New Staff Profile: Andrea
Hello, my name is Andrea Mano, and I am a senior computer specialist with DO-IT. My role is to support the technology needs of our DO-IT Scholars and Ambassadors. I will also be engaged in the DO-IT Scholars Summer Study and our Neuroscience for Neurodiverse Learners and other DO-IT projects.
I graduated from the University of Washington (UW) with a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering. Immediately after graduating, I worked for an exciting project, testing an experimental van operated by a joystick. I also worked as an assistive technologist for a small private consulting firm, which was particularly memorable, because I was able to meet and work with so many enthusiastic pioneers in this field. I provided assistive technology evaluation, training, and technical support for people with disabilities of all ages. I felt honored to meet so many people of varying abilities doing amazing things, and I was able to travel around the state, providing training at their workplaces or in their homes.
During and immediately following college, I volunteered for a few years with UW’s Disabled Student Services as a reader, specializing in STEM courses. For 12 years, I also volunteered weekly with patients as an assistant in the Therapeutic Recreation Department at Seattle Children’s Hospital, playing with patients in the playroom or taking patients on community outings. During this time, I also changed jobs, moving from the consulting firm to Children’s, continuing my work as an assistive technologist, recommending or supporting assistive technology that matched patients’ needs.
In the 14 years before coming to the University of Washington, I worked at a Seattle-based non-profit. There I provided evaluation, training, and troubleshooting in accessible technology. I managed a contract that provided adapted communication equipment (including TTYs, iPads and communication aids) to people with speech and hearing issues. I traveled to clients in Western Washington, Central Washington, Omak/Okanagan, and Yakima. In addition, I provided monthly billing reports, managed equipment inventory and researched new technologies. I love to share information about accessible technology and resources, and have presented at workshops and hosted information booths. It was fun to travel to different parts of the state, bringing equipment to clients at their homes, during their recovery at hospitals, and at their schools.
In addition, I provided technical support at our wonderfully adapted computer lab, where Fridays often included adapted “Rock Band” (singing and playing adapted instruments) on the Wii. For a few years, my co-worker and I organized a two-week computer day camp each summer in the adapted computer lab. While working full time, I ran a part-time home-based business that always renewed my outlook on life.
I am third generation in Seattle, as both sets of my grandparents emigrated to the US. Proudly, I am also third generation Husky, as my maternal grandparents, both parents, and all my siblings have graduated from UW. I appreciate the variety of foods we have in this area, usually shared with family and friends. I also enjoy music and dance, as well as volunteering in the community.