I enjoy most. I also like hanging out with my friends, reading, listening to music, and driving my car. My disabilities include shortness (only 4' 7"), orthopedic problems in my legs, and kidney and associated problems. Being disabled has affected my view of the world and in most cases has improved my views and attitudes. Being in DO-IT has made me realize that I am not alone in being disabled, but also has made me aware of all of the various disabilities out there. I have really enjoyed being in the DO-IT program. I am going on a two-year mission with my church so will be off the Internet for a while.

Image of Takuya

My name is Takuya. I live in Washington and finished my freshman year at the University of Washington. My disabilities are health impairment, nervous system dysmorphia, and congenital scoliosis. My interests are physics, biology, theory of math, trigonometry, calculus, and computers. My hobbies are collecting stamps and reading many books. I am an only child. The Internet helps me find information and talk to people.

Image of Sherri

My name is Sherri. I am visually impaired. Currently I am attending Southern Oregon State College in Ashland, Oregon. I'm thinking of majoring in psychology. I have done a lot of volunteer work. In high school I was a teacher assistant and office assistant, helped organize dances, worked in the food stand during sports, worked in the city library, planted and watered trees for the City or Rogue River, worked in the multiservice center, and did numerous baby-sitting jobs. Four other people and myself talked about our disabilities to an audience of college students. Next year I will be involved in Student Action Team. This summer and the past three I have worked in Portland. The Commission for the Blind has a Summer Work Experience Program (SWEP) where we can stay in a college dorm and get a job in Portland. On top of having a paying job I was a peer counselor. After that program I was an intern for DO-IT. I am interested in psychology, math, genetics, Spanish, and the Internet. For fun I like to swim, play basketball, watch movies, listen to music and more.

Image of Nadira

My name is Nadira. I attend Highline Community College in Washington state. My interests are Internet, music, and talking. I use a wheelchair because I have Neuropathy. By being in DO-IT I have learned lots of things. I love to correspond with people through email and learn about them, their disabilities, and their achievements.

Image of Rodney

My name is Rodney. I live in Seattle. My interests include computer programming, reading, writing, and wasting time. My disability is Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita which means my muscles didn't grow to be fully capable, and my joints are frozen in the position they happened to be in when my biological mother caught the virus. I have received some computer programming training and have worked at the University of Washington Adaptive Technology Lab. I was a lab assistant in the 1995 DO-IT summer program at Camp Courage. I work as a telemarketer and have also worked on the Internet. I plan to return to college and study political science and journalism.

Image of Eric

My name is Eric and I live in Oregon. I am without any vision and I use strictly hearing and touch. I use a PC with a speech synthesizer, scanner, Braille printer and, of course, a modem. My interests are in biology, communications, radio, and other electronics. I am into amateur radio, and I like to talk to people on the radio.

Image of Kris

My name is Kris. I successfully finished my first year at Oregon State University in the Honors College. I'll be going back this fall still working on my microbiology/premed major. I also have worked as the Adaptive Technology Coordinator for OSU. When I'm not busy working on school work or in my office, I enjoy playing my trumpet and french horn, scuba diving, and skiing, among other things. I am visually impaired and use a large monitor to use my computer. I enjoy working with computers, and, in fact, I own a company (Nexus Computer Systems) that builds and sells custom computer systems, does consulting work, and writes custom software. I was an intern at the DO-IT program at Camp Courage, exhibited accessible lab equipment in a DO-IT booth at the National Science Foundation, and was an intern at the 1996 Summer Study.

Image of Anna

My name is Anna and I'm beginning my third year at the University of Washington. My major is cellular and molecular biology, and I would like to go into genetic research. I've been blind since a few months before my fifth birthday as a result of a kind of cancer called retinoblastoma. Last summer I was paid to do research on retinoblastoma. I also worked in the UW Adaptive Technology Lab and helped with the 1995 and 1996 DO-IT summer studies. My computer has been invaluable to me. It reads the screen to me. I could not write papers or do homework for classes without it. I use email a lot, which I enjoy, and I have used other Internet resources. I have a mom, a dad, and a brother. I also have a puppy named King Tutt (KT). I enjoy origami, reading, listening to Mariner games, listening to music, playing cards, hanging out with friends, sleeping, swimming, and cross country skiing. Someday I would like to be a working member of the crew on the space shuttle.

Image of Hollis

Hi! I am Hollis. I'm 19 years old and I am a DO-IT Ambassador. I graduated from high school in 1995, and I'm starting at the local community college here in the fall. In '97 or '98 I want to go to a university. I want to study mechanical engineering. I'd like to design and build wheelchairs, custom designs. I have Cerebral Palsy and I use a power wheelchair to get around town; I have strong batteries, so I don't run out of power miles from home. I'm out-fitting it with a lap top computer (IBM) with communication software. I enter model bridge building contests with my dad, and we do quite well. This past year I participated in Mock United Nations and Mock Political Convention. It was a lot of fun. I also take horseback riding lessons and work-out two times a week. I'm one buff guy. I enjoy running around on the Internet with Mac, so I hope to see you there!

Image of Megan

My name is Megan and my disability is chronic lyme disease. I am eighteen. I am currently graduating from a community college with my Associates degree and high school diploma. I had a jumpstart on college, which has been great. I lived away from home this year and had a blast. This past year I did academic tutoring at Treasure Valley Community College, along with teaching swimming lessons. My major is biology (premed). I also like piano and swimming. Next year I am going to Pacific Lutheran University to continue my education. I have enjoyed being part of the DO-IT program; the best part is the people involved in running it and those who participate. One thing that DO-IT has done for me is to spark an interest in sign language. So, this year I took classes to get a certificate of signing. My home's Idaho, but currently I live in the dorms at a community college in Oregon.

Image of Matthew

My name is Matthew. I'm 19 years old and live in Renton, Washington (near Seattle). I have Dyslexia which messes up the things I read and write. I attend the University of Puget Sound in Washington and am majoring in computer science and math. My favorite sport to play is soccer. DO-IT has been a very positive influence on my life, and I would not have accomplished many things without it. I helped with the 1996 DO-IT Summer Study.

Image of Mitch

My name is Mitch. I recently graduated from high school in Washington state. My primary disability is Spina Bifida. It is minor, but the secondary condition, Scoliosis, has caused me to be in the hospital a lot. My greatest scientific interest is genetics. I hope to receive a degree in molecular genetics and work for a bio-technology company. The DO-IT program has exposed me to a wide range of careers in science and given me the opportunity to experience first hand what it is like to be a scientist. On the Internet I have access to a whole world of people and information. This is an experience I will appreciate for the rest of my life.

In Memory of Andrew

Photo portrait of 1995 DO-IT Scholar Andrew

In Memory of Andrew
You may know Andrew as one of our '95 DO-IT Scholars...bright, witty, upbeat, always ready for a new challenge.

Some of you may have only corresponded with him via electronic mail--you may recognize part of his email signature:

Andrew :)
"Nobody said life would be easy.
They only said it would be worth it!"

On May 17, 1996 we lost our dear friend and DO-IT partner, Andrew. Andrew, who had muscular dystrophy, died of complications from pneumonia. He was sick for only a few days. Chuck, Andrew's dad, wanted us to know that "DO-IT was one of the best things in Andrew's life." I know I speak for all of us at DO-IT when I say Andrew will be missed, and he will always be part of our DO-IT family. As we face this tremendous loss, I think Andrew would say to us: "Nobody said life would be easy. They only said it would be worth it!"


Excerpt from Letter from Andrew's Family -

Dear Scholars, Ambassadors, Staff and Mentors:
We want to thank all of you for making this past year of Andrew's life so much more fulfilling, rewarding and adventurous. He was so excited by the vision that the DO-IT program offered him. He was always talking about how he was going to go to college and get a degree in computer drafting and he was going to grab the tiger of life by the tail. He was going to set up his own business here at home and conduct his business via all the latest in communication technology. Unfortunately, his life energy ran a little short of his ambitions.
Chuck, Connie, Jennifer and Jackie

Volunteer Career Mentors

Sean Barrett
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Counselor, graduate student

Bill Barry
Research Assistant, Physics, OSU

Arthur Blaser

Linda Bowman
Learning disability
Psychologist, Special education teacher

Karen Braitmayer
Mobility impairment

Len Burns
Sasquatch Computer Services

Rod Chard
Low vision
U.S. West Communications

John Cohen
Learning Disability
Technology Specialist, Puget Sound
Educational District

Kathy Cook
Counselor, UW Disabled Student Services

Frank Cuta
Research Engineer, Battelle Pacific

Gregory Fowler
Software Engineer, Cisco Systems, Inc.

Tony Hand
Teacher, Seattle Public Schools

Jeff Harris
Software Engineer

Roger Harris
Associate Professor, Biological Structure, UW

Dr. Stephen Hawking
ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease)
Professor, Cambridge University, England

Michael Herbert
Educator, Children's Hospital and Medical Center

Dr. Todd Heywood
Hearing impairment
IBM Power Parallel Systems

Erich Ho
Cerebral Palsy

Michael Hood
Purdue University

Kevin Hopkins
Mobility impairment
Graphics Technician

Sharon Jodock-King

Ed Keller, Jr.
Diabetes, mobility impairment
Professor, Biology Environmental Science

Jarrett Knyal
Mobility impairment
Multimedia interface designer; graduate student

Bernice Laden
Computing & Communications, UW

Richard Ladner
Professor, Computer Science & Engineering, UW

Douglas Lefever
Cerebral Palsy
Psychotherapist and life instructor

French Leger
Specific learning disability
Mechanical designer

Dean Martineau
Math tutor, Internet resources assistant

Lan Nguyen
Adaptive Technology Consultant, UW

Steve Nourse
Mobility impairment
Center for Change in Transition Services, UW

Katherine Pananen
Cerebral Palsy
Secondary School Teacher, Seattle

Wendy Pava
Veterans Administration Medical Center

Gay Lloyd Pinder
Children's Therapy Center of Kent

Ed Pottharst
Biologist, environmentalist, Seattle City Light

Juanita Sloss
ADD, hyperactivity
Special Education Teacher

John Smith
Associate Professor, Education, UW

Patrick Stayton
Assistant Professor, Center for
Bioengineering, UW

Bill Taylor
Software Engineer

Elizabeth Thompson
Professor, Statistics, UW

Sue Ellen Walbridge
Spina Bifida
Program Specialist, Department of Energy

Dr. Stephen Wallin
Hearing and visual impairments
Physics Professor, University of Southern Colorado

Bruce Wilson
Post-polio muscular/respiratory impairments
Manager, Human Interactivity Program, Boeing Computer Services

Jaromir Zak
Camp Counselor

Dr. Paul Zaveruha

William Zoller
Brain injury
Professor, Chemistry, UW


DO-IT Volunteer Postsecondary Student Mentors

Sue Yasuko Abe
Cerebral Palsy
Graduate student, San Francisco State University

Bapin Axbhatta
Political Science major, University of

Kevin Berg
Cerebral Palsy
Computer Science and Communications student, Seattle Pacific University

Shem Bingman
Low vision
Comparative Religions/Computer Science student, UW

Minda Dentler
Mobility impairment
Student, UW

Steve Harper
Cerebral Palsy

Sungeeta Jain
Engineering student, UW

Mia Lipner
Communications student, UW

David Orvis
Nuclear Engineering student, UW

Staff Mentors Profiles

My name is Sheryl Burgstahler. I have a husband, Dave, and a son, Travis. I have Bachelors and Masters degrees in mathematics and a Ph.D. in higher education. I am an Assistant Director within Computing & Communications and a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Washington. I am particularly interested in how people with disabilities can make use of computers and networks to achieve high levels of independence, productivity, and participation. I'm also interested in how the Internet can be used to create an electronic community...and, of course, I'm very interested in the "doitkids." Oh, by the way, I direct the DO-IT project!

When not serving as the head technical nerd for DO-IT, I manage the Adaptive Technology Lab at the University of Washington. I have a wife, Louise, who is a pediatric ICU nurse and a son, Zane. Apart from work and family, any spare time is spent working with my search and rescue dog.

My name is Darin Stageberg. I'm originally from Portland, Oregon; however, I've spent the past four years in Idaho before coming aboard DO-IT. I received both my baccalaureate, Psychology, and graduate, Rehabilitation Counseling, degrees from the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho. Responsibilities in the program range from career/vocational counseling to "Dorm Dad". My disability is hard of hearing. It is my goal to provide support and be a role model to youngsters with disabilities. I have an identical twin brother, Bart. Finally, I'm a sports fanatic who enjoys playing basketball, football, and softball.

My name is Kristin Otis and I am a Counselor/Coordinator for DO-IT. I grew up in Madison, Wisconsin and am the youngest of five children. During my freshman year of college, I discovered that I had a learning disability. This was an incredible turning point in my life. I learned that I COULD learn, although I didn't completely breeze through college, I did get through! I graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1993 with a BS in Communicative Disorders. Before DO-IT, I worked as a speech and language specialist in southern California. Now I live in Seattle and am very excited to be a member of the DO-IT team.

My name is Marvin Crippen and I work for DO-IT. I help Dan out with technical support, work on the DO-IT World Wide Web homepage and help make computer and science labs accessible. I also work in the University of Washington's Adaptive Technology Lab. If you're on campus, come by and see me.

Key Electronic Resources

  • To contact staff, request electronic copies of DO-IT NEWS, request publications or ask questions about the program, send electronic mail to
  • To discuss issues pertaining to individuals with disabilities and their pursuit of science, engineering, and mathematics (sem) academic programs and careers, subscribe to the doitsem discussion list at

    In the message text type "subscribe doitsem" followed by your name.

  • For information resources related to DO-IT, disabilities, adaptive technology, science, engineering, mathematics, and post-secondary education, access the DO-IT Home Page at

DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) serves to increase the successful participation of individuals with disabilities in challenging academic programs such as those in science, engineering, mathematics, and technology. Primary funding for DO-IT is provided by the National Science Foundation, the State of Washington, and the U.S. Department of Education. DO-IT is a collaboration of UW Information Technology and the Colleges of Engineering and Education at the University of Washington.

Grants and gifts fund DO-IT publications, videos, and programs to support the academic and career success of people with disabilities. Contribute today by sending a check to DO-IT, Box 354842, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-4842.

Your gift is tax deductible as specified in IRS regulations. Pursuant to RCW 19.09, the University of Washington is registered as a charitable organization with the Secretary of State, state of Washington. For more information call the Office of the Secretary of State, 1-800-322-4483.

To order free publications or newsletters use the DO-IT Publications Order Form; to order videos and training materials use the Videos, Books and Comprehensive Training Materials Order Form.

For further information, to be placed on the DO-IT mailing list, request materials in an alternate format, or to make comments or suggestions about DO-IT publications or web pages contact:

University of Washington
Box 354842
Seattle, WA 98195-4842
206-685-DOIT (3648) (voice/TTY)
888-972-DOIT (3648) (voice/TTY)
206-221-4171 (fax)
509-328-9331 (voice/TTY) Spokane

Founder and Director: Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph.D.

DO-IT Funding and Partners