Chapter Twelve

Share Your Story.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

— Chinese Proverb —

Photo of two DO-IT Scholars collaborate at a computer to problem solve.

Students with disabilities benefit when caring adults create environments that help them develop successful, self-determined lives. By following guidelines presented in this book, teachers, parents, and mentors can help students with disabilities learn to do the following:

  • Define success for themselves.
  • Set personal, academic, and career goals, keeping their expectations high.
  • Understand their abilities and disabilities and play to their strengths.
  • Develop strategies to reach their goals.
  • Use technology as an empowering tool.
  • Work hard. Persevere. Be flexible.
  • Develop a support network.

These seven steps were developed from the communications of successful people with disabilities who contributed content for this book as part of the DO-IT e-mentoring community.

Administrators of other mentoring communities should let the students and mentors in the community know that they too are becoming experts about self-determination and success strategies and that others can benefit from what they have learned. The following messages can be sent to protégés and mentors to encourage them to share their own stories and advice. The program administrator could compile the responses and share them anonymously on a program website, like the DO-IT community has done in the "Participant Responses" list at Administrators can submit participant responses for possible inclusion on the DO-IT website by sending the messages to