DO-IT Prof: A Project to Help Postsecondary Educators Work Successfully with Students Who Have Disabilities

This publication describes promising practices and resources funded through the DO-IT Prof project. It is expected that, ultimately, such efforts will result in greater postsecondary educational opportunities for individuals with disabilities and enhanced postsecondary classes with the perspectives of people with disabilities. Others are encouraged to replicate its successful practices.


The DO-IT Center at the University of Washington has, since 1992, worked to increase the success of individuals with disabilities in postsecondary education and employment. DO-IT, which stands for Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology, has been recognized for its efforts through several awards including the 1995 National Information Infrastructure Award in Education; the 1997 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring; the 1999 Golden Apple Award for excellence in education; the 2001 AHEAD Recognition Award for outstanding work for students with disabilities; and the 2007 Innovation Award for Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities.

The DO-IT Prof project applied lessons learned by DO-IT and other researchers and practitioners nationwide to implement a comprehensive professional development program for college faculty and administrators. It was initially funded by the U.S. Department of Education (Grant #P33A990042, 1999-2003). Prof was selected as part of the project name to represent two project characteristics—"professional," the quality of project materials and strategies, and "professor" its primary target audience.

DO-IT Prof was designed to improve the knowledge and skills of postsecondary faculty and administrators in order to make them better prepared to fully include students with disabilities in academic programs on their campuses. Responding to the diverse content and scheduling needs of faculty and administrators, the DO-IT Prof team has created and continues to deliver six models of professional development.

Model 1: A 20-30 minute presentation to introduce participants to basic legal issues, accommodation strategies, and resources specific to their campuses.

Model 2: A 1-2 hour presentation with special focus on providing accommodations to students with a variety of disabilities.

Model 3: A tailored workshop for more in-depth training on topics selected for a specific audience.

Model 4: A televised instruction option using a series of video to deliver on public television.

Model 5: A distance learning "anytime-anywhere" course that provided lessons and discussion delivered via email.

Model 6: Self-paced, web-based instruction in The Faculty Room.

The DO-IT Prof team included faculty, disabled student services staff, and administrators at institutions of higher education in twenty-three states. The nationwide recruitment process was highly competitive, attracting more than one hundred applications. DO-IT's Academic Advisory Board selected applicants that had the potential to contribute to project efforts and to create a team with diverse characteristics.

Project partners included representatives from AHEAD (Association on Higher Education and Disability), the National Center for the Study of Postsecondary Educational Supports, the HEATH Resource Center, and WAPED (Washington Association on Postsecondary Education and Disability).

Project team members chose institutional partners in their states. If a team member was from a four-year institution, the partner school was a community or technical college; if the team member is from a community or technical college, the partner school was a four-year school.

Project team members participated in three-day collaborative meetings in Seattle in 2000 and 2001. Before the first meeting, team members conducted focus groups with students who have disabilities, teaching assistants, and faculty members. At the working meetings, team members discussed faculty and administrator support issues and strategies. They developed professional development materials, data collection plans, and timelines for their home institutions.

All team member and partner campuses delivered professional development programs, disseminating materials, providing technical assistance to faculty and administrators, and institutionalizing successful strategies in their schools. Some continued these efforts as part of subsequent projects, DO-IT Admin and AccessCollege, also funded by the U.S. Department of Education (Grant #P333A020044 and Grant #P333A050064, respectively).

Completion of this project made faculty and administrators better prepared to fully include students with disabilities on their campuses and contribute to systemic change within postsecondary institutions across the nation. The DO-IT Center continues to maintain The Faculty Room and other resources created during the DO-IT Prof funding period.

The Faculty Room

Campuses nationwide are encouraged to link to The Faculty Room and refer faculty and academic administrators there to learn how to accommodate students with disabilities in their on-campus and distance learning courses, field experiences, and international studies programs. Useful training videos and materials can also be purchased from the DO-IT Center; request the DO-IT Videos, Books, and Training Materials publication for more information. All project materials, including online resources, videos, and printed materials, are offered in formats that are readily accessible by individuals with disabilities. Permission to copy and further distribute project products is granted for noncommercial, educational purposes.

DO-IT Prof Team

Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph.D., directs DO-IT Prof activities. Members of the original DO-IT Prof team and their partner institutions were:

Members of the project team and their partner institutions were:

Carol Achziger 
Computer Access Center Coordinator 
Arapahoe Community College 
Littleton, Colorado 
Partner: University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado

Victoria Amey-Flippin 
Coordinator/HELP Office 
Northeastern Illinois University 
Chicago, Illinois 
Partner: Oakton College, Des Plaines, Illinois

Alice Anderson 
Coordinator, Technology Access Program, Division of Information Technology (DoIT) 
University of Wisconsin - Madison 
Madison, Wisconsin 
Partner: Madison Area Technical University, Madison, Wisconsin

Patricia Bunge 
Learning Disabilities Specialist/Counselor 
Guilford Technical Community College 
Jamestown, North Carolina 
Partner: North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, North Carolina

Deborah Casey-Powell 
Dean of Students 
South University 
West Palm Beach, Florida 
Partner: Santa Fe Community College, Gainesville, Florida

Rosemary Coffman, Ph.D., C.R.C. 
Counselor, Students with Disabilities 
Lee College 
Baytown, Texas 
Partner: Rice University, Houston, Texas

Jill Douglass 
Special Services Director 
Santa Fe Community College 
Santa Fe, New Mexico 
Partner: College of Santa Fe Santa Fe, New Mexico

Mary Ann Ferkis 
Instructional Accommodations Specialist, Adaptive Programs 
Purdue University 
West Lafayette, Indiana 
Partner: Ivy Tech State College, Bloomington, Indiana

Pam Griffin 
Coordinator, General Disability Services 
University of Minnesota, Duluth 
Duluth, Minnesota 
Partner: Fond Du Lac Tribal and Community College, Cloquet, Minnesota

Beverly Boone Harris 
Coordinator, Supporting Students through Disability Services (SSDS) 
Norfolk State University 
Norfolk, Virginia 
Partner: New River Community College, Dublin, Virginia

Nancy Hart 
Manager, Disability Services 
Lane Community College 
Eugene, Oregon 
Partner: Western Oregon University, Monmouth, Oregon

Elaine High, Learning Disabilities Specialist 
Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities 
Michigan State University 
East Lansing, Michigan 
Partner: North Central Michigan College, Petoskey, Michigan

Alison McCarthy Ionvanna 
Coordinator of Disability Services 
Tunxis Community College 
Farmington, Connecticut 
Partner: Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, Connecticut

Richard Jones 
Assistant Director, Disability Resources for Students 
Arizona State University 
Tempe, Arizona 
Partner: South Mountain Community College, Phoenix, Arizona

Jana Long, M.R.C., C.R.C. 
Coordinator of Disability Support Services 
Southwest Missouri State University 
Springfield, Missouri 
Partner: St. Louis Community College, St. Louis, Missouri

Ralph McFarland 
Director, Student Disability Resource Center 
Humboldt State 
Arcata, California 
Partner: College of the Redwoods, Eureka, California

Richard Radtke, Ph.D. 
University of Hawaii at Manoa 
Honolulu, Hawaii 
Partner: Leeward Community College, Pearl City, Hawaii

Lisa Badia Rhine 
Director, Office for Students with Disabilities 
University of Dayton 
Dayton, Ohio 
Partner: Sinclair Community College, Dayton, Ohio

Patricia Richter 
Coordinator, Services for Americans with Disabilities 
Office of Human Diversity 
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania 
Kutztown, Pennsylvania 
Partner: Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Vicki Roth 
Assistant Dean 
University of Rochester 
Rochester, New York 
Partner: Finger Lakes Community College, 
Canadaigua, New York

Al Souma 
Director, Disability Support Services 
Seattle Central Community College 
Seattle, Washington 
Partner: Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington

Chrystal Stanley 
Coordinator, Student Disability Services 
Drake University 
Des Moines, Iowa 
Partner: Des Moines Area Community College, Ankeny, Iowa

Marcia Wiedefeld 
Coordinator of Disability Support Services 
Loyola College in Maryland 
Partner: Community College of Baltimore County, Dundalk, Maryland

Model Demonstration Projects

DO-IT Prof was one of twenty-two Model Demonstration Projects to Ensure Students with Disabilities Receive a Quality Higher Education. Funded by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education, 1999-2003 their purpose is to develop innovative, effective, and efficient teaching methods to enhance the skills and abilities of postsecondary faculty and administrators in working with students who have disabilities. Links to all of the projects can be found at

About DO-IT

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


The contents of this publication were developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, #P33A990042. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.

Copyright © 2012, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2002, 2000, University of Washington. Permission is granted to copy these materials for educational, noncommercial purposes provided the source is acknowledged.