DO-IT News July 1998: All Articles

This page features all the articles from the DO-IT News July 1998 newsletter. This newsletter can also be viewed article by article on the DO-IT News July 1998 page.

Director's Digressions

Sheryl Burgstahler

Welcome '98 Scholars!

Here we go again! Live from the University of Washington in Seattle, the sixth annual summer study program for high school students from across the United States! We're sad to report that, unless a funding source is located, this session will be the last group of students from around the country, but happy to report that Washington will continue to support Scholars in that state. This summer's national DO-IT Scholars have much in common-they share a passion for science, engineering, mathematics, and technology, and for pursuing college and a career. I'll introduce you to some of the '98 Scholars below and introduce the rest of them in our next issue of DO-IT News.

Emily hails from Florida. Describing herself as "a very curious person," she is interested in biology and computer science. Emily, who has cerebral palsy, looks forward to learning more about how technology can help her academically and personally.

Kimberlee comes from a long line of educators; both her mom and grandparents were teachers. She enjoys math but science is her favorite subject. She hopes to apply her interests in the field of computers. She likes to work with children and already helps other students with disabilities at school. Kimberlee has cerebral palsy and looks forward to meeting others who have disabilities through DO-IT.

Shavonne is fascinated by the interrelation between science and mathematics and plans to apply her interests in the field of environmental science as an undergraduate followed by an advanced degree in environmental law. Shavonne, who has a visual impairment, looks forward to traveling from her home state of Louisiana this summer to meet other high school students with disabilities who have similar interests.

Dustin currently lives in Indiana but has travel in his future. After high school he hopes to attend the University of Cincinnati for two years, transfer to the University of Hawaii to complete a Bachelors degree in marine sciences, and then move to Alaska to work as a marine biologist. Eventually, he'd like to return to a job at the Cincinnati Zoo. Dustin has a learning disability and wants to learn how others overcome similar challenges.

Amy of Minnesota, learned about DO-IT through conversations with one of our veteran Ambassadors at Camp Courage. Amy, who has cerebral palsy, includes the study of plant life as one of her special interests. She "cares very much about (her) education" and looks forward to meeting fellow Scholars.

Maggie, from Florida, has set her goals sky-high with plans to major in aerospace engineering and land a job with NASA or a technical engineering company. Maggie has a learning disability and looks forward to sharing ideas with other students who have met challenges imposed by disabilities.

Brian, from sunny California, professes a love for mathematics and "wonders how mathematics came into existence." Brian, who has cerebral palsy, uses a computer to complete all of his homework and get online. He hopes to eventually build a career in computer engineering, happily noting that this field includes plenty of math!

Landon, from Washington, has a mobility impairment which doesn't stop his "full speed ahead" attitude. Landon, another math whiz, hopes one day to become a CPA. He looks forward to being away from home and at the UW to get a jump on his career and life.

Nick, our first Scholar from Indiana, is another "natural" in mathematics and hopes to become either an elementary school math teacher or an engineer. Nick, who has a visual impairment, thinks meeting new people is a good thing because "it shows your true side when you get to know someone for the first time."

David joins us from Oregon and proclaims his interest in "what is going on in my world." He enjoys chemistry, physics, and technology and does well in math and writing. Visually impaired, David has had limited opportunities to interact with other students with disabilities and is excited to meet DO-IT Scholars, Ambassadors, and Mentors.

Jeffrey resides in Kansas and has always enjoyed "anything having to do with science." With special interests in geology and paleontology, Jeffrey likes interacting with others who like science and math, disabled or not. He thinks it will be especially interesting to meet others who face challenges similar to those he has faced as a person with a motor impairment.

David lives in Alaska and enjoys science labs, including dissection and "taking things apart to understand how they work." Wildlife studies is a particularly interesting subject area to him. David has quadriplegia and looks forward to learning more about science, engineering, and math and meeting professionals with disabilities in these fields.

Wesley joins us from Nebraska. Though his major is undecided, he plans to attend a four-year college and build on his current interests in computer science, mathematics, and broadcasting. Wesley is blind and uses nifty technology to get his homework done; this includes Braille writers, talking calculators, computers, and a Braille 'n Speak.

Jessica enjoys biochemistry and cell biology in her home state of New Mexico. Facing the challenges of dyslexia herself, she hopes to someday help others with learning disabilities after she completes a degree in psychology or psychiatry. She thinks DO-IT will give her a good feel for college life and knowledge of computers.

Jessie is working hard in school so he can attend a college or university. Washington is his home. Jessie, who has cerebral palsy, thinks he might one day pursue a career in space sciences. He looks forward to getting a trial run at college life through DO-IT and meeting other Scholars.

Justin, from New York, plans to attend the University of Colorado where he will study sociology. He hopes to become a rehabilitation counselor to help others develop leadership skills. Justin, who has cerebral palsy, looks forward to learning more about computers through DO-IT and sharing perspectives with other students who have disabilities.

Isiah, from Oregon, believes "both math and science drive life as we know it" and describes DO-IT as an "academic gold mine." Isiah has a mobility impairment and uses a computer to complete his school work and take tests. He plans to have a career as a writer, journalist, or teacher. He looks forward to relating to other DO-IT Scholars at Summer Study.

Ivan, of Maryland, has excelled in biology, chemistry, and physics at the honors level. Ivan, who has cerebral palsy, is excited to learn more about college and computers to help him prepare for his future. He's also excited by the possibility of catching a Mariners game during his stay in Seattle this summer.

John has plans to enter the field of dentistry, however, his immediate goals are to do well in school and improve his study habits. John is deaf and, like his Phase I cohorts, is enthusiastic about meeting others with disabilities. John is from Montana.

Welcome to all these new Scholars! We'll meet you in person this summer at the University of Washington. We'll "meet" more often via e-mail on the Internet.

To let new Scholars and others gain insight into the content and tone of our active discussions, this issue of DO-IT News features several recent on-line interactions. Check out the articles titled Listen to DO-IT; In DO-IT, FM Means "Funny Moment"; and DO-IT Goes to Work for just a taste of the diversity in topics and opinions our electronic community offers. Comments are direct quotes with minor editing for spelling, grammar, and clarity.

Listen to DO-IT

Karyn and Keaton at computer
Phase I Scholars Karyn and Keaton, at 1997 Summer Study.

Besides large-group discussions on the Internet, DO-IT's electronic community supports small groups formed around interests and accommodations. In these smaller groups participants get to know one another and share personal challenges and insights, sometimes related to their disabilities. One interesting conversation emerged in the group that focuses on hearing impairments when a DO-IT Ambassador, after reading an article posted by another participant, sent the following electronic mail message to the group:

Hi all.
I was reading this and found it interesting. However, I read the last part where it said that most hard of hearing people prefer to be called "Deaf" over "hearing impaired." I just wanted to say that as a hearing impaired individual...I always found it uncomfortable or upsetting when people would say I'm deaf or ask me if I'm deaf. I prefer "hard of hearing" or "hearing impaired" over Deaf. But that is just my opinion. I know some others that are hard of hearing see it differently. I do not know of anyone who has found "hard of hearing" offensive or upsetting so far, so that is how I would refer to a hard of hearing person just to be on the safe side.

Here are some of the responses to her message:

  • I agree because this is sometimes rude to me. So I prefer hard of hearing.
  • Hi! It is good to hear from you! I read this and know how you feel. :) I used to say I was "hard of hearing" and hated to be called deaf, and I hear ya about how people get uncomfortable when they hear "deaf." After losing more hearing my freshman year of college, I became severe to profoundly deaf and so legally I am deaf. Even though I can talk and sing (badly :) ) etc., I am deaf. So in my case, I find it easier to say I am deaf, then people will know that I NEED an interpreter, and a notetaker. Otherwise they assume since I can speak and use my residual hearing fairly well, that I don't need assistance. Baloney! :) Isn't it hard when people stereotype us hard of hearing and deaf people! Man! :) Anyway, that is just my case. I know it is different for everyone of us. I just find it easier to explain that I am deaf but can speak etc.
  • Hi. I also prefer the term "hearing impaired" because people don't react as badly as they do when the term "deaf" is used. When I tell someone I'm deaf, they act as though I can't communicate at all. But if I say that I'm hearing impaired, people think I can communicate, just that I have some trouble. I find the term "deaf" offensive because people associate the word with being dumb, even if they don't mean to. Does anyone agree?
  • You took the words right out of my mouth! If I say "what?" people think it is because I didn't understand the question or the words in the question so they use shorter sentences with shorter words and it drives me bonkers! Have you ever noticed that all you hard of hearing people out there?
  • ...same happens here too.
  • "Deaf" simplifies things for me. The only problem that I've encountered over this terminology is that somebody heard me wrong, and told another person that I was "death!"
  • "hard of hearing" is hard to say!
  • Hi! I have been following this discussion with interest and thought I would add my two cents...I became deaf as an adult and in the process went through a period when I was hard of hearing, meaning if I really concentrated I could still get information from sounds, speech, and so forth. I was kind of "on the fence." Then I became totally deaf and now rely completely on my vision and other senses for all my information. I am deaf and feel that gives a clear picture of me and how to communicate with me, (i.e., no matter how loud you speak I am still deaf...GRIN!) I also find that people respond just fine to that term...The problem I have with the term hearing impaired is that it implies that the hearing is still there and if I or they just work hard enough it might kick in...It also labels me impaired which "I ain't." I'm just deaf. The hearing isn't impaired either. It just isn't there. Soooooo...In the end I think it is whatever person is most comfortable with because, if we are comfortable, those we deal with and who deal with us will be comfortable. I do love that phrase..."The real disability is attitude." I'm loving the whole DO-IT program and the ideas it generates...Thanks!!!

As with most discussions, consensus is not the goal - greater understanding and respect for the opinions of others is the target. DO-IT makes steady progress toward that end!

Bad Joke of the Week

Posted to

A seaman meets a pirate in a port, and talk turns to their adventures on the sea. The seaman notes that the pirate has a peg leg, a hook, and an eye patch. The seaman asks, "So, how did you end up with the peg leg?"

The pirate replies, "Aye, matey, we was in a storm at sea, and I was swept overboard into a school of sharks. Just as me men were pulling me out, a shark bit me leg off."

"Wow!" said the seaman. "What about your hook?"

"Well," replied the pirate, "We were boarding an enemy ship and were battling the other sailors with swords. One of the enemy cut my hand off."

"Incredible!" remarked the seaman. "How did you get the eye patch?"

"A sea-gull dropping fell into me eye," replied the pirate.

"You lost your eye to a sea-gull dropping?" the sailor asked incredulously.

"Not exactly," said the pirate. "It was me first day with the hook."

DO-IT Defines Love

High school students use DO-IT Internet discussion lists to get help with their homework. Whether it's choosing a topic for a term paper, finding a useful Web site, or getting help with an algebra problem, DO-IT participants are there for one another 24 hours a day. Below is an interesting request, recently posted by a DO-IT Scholar.

  • Hi everyone.

    For an assignment in a class I am taking, I need to interview people on their definitions of "Love." I would appreciate any definitions from you so I could compare and write a paper.

    Thank you.

Here are some of the responses he received, in the order in which they were sent.

  • Love is unconditional acceptance of a person, in spite of any physical, emotional or spiritual conditions they may have. Take a look at I Corinthians 13 in the Bible for a definition as God would have us show love.
  • I do not think I can top (this) definition of love. I guess I can try to add however, that God's love is known in Greek as agape love which is unconditional...God loves us no matter what we do and how awful we may be sometimes. Even when we are "out of fellowship" (doing something wrong) he forgives us, no questions asked...respector of persons (does not discriminate) He is only a is when someone accepts you no matter what race, religion, ability, disability, background you are or what you do or do not do. Love is also the unselfish act of giving without waiting to see what your return on your investment will be. Love is not the stock or the bond market. We do not invest to get a return. Our return are God's blessings and the blessings of knowing we are nurturing our relationships with one another whether we are friends, family or spouses.
  • Love is the willingness to die for someone else because you care so much about them.
  • I think, Love is caring deeply and with a passion.
  • Love is something so complex and versatile that I don't believe that a person can begin to describe its many forms in just one sentence. No matter how deeply it is buried, each person has the ability to love within them - It may be love for a friend, or something deeper. It may be a sense of obligation to someone or something that has gotten you through a hard time or two. It's impossible to put into just a few words all the things that love can be.
  • Why not, I'll give this a shot. Love is the one thing that everyone, in some manner, wishes to give and to have given to them. It has many forms and interpretations, varying across cultures, time, and even within a person's life. It is probably the topic which has received, across cultures, the most thought and effort to understand. How ironic then that it is probably the most elusive and difficult goal we as a species have and will ever try to attain.
  • OK. Time for me to weigh in...Love is the quality of giving of one's life so that others' lives may be bettered-in other words, it's the way that we live as it relates to how we give (People just LOVE that rhyming stuff).
  • My definition of love is: Relationship and honesty. You must trust someone to get trust back. It's a matter of trust, truth, and respect. You should respect others. It doesn't have to be based on a sexual relationship. Just love is enough for me.
  • Love is 99% lust, 1% what everyone else says. I know people fall in love, it's just way overrated, especially teens.
  • Hmmmm. I'm not sure how qualified I am to say this, but I'd say it has a lot to do with giving and work with, as opposed to against, someone. I don't mean doing stupid things because of love, but there are a lot of giving things that can be done that aren't stupid.
  • Qualified? Perhaps we should discuss what a human being is. I don't think that a person who has lost the capacity to love is human anymore. And if you have the capacity you should be qualified to discuss it.
  • Here are some of my thoughts on love: To keep your own thoughts and ideas out of the way when you are listening to another human being is the ultimate act of love.

    When you love you feel free and unguarded with the other person.

    But before you can love you must first risk.

    Makes life kind of tough doesn't it?

    Guess we all know what the alternative is.

When people think of using the Internet for completing school assignments, they most often think about exploring the World Wide Web for information sources. This example of a "survey" shows its power in gathering the opinions of others.

In DO-IT, FM Means "Funny Moment"

Early this winter one of the DO-IT Scholars posted the following message to the discussion list for participants with hearing impairments.

  • Hi everybody! I think it would be great to share with the group funny experiences having to do with being deaf. Here's one of mine.

    Several months ago I had an appointment with the head of a consulting firm about possible jobs. The firm head led me from the waiting room to his office and sat me down across his desk from him. He looked at me for several seconds. In retrospect, I realize he must have been staring at the ear molds for my hearing aids. They are quite large, whitish, and very conspicuous. He then said, "Do you have bad ear infections today?" thinking that my molds were big cotton puffs!

A lively exchange followed. Here are some of the stories shared.

  • It's happened more than once that someone will come up to me and ask me if I'm from France or Germany or Switzerland or some European country because of my "accent." You can imagine the shock on their faces when I tell them I have a hearing impairment and some of them act embarrassed... Do people think you guys have accents too?
  • If I had a penny for every time someone asked me if I was from France... :) "Bonjour!" That's hello in french in case you are not french speaking. :) I'm not either and that's all the french I know! :) Hmmmm...Funny experiences? I think I could write a book on them especially when related to my hearing impairment! :) Ok. There was this one guy in my History class...he had my number for a reason, I can't remember if it was for a date or for school. Anyway...He kept calling me all the time and everytime I would have to say "Jordan!! I'm deaf! Don't call me on the phone!" Like...HELLO!! You would think he would get it, but the poor guy kept this up for probably about 2 weeks. Thank goodness when he FINALLY got the idea! :)
  • Yeah ummm I have quite a bit of hearing so my voice isn't very distinctive to make people think I have an accent. So in other words I talk just like a normal guy except for when I don't have my hearing aids on, guess what??? BEWARE!!! I'm VERY VERY loud (cuz I can't hear!!!) and with my hearing aids...I can hear myself so I can control my tone.
  • Today I was walking backwards down the hallway at school trying to watch my interpreter and my deaf classmate talk in sign language (I sign too). I hate having to turn my head to the side to see them so I walked backwards...and a teacher was walking and I almost crashed into him and he said "Watch where you're going or I'll send you to the dean." He was kinda stupid but there was plenty of room for him to go around the 3 of us...hehehe...but I told him I was sorry as well. It was funny afterwards.
  • Okay. My sophomore year of high school. My math teacher decided to leave for a minute. At that time I was using an FM system. Our class was working on some problems. You guys know that if you leave the room with the FM system, it doesn't mean that the sound stops transmitting! :) Well I heard some running water and so I figured I better save myself and my teacher from a major embarrassment, and I turned my fm off. A few minutes later, I heard my name, right in front of me. I looked up and it was my teacher. His face as red as a beet! "I was just washing my hands, okay?" It was rather funny!

    Another incident with this teacher is that he went over to tell another student how to solve a problem and I could hear him clear across campus!! :) FM systems really made my days interesting!!

  • I use an FM system for school too. In fifth grade, my teacher walked out of the room with the FM still on. I heard trickling water...he didn't just wash his hands - he actually went to the bathroom. It was funny for me and embarrassing for him.
  • ...hahaha! I've had the same experience! And the teacher had no idea and after class I told him I was scheduling an FM Embarrassment seminar just for the teachers who use the FM system...we make jokes about it now.
  • Another FM incident...I had a biology teacher who was a major coffee drinker. Every day I had to sit there and listen to him drink his coffee! Gulp! Gulp! It was annoying!
  • You know how teachers always turn away from the class when they blow their noses. Well WE always get the best sound effects of various levels of colds. There's those little sniffles all the way to the nasty phlemy coughing and blowing. I always got grossed out during the cold season!! :)
  • I am learning a lot from you and all about the FM devices!! And I am appreciating the humor as well as the reality check about FM devices!! I have never used one. I became Deaf after high school and when I was in Graduate school I used sign language interpreters but I work with children now who may use the FM systems and you all's insight and experiences is teaching me a lot!! Thank you and most of all thank you for your spirit and humor which for me is the thing that gets me through most days!!!

Off the 'Net


Source: Unknown

"It has long been known..."
(I haven't bothered to look up the reference.)

"It is believed..."
(I think.)

"It is generally believed..."
(A couple of other guys think so too.)

"It is not unreasonable to assume..."
(If you believe this, you'll believe anything.)

"Of great theoretical importance..."
(I find it kind of interesting.)

"Of great practical importance..."
(I can get some mileage out of it.)

"Typical results are shown."
(The best results are shown.)

"Three samples were chosen for further study."
(The others didn't make sense, so we ignored them.)

"It might be argued that..."
(I have such a good answer for this objection that I shall now raise it.)

"These investigations proved highly rewarding."
(My grant is going to be renewed.)

DO-IT Goes to Work!

Work-based learning experiences are any work experiences, paid or unpaid, that give you an opportunity to practice the skills you are learning in school, clarify your academic and career interests, determine which work site accommodations work best for you, and develop contacts for future employment. For a recent e-mail discussion, we focused on work-based learning experiences that occur before graduation from college. Participants responded to the following questions:

  1. What work-based learning opportunities, if any, have you had?
  2. How do you feel that work-based learning experiences can help people prepare for future employment?
  3. Do you think it is particularly important for students with disabilities to have work-based learning experiences before they graduate from college? Why or why not?

Below is only a sample of the rich conversation these questions stimulated:

  • Work-based learning sounds like an interesting idea, however I am not sure if it is more important than staying on campus and having regular classes at school. Personally, I think a person should be focused on their academics instead of working.
  • It is true that it is important to focus on one thing, however life is seldom that simple. I think for the first couple of years of college that classes should be the main thing students worry about. However, it is vital to get hands-on experience before graduation.
  • I had a project my senior year of college where I built and maintained a Web site for my church. I'm still maintaining it even after college. It has let me gain experience through experimentation on how to build an effective Web site. It is important for ANY student to do this, and it is especially beneficial to people with disabilities because they sometimes need more help to overcome employers' biases.
  • I think work-based learning is an incredibly important component of a student's education. I believe this to be true for any student, with or without a disability. It can be more beneficial for a student with a disability, however. Here's a condensed list as to why it is important:
    1. It can help you figure out what you DON'T want to do. A lot of people go through their education with a romantic vision of what career they will pursue after graduation. They often picture themselves as prepared, having taken numerous courses within the occupation's subject area. They are often very disappointed. You may not always enjoy the "practice" as well as the "theory." I have met all sorts of people who hate their jobs, but loved their major.
    2. It can help you determine which accommodations work best for you. The accommodations you use in school may not work at the worksite. Your technology may not interface with the employer's. You need to become a master of your accommodations. Work-based learning gives you the opportunity to practice accommodating yourself. So...when you are applying for your "real job," you will know what accommodations you need as well as where and how to get them.
    3. It offers a low-risk, non-threatening opportunity to disclose your disability to an employer. Disclosure of disability can be a nerve-wracking process for both the student and the employer. Interviews for internships and other experiences can help you try out ways of talking about your disability.
    4. You can apply what you're learning in school to a real-world situation. This makes learning fun and offers a whole new perspective on the subject area.
    5. It enables you to learn and practice skills not learned in a typical classroom.
    6. You can sometimes get academic credit for it.
    7. You can sometimes get paid for it.
    8. You can network with potential future employers. You can prove to an employer who has never had an employee with a disability that you are capable; thus creating a future position for yourself or opening the door for a friend.
    9. You might have the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art equipment not available on campus.
    10. Employers want education AND experience. Just a degree simply won't cut it anymore. If you want a job when you graduate, this is the best way to get experience in your field.
  • I'd agree with the general sentiment that internships and work-related experiences can be good, especially for students with disabilities, although I do think that one needs to ensure that it is a GOOD opportunity.

    I'd argue that internships would work best:

    • where there is clear agreement on tasks to be performed.
    • where previous interns and perhaps the supervisor have disabilities.
    • where the transition to a paid position is clear, if not for the agency, then somewhere else.
  • Good point that although internships are a good idea, not all internships are good ones. I would add to this list:
    • a clear understanding that you are there for educational purposes. This could mean a number of things, but most of all it means there is someone to ask questions, and that you will be allowed to perform tasks in such a manner that helps you learn and not necessarily have the focus on performance.

      Also, I agree internships need to be clear about the pay situation, future or whatever. I wouldn't assume however that it will automatically mean employment. Don't be afraid to voice your desire to work there, or get a good recommendation. The bottom line is - be clear and honest in what you're looking for.

  • I agree. Not all internships will lead to a paid position with a company. However, they will help to lead to a paid position somewhere in that they will help to give you much needed experience. Employers want education and experience.
  • Hey all! I graduated from high school in '94 and have not yet gone back to school. Since then I have worked with DO-IT, Time-Life Libraries Incorporated, and presently Ticketmaster Northwest. Working has given me motivation to want to return to school and do it well this time. For four years I've been working entry level positions and now have a better understanding of where I want to be in life and the "direction" that I want to go. I also feel that I have a better understanding of the job market and how things work in a highly corporate environment. On the one hand I'm jealous of the seemingly simple life of college students, and on the other hand I wish all DO-IT kids could feel the motivation and excitement to learn what I have after four years of poverty and $5.50 an hour jobs.
  • I had a valuable work experience when I was in high school. I worked on a project in Explorer Scouts. We formed a group that worked at a local TV station and we actually produced 6 half-hour TV programs that aired on Sunday afternoons. Of course, we were not paid for this, but the experience was valuable in many ways. Other opportunities exist through such programs as Junior Achievement, 4-H and many community service organizations.

    I do believe that many things can be gained from work-based experiences, even if those experiences are not directly related to the field of interest or career goals of the individual. Interpersonal skills, communication skills, and awareness of one's strengths and limits are just some benefits that can be gained through work-based experiences.

  • Where I live, in the country, by a very small town of 514, there just isn't anything for me. I work on our family farm doing what needs to be done, and do some of the paperwork for our finances on my computer, so I guess that is kind of work experience, should look good on a resume if nothing else (besides making a small sum of spending money).
  • I am visually impaired and hearing impaired as well...I am currently involved in work experience programs within my school and the community as well. The school district has a program called "School-to-Work" and a "school-within-a-school" program. A school-to-work program is basically a program that fits inside the school within a school program. A school-within-a-school is kind of like having a miniature school inside a large school. My school has 3 of these.

    All three of them have school-to-work programs for internship and co-op training. We do our internships and work experience projects during school hours once a week for 3 1/2 hours at a business/agency. In the past 2 years (third year this year) I have been to a manor, doctor's office, Internet provider and a travel agency and I will be transferring to a new facility next week to a computer center for the disabled.

    I have gained a lot of knowledge of business management work ethics and other work-related skills. Besides the internships, once a week we are in the school-within-school classes 4 days a week for 3 1/2 hours Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri. We take our required classes in this program and it is integrated...Most of all, the school-within-a-school program teaches resume composition, cover letter composition, business letters, some general knowledge of business law, interview practices and rules and how to apply for a real job and use good communication skills with supervisors, staff, managers and co-workers.

  • I myself have been interested in weather for a long time, but when I was an executive intern with a local meteorologist during my senior year in high school and then worked for two summers for the Assistant State Climatologist of Colorado, these experiences strengthened my desire to go into atmospheric science research. I also learned that connections can really help you get a job! And I practiced articulating my needs when necessary.
  • I have some pretty strong viewpoints about work-based learning experiences. I did one last summer and even though it was frustrating, it taught me some lessons that I would not have learned otherwise. First of all, I learned that we need to be able to focus on more than one task at a time. Two, I learned that one can usually do something that he sets his mind to.
  • When I first started working for the press, I was doing a little computer article every week. I covered different topics for using the computer...Work, play, Internet...Then, when they got the new computer in with the new software, they were really wondering how to use it and get the job done. I said I was really interested in graphic work. My boss was really wondering if I could do it because, obviously, if you are working with pictures, you have to see...pretty well. He was a little leery about letting me do it because of the program too. It turned out I knew more than him about it, but he didn't want to take the chance. I watched him for a little while one day, and he said ok, try it. From that day on, I was the primary person who did all of it. We just have to know what we can and can't do. At least we have the right to try. If not, oh well, but you can't say we didn't try.
  • I've had the following work-based learning experiences:
    • Nursing home administration (worked in the following departments: business, recreation, nursing, social work, maintenance).
    • Hospice (hospice counselor and respite provider/shadow intern).
    • Ronald McDonald House (fundraising Department).
    • The American Heart Association ("Jump for Heart" representative and school contact).

    Work-based learning experiences give you a chance to practice and develop work skills that are not taught in classroom (this would include personal interaction with others, team work, learning how to take criticism etc. etc.).

    I believe it's very important for students with disabilities to have work experiences before they graduate. An internship gives students a chance to problem solve how they will use or transfer an accommodation used in school to a work a non-threatening environment. It's a learning experience! You learn what works for you, and you learn what doesn't work for you. You may have good experiences or bad experiences, but in my opinion...the bad experiences are sometimes more valuable than the good experiences.'s fun!

  • My senior year, I had an intern job at a local newspaper...I had been interested in doing some graphic work using computers for a couple of years. I had a couple of job shadows in high school that made me really consider something in this area. So this was a really good way, I think, to get my foot in the door...I think it's important to have one or more of these jobs as early as you can. Whether it would be raking or mowing at the house down the street, or something like I did. My internship wasn't a paying one, but I got high school credit for it since I did it during school hours. If you get paid, great. Extra cash won't hurt, but if not it's still good to just have the experience...

    It's also easier to get a real job in the future if you have done something like that. I work at Disability Support Services on the UND campus, and having the computer and graphics background helped make me look more qualified for the position.

  • I focused almost exclusively on academics during high school and college, but got my work experience in during the summers. That seemed to work well.
  • It seems the discussion of work-based experience has centered around employment, however, keep in mind that work-based experience does not need to mean that one gets a job. There are other avenues by which one can gain experiences and skills which will be useful once one enters the work market. One can demonstrate leadership by becoming involved in clubs and for an office in the student council, for example. Dealing with the challenges one may face in these situations (such as mobility, public perception, adaptive equipment) can help prepare you for dealing with those challenges when they arise in the job market.

    To answer the question raised earlier about the priority which should be placed on work-based experience and school, there is no contest here. School should definitely take priority. However, I think many things can be woven into academic pursuits which will not adversely impact one's education while providing work-based experiences. Keep an open mind and consider all options.

DO-IT Will Keep Doin' It in WA (Only?)

DO-IT has been successful in securing funding from the State of Washington to sustain DO-IT efforts in this state as NSF experimental project funding comes to an end this year. We continue to pursue other sources of funding so that in the future we can accept Scholars from outside of Washington state as we have been able to do in the past. But, as of now, this is the last year for accepting DO-IT Scholars from outside of Washington.

The state budget was signed by the governor this spring. The state support that has been secured will allow DO-IT to continue the proven DO-IT programs to serve Washington residents. The following programs will serve to increase the success of people with disabilities in post-secondary education and employment.

Washington DO-IT Scholars - Each year twenty high school students with disabilities will begin the three year DO-IT Scholars summer and year-round Internet leadership program.

Washington DO-IT Pals - High school students with disabilities will learn to use the Internet to explore academic and career interests, develop support systems, and motivate each other to achieve their goals.

Washington Student/Teacher Partnerships - DO-IT will provide regional workshops that will partner learning disabled youth (fourth grade and up) and their teachers to learn how computers can be used to reach higher levels of basic skills.

Washington DO-IT Campers - The successful Internet and college preparation outreach to existing summer and weekend camps (Easter Seal, Muscular Dystrophy, etc.) will be expanded in Washington state.

Outreach - Workshops will be offered throughout the state for students, parents, and teachers on transition from high school to college and careers, the potential of students with disabilities, and the applications of technology. Printed publications, videotapes, and electronic resources will be distributed widely.

We are celebrating this great news, but continue to explore resources to institutionalize DO-IT efforts on national and international levels. We would like to be able to accept Scholars from out of the state and, perhaps, from other countries. Please contact us if you know of funding sources that might help us reach this goal!

Visio Helps DO-IT Show 'N Tell

Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph.D.

DO-IT is on the road again and expecting big-time impact from a pint-sized audience. The DO-IT Show 'N Tell project has been funded by Visio Corporation to promote full inclusion of people with disabilities by creating positive attitudes about their abilities.

Picture of Imke in front of class with her computer
DO-IT Mentor Imke demonstrates her talking computer to kindergarten students.

DO-IT Show 'N Tell presentations will be incorporated into show-and-tell times in kindergarten and first grade classes in the Seattle area. Successful college students with disabilities will be paid stipends to deliver the presentations. Presenters will share information about their disabilities, including the ways in which they access information (e.g., Braille, sign language), adapt to learning environments, and live independently. They will demonstrate adaptive technologies (e.g., voice input/output computers). A significant portion of the Show 'N Tell time will be open for questions and group problem solving (e.g. "I'm blind. How do you suppose I manage to cross the street safely?"). Additionally, a paperback coloring booklet about how people with disabilities accomplish tasks will be developed and distributed to kindergarten and first grade participants. The project will help young people understand alternative ways to do everyday tasks employed by people with disabilities.

A special thanks goes to the participants in our DO-IT Show 'N Tell pilot project. Imke Durre, one of our Mentors who is blind has conducted four "Show 'N Tells" at Laurelhurst Elementary School; she showed her computer that can talk and print in Braille and printed all of the students' names in Braille. My son, Travis, helped make the arrangements with the teachers and introduced Imke to his classmates. Thank you, Imke and Travis, for proving the concept of DO-IT Show 'N Tell.

And, thanks to Visio Corporation, for the next two years we will be able to provide many more of these experiences for young people. At this age we're not CHANGING attitudes about people with disabilities; we're CREATING positive attitudes before attitudes have been developed.

DO-IT Trio Does Texas

Anh, James O'Connor, and Justin

Congratulations to staff member James O'Connor, DO-IT Scholar Justin, and DO-IT Ambassador Anh who were invited to present DO-IT at Intel's International Science and Engineering Fair in Fort Worth, Texas in May. Anh is from California and has a mobility impairment; Justin, from Florida, is blind; and James has dyslexia. They shared information about the DO-IT program and adaptive technology, and acted as role models for students pursuing science. They shared experiences with participants from around the world. They also took part in an international round table discussion and an opening ceremony at the world's largest honky tonk. Following are several candid accounts of their adventure.

  • I just want to thank DO-IT for giving me the opportunity to speak on their behalf at Intel International Science Fair in Forth Worth, Texas. James, Justin, and I had a blast representing the DO-IT program. We were scheduled to do only one "shop talk" but we were asked to do another talk later in the week. Our first "shop talk" was on Monday and our second one was on Thursday. We were nervous on Monday; we did not know what reaction we were going to get from the audience. In addition, we did not know how well we were going to do. Luckily, somehow we all made it through. During our second "shop talk" we were more relaxed because we knew what to expect from our audience. I feel that we gave it our best during both presentations.

    During our stay in Texas, we visited the town of Fort Worth and were able to participate in events planned for us. Intel was a great host. They rolled out the red carpet for us and treated us like V.I.Ps. Intel put us up in the most expensive hotel there is in Forth Worth, the Worthington. Just to give you a sense of how prestigious the hotel is, a can of soda in our mini-refrigerator was $2, and the cheapest room there was $135 per night. Not only did Intel pick up the tab for our hotel and airfare, they also gave us spending money so we could eat anywhere in Fort Worth. And, I tell you, we ate some interesting meals. For example, we went to Razzoo, a Cajun restaurant, our first night and we had Fried Gators. Yes, you heard me right, I said we ordered Fried Gators. I was skeptical at first, but I figured what the heck and joined them. Believe it or not, it was pretty good.

    In conclusion, we had an awesome time in Forth Worth. It was a great experience for the three of us and I hope we can do it again in the near future.

  • I had the time of my life. I had more country than I knew what to do with. I loved every minute of it. There wasn't a day when I didn't have something that I was interested in. Anh, James, and I went to a western store. I felt this cape thing. I thought that it was pretty cool. Before James or Anh could say anything, my money was out and in the clerk's hand. When we were leaving the store, James and Anh were laughing at something. I could not figure out what in the heck they were laughing at, so I simply asked them. They told me that they were laughing at nothing. When we were totally out of the store, I asked James, "I want to know what you think about this cape? Not what I think." He said that he thought it was a girl's. So we took it back. I learned one lesson from that. Never just flip the pages if you can't read the book. The only way that I could conclude this message is to say, "I never had a better time than this experience. It was for sure a good one."
  • What an experience! Not only did I get to talk and share DO-IT with people from all over the world, but I also had two friends accompany me. The main focus of the trip was presenting DO-IT to teachers, students, and accompanying adults at Intel's International Science & Engineering Fair. Who could ask for a better place to present? During both presentations we had international audiences. With Justin and Anh along, people definitely knew about DO-IT by the end of the week.

    The DO-IT presentations were the main focus of the trip, but there was a lot more, too. We visited "Billy Bob's," the world's largest honky tonk. Justin was in heaven at this place. Then there was Razzoo's, a Cajun restaurant. I think Justin and Anh about cleaned them out of gator. How about Justin's shopping? Keep an eye on this guy. The best experience was just hanging out with Justin and Anh. All this and I was still getting paid! Life is good!!!

DO-IT Pal Profile

by Brandon Wood

Hi, I'm Brandon Wood. I'm a new DO-IT Pal. I live in Washington, and go to Auburn High...GO TROJANS! I'm in 9th grade and 15 years old. The classes I'm currently taking are the basics LA, algebra...etc. The electives I'm taking are Intro to Marketing (Deca), Drawing, and P.E. Some of my favorite interests are sports, especially flag football, and cars. My favorite car is the '67 fastback Mustang. My goals are to go to college, preferably the UW, to become a graphic arts professional for Nintendo or some big electronics company like that. Recently, I was offered a job as a graphic facilitator for a group that works on housing issues for older persons with disabilities.

by Emilie Sutterlin

Hello! I am a new DO-IT Pal! My name is Emilie Sutterlin and I am 15 years old. I have chronic fatigue (Immune Dysfunction) syndrome, fibromyalgia, neurally mediated hypotension, attention deficit disorder, multiple chemical sensitivities, and severe allergies.

Something different about my illnesses and most others' is that it is very unpredictable. In a way this is better, but it is still difficult. Some rare, good days, I feel almost as good as my "healthy" friends. But the next minute, I will be in bed for days, have lost my memory, or be in extreme pain. This is especially hard with my school, because they do not understand how my performance level, like my illness can ride like a roller coaster. I go to a magnet school for science and tech.

I'm very interested in mathematics, science, and technology. I am very excited about joining the DO-IT program. I have so many interests and so many career ideas and dreams, I don't know where to begin. I am very interested in computer programming, a new skill I am learning at school. I also like to design Web pages. Mine is at I like baseball, inventing, engineering, chemistry, biology (especially biotechnology and genetics), electronics, reading and analyzing theories, math, physics, etc. Some of the things I am interested in are hard for me to do with my disabilities.

If anyone shares any particular interests and would like to "talk," please send email to

DO-IT Ambassador Profile

Picture of Randy with virtual reality gear
Randy explores virtual reality as a 1993 Phase I Scholar.

I guess the most major recent news is (and many of you were aware of this) that I'm getting married. What most of you don't know is that we've set a date, August 8th. Which basically means I'm *VERY* busy. I recently completed my Bachelor of Science degree at The Evergreen State College. The most amazing part of this accomplishment is that I have no student loans. *CHEER*

So what am I doing during the day? Well, from June to December '97 I was an intern with Weyerhauser Corp. If any of you don't know who they are...Weyerhauser is about the biggest forestry products company in the world. Anyway, I was able to do a good enough job that I was offered a full time position on their information technology help desk. If anyone wants to ask me about it go ahead.

At this point let me put in my two cents. Things have been flying around the DO-IT electronic mail lists about whether it is valuable to get work experience, and how to get it. I'll answer the first part here, and if anyone wants tips on getting an internship or a job just ask. In my opinion a person can *NOT* enter the work force without work experience. Okay, what did I just say? Basically I said that it's impossible to get into the workforce, right? Right, but there are these nifty things like internships. You *MUST* get internships if you want to have a good job after college.

So anyway, those are the major happenings in my life. My email address is

DO-IT Mentor Profile

Minda Dentler
Picture of Minda
Mentor Minda Dentler

My name is Minda Dentler and I am a sophomore at the University of Washington. Originally from India, I contracted polio at an early age. I was adopted into an American family where I was able to get the medical treatment necessary so I can walk with leg braces and crutches.

I have been involved with the DO-IT disability community for almost two years now. This past summer I was fortunate to have obtained an internship with the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities in Washington, D.C. There I worked closely with the project manager for the employer subcommittee, writing and developing marketing plans for small business hiring people with mental and physical disabilities. Through this valuable experience I was selected to attend a unique conference targeted for leaders in the disability community in Washington, D.C. in March. At this conference we discussed ways to empower persons with disabilities in our country today. One way I hope to show this empowerment is through an internship I obtained at the White House this summer. By demonstrating to others that my disability does not hinder what I do, perhaps I can help them to see that people with disabilities are capable of many jobs.

I am looking forward to next year as I will be studying abroad for the full academic year in Madrid, Spain. My interests in international business have stemmed from an early age and finally I will be able to live out my longtime dream of studying abroad and learning about another culture. I plan on honing my Spanish skills to complete my minor requirements. In addition, I hope to obtain an internship with a Spanish business. This will be an invaluable experience that will help me obtain a future career with an international business firm.

When, and if, I have free time, I enjoy traveling, playing the piano, swimming, or hanging out with my friends. :)

DO-IT Staff Profile

James O'Connor

My name is James O'Connor and I have been given the opportunity to help the DO-IT staff prepare for the 1998 Summer Study for Scholars. I have been part of the DO-IT Family the past three summers ('95, '96, '97) as a "Dorm Dad."

I will share a little about myself. As a young kid I grew up in Southern California in the city of Ontario. After three years of school it was determined that I had a learning disability (dyslexia). With the help of some great parents, friends, and teachers I made my way through primary and secondary school. After graduating from high school I attended Mt. San Antonio Community College for two years. I then went to South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota. Why SDSU? Well, I received an athletic scholarship for cross country and track. After 1.5 years in South Dakota I could not handle the cold any longer so I made another move. I transferred to Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington. At Central Washington I completed my B.A. in Education. I am certified in special education and physical education. My interests outside of school and work are hiking, camping, all sports (currently coach of a JV fast pitch team at Juanita High School), dancing, music, and hanging out with my dog, Nugget.

The 1998 UW Computer Fair

Eric, DO-IT Ambassador
Picture of Eric answering questions at the DO-IT booth
DO-IT Ambassador Eric represents DO-IT at the 1998 UW Computer Fair.

For the second year in a row, I helped out at the DO-IT booth at the UW Computer Fair. This time, it turned out to be better than last year since I knew where I was going to stay and how I was going to get there. I also learned how to use the online networks to help me plan my trip. I tapped into the Seattle Network Online to find the number of the hotel, major cab companies, and metro transportation. I had also pre-arranged for the DO-IT staff to meet me at the Husky Union Building.

This year, I went from Oregon to Seattle by railroad. Amtrak was economical compared to the airlines. It was only $31 round trip. I learned about their special rate for people with disabilities and got a round-trip ticket for $27. I took my portable phone with me so my counselors could call me if there was any problem. Because I am blind, the wireless phone has proven to be a useful tool. This is because it is harder to find phone booths especially in a big building. I pre-arranged with the hotel for them to take me to the university. The DO-IT staff had already set up a time to meet me at the building and I made sure to set it up so I would arrive at that time.

The first day of the Fair was one of the busiest days. I had a long line of people wanting to know about speech access for PC systems. I thought I was going to be hoarse by the end of the day because I had been talking so much. The most common misconception was that blind people use PCs with speech input. They thought that speech input was the same as speech access. I had to explain the difference.

On the first evening of the Computer Fair, I got to take part in a presentation that Sheryl and Julie were giving. It was about the DO-IT program and work-based learning experiences. I covered information about the technology I use and how I use it for both preparing to work and on the job. I returned to my room after the presentation.

The second day was somewhat quieter. I did not have as many people wanting to talk to me as I did before. My uncle who works as an instructor at the university came to the booth. I had a lot of people asking about the DO-IT program and how it worked. There were quite a few people in line at the end and the others at the booth were making jokes about conserving my voice so I could talk to my family. I had the hotel pick me up at 5:15. When I got back to my room, I called my relatives and we went out to dinner together. It felt good to break loose after two really busy days.

The following day, I was supposed to go from Seattle to Southern Oregon. I woke up at 5:00 am that day, finished packing up, and checked out of the hotel. I went from the hotel to the railroad station via Access Transportation, which is Seattle's special service for people with disabilities. They let me off right in front and the driver took me into the station. I made it back to Portland, went from the station to the air terminal, and caught a flight to Southern Oregon. By the time I got there, I was very tired out, but I knew I had completed a successful mission. I am very glad I attended the technology fair, and there are some lessons I learned by going on this trip. Some words of advice I would give to someone else are:

  1. If you have a wireless phone, you should keep it on while you are on the road. This gives people a way to get hold of you in case of emergency.
  2. If you plan to take a cab to your hotel, pick one that is going to accommodate you the best. This sometimes requires asking your hotel which one they would recommend. When you arrive, you should tell the porters which company you want and what kind of assistance you need.
  3. The online networks can function as your personal trip planner. If you are looking for information on transportation, lodging, or any other type of information, there are online services that can help you find what you are looking for. Once you have found the information that you want, you should download it and keep it on hand for future reference.
  4. If you have a portable talking clock, you should take it with you so you don't have to worry about getting a wakeup call.
  5. Communication is the key to a successful mission. As long as you can be up-front with people and tell them what kind of assistance you need, your trip will most likely be successful.

I've learned that being visually impaired does not make it impossible to attend the technology fair or go on any other mission. It just takes planning ahead and being determined to achieve what you want.

Technology Tips: FTP

Dan Comden, Adaptive Technology Specialist

The steps to transferring files from one computer to another are easy once you have the correct tools and know how to use them. The term we use for moving files around on the Internet is FTP - File Transfer Protocol.

Regardless of whether you're using a Macintosh or a PC, speech output or switches, or even what kind of Internet connection you have, the steps are the same. Only the tools may change. You can use FTP to transfer your own files on your password-protected account, or at FTP sites using "anonymous" FTP. Most Web browsers are capable of doing anonymous FTP.

Anonymous FTP allows easy sharing of files without giving away passwords. Though this feature means that many people don't have to learn the ins and outs of FTP, if you're transferring files from your home computer to your Internet account you'll need to know a bit more. I'll use an account on DO-IT's computer named hawking for the example at the end of this article.

In a nutshell, here are the steps for FTP, followed by more detailed descriptions.


  1. Start your computer.
  2. Launch your FTP software.
  3. Change to the directory you want to move the file from (the local side) and where you want to move the file to - the remote system.
  4. Choose the correct file transfer mode - binary or ascii.
  5. Transfer the file.


  1. Most times, you'll want to get a file from a remote system and transfer it to your computer. There are many reasons you might want to do this. For example, you can update your system software with new versions of video drivers, sound drivers, or even update the basic operating system. You can also obtain programs such as utilities to better manage your computer or detect viruses, as well as games or productivity software.
  2. There are many different FTP programs (also called FTP clients) available. On the Windows/PC side the most common are WS_FTP or CUTE-FTP. Windows95 also has an FTP client that runs in DOS, called simply FTP and run from the DOS command line. For Mac users, by far the most common FTP client is Fetch. Unless you're transferring files to/from your personal account, you'll use a protocol called anonymous FTP. When visiting FTP repositories, you will use a login name of "anonymous" and your email address as your password. When connecting to your own account to move files, you'll need to log in with your usual username and password. I'll be using anonymous FTP in the example below.
  3. In order to use FTP effectively, it's important to have a good understanding of directory or folder structure. Without going into too much detail, you need to know where you want to be on your local computer (the one in front of you) as well as on the remote system. When using WS_FTP, you PC users (once you're connected) can click up and down in the directory structure to indicate where you want to transfer a file from, or where you want it to be received. I personally like to have a folder called "Temp" or "Unpack" on my desktop for receiving files. The directory name for an Unpack folder on the desktop would be C:\WINDOWS\DESKTOP\UNPACK\.

    Mac users with Fetch can indicate the proper folder for upload or download once they've clicked on either the "Get File" or "Put File" buttons. The dialog box for saving files is just like any other Mac Save dialog box.

  4. There are two types of file transfer - binary and ascii. Binary mode is used for anything that's a program or executable files, graphics, and word processor-created documents. Ascii mode is used for generic text files and HTML files. Most of the time you'll need to indicate binary (or raw data for you Mac users) but keep in mind the difference if something you've downloaded doesn't work correctly and try the other mode.
  5. Transferring a file is the easiest step of all. On either the Mac or PC platform, it's usually a simple matter of clicking or double-clicking a file once you have the local and remote directories set up correctly.

The example that follows demonstrates the process of downloading a simple text file.


Let's download a copy of these instructions for using FTP. We'll be using the University of Washington's anonymous FTP server to do this.

  1. Connect to the Internet (those of you already on campus won't need to worry about this step).
  2. Start your FTP software, using the FTP client on your home computer to do this. You can quit the telnet session you started if you want, but it's not necessary. PC users on Windows95 can go to the Programs->Winsock Applications group to launch WS_FTP if it's not already on the Start menu.

    Those using speech output may find it easier to open an MS-DOS box, switch to the desktop directory (C:/WINDOWS/DESKTOP) and use the FTP client for DOS as it's much friendlier to speech output. Mac users will need to find and start Fetch.

  3. Open a connection to the UW FTP server:
  4. Log in to the server with the username anonymous and your email address for the password.
  5. Now you need to make sure the destination, or local directory is correctly selected.

    WS_FTP users will have a two-windowed view. Your local machine is on the left and the remote is on the right. Click up and down in the left window folder list to choose the destination for the file. I like


    Speech users under Windows95 should change directories to


    Mac users will pick the destination once they do the next step. You'll probably want to put it on your desktop so it's easy to find.

    Now switch to the directory that has the file. If you're using the DOS text version, use the cd (change directory) command and ls (list directory) commands to see where you are on the server. If you're using WS_FTP or Fetch, you'll need to go a number of levels, or directories, to get there. Starting at the top level, change folders to pub, then user-supported, then danc. The complete path is pub/user-supported/danc/

  6. You're ready to download the file to your local machine. You should know which directory you're in if you're using the text version (it'll be part of the prompt) otherwise, the graphical clients will let you know when you download. Once you're in the correct location on the remote system for getting the file, do an "ls" command to see what's in the directory - the file name for this file is "ftpinstructions.txt"

    If you're using the text version, Type: ascii and hit return to ensure ascii mode transfer will be enabled. When you did the "ls" command you should see a list of files and directories. If you're using WS_FTP, click on the "ASCII" button and if you're using Fetch make sure the Text button is selected.

  7. You may also want to download a picture of the 1996 Phase 1 Scholars. When you did the "ls" command to view the files in the directory, you should've also seen a file called "phase1.jpg". You'll need to change to "Binary" mode to download this file. If you're using text FTP, you'll need to type "binary." If you're using WS_FTP, click on the "Binary" radio button, and Fetch users should select "Raw Data."
  8. Your file should now be transferred. You can quit your FTP software, either by choosing "Exit" or "Quit" from the File menu or by typing "quit" if you're using the DOS-based FTP client, and then "exit" at the C:\ prompt to return to the desktop.
  9. Now you can view the files! The text file should be viewable using a number of editors, including Word, SimpleText, Notepad, etc. The photo can be viewed using your web browser.

Once you've FTP'ed files a few times, it really becomes quite easy. Check your FTP software documentation first if you get stuck, and if you really have problems, shoot me some email and I'll assist. Have fun FTP'ing!

"Wired" at Camp

Deb Cronheim, research coordinator

School's out all summer! For many lucky students that means summer camp is just around the corner. Campfires and marshmallows, boating and swimming, arts and crafts and...computers? That's right, at camp this summer many youth with disabilities will email friends and family back home, chat online with other kids from across the country, and hone their Net-surfing skills.

DO-IT is working with four camps in Washington state (Easter Seal, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Summer Camp for Young Burn Survivors, and Camp Lots of Fun), Camp Courage in Minnesota, and Camp Success in Colorado to provide computing and Internet training as part of their regular camp activities.

Through generous loans of equipment from Compaq Computers and American Computer Experience, creative instruction from DO-IT, and enthusiastic support from camp directors and staff, 'Net-hungry and "newbie" campers experience how computers can help them in academics and future careers-plus have tons of fun. Adaptive technology is available to ensure access for all campers.

Following are descriptions of each camp's activities including staff, dates, and contact information.


Instructor Cynthia McAuliffe and Ambassador CJ manage the Internet activities at four Washington state camps with help from Ambassador Mark and other DO-IT participants and staff. I help coordinate activities at each camp.

Camp Easter Seal West is a year-round residential camp located in Vaughn Bay, near Gig Harbor, Washington. It offers five to seven day sessions for campers with disabilities of all kinds who are age seven and above. The camp offers horseback riding, waterfront activities, swimming, arts & crafts, and sports. DO-IT will be set up in the lodge classroom the first three weeks in July offering Internet sessions and an open computer lab. Contact Camp Director Andi Reed at (253) 884-2722 for more information and applications.

Camp Lots of Fun in Puyallup, Washington is a seven-week day camp sponsored by the Pierce County Parks and Recreation Department. It serves about 80 people age 6 to 21 years of varied abilities, including those with cerebral palsy, Downs syndrome, autism, sensory impairments, emotional and behavioral needs, and attention deficit disorder. Their activities promote self-esteem, friendship, fitness! This year the camp will use the facilities of Zeiger Elementary School. DO-IT will offer Internet and computer training July 27th through August 12th. Call recreation supervisor Scott Hall at (253) 798-4793 for information and applications.

The Northwest Burn Foundation offers a week-long residential summer camp at Camp Waskowitz in North Bend, July 11-18. This camp is open to all children in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, and Alaska who have burn-related injuries and are 7 to 18 years of age. There is no cost to the children and their families to attend and transportation is provided. Camp activities include swimming, archery, outdoor games, hiking, river rafting, campfires, and lots more. DO-IT will provide daily computer and Internet sessions.

For more information, contact camp director Monique Flickinger at (206) 789-6838 or 1-888-NO-BURNS.

Also at Camp Waskowitz, the muscular dystrophy association will offer a one-week residential summer camp July 19-25. Each summer finds youth age 6-21 years with neuromuscular disease enjoying arts & crafts, swimming, singing, fishing, field events, and more. DO-IT will be offering computer and Internet sessions during morning and afternoon activity periods July 20-24. Contact MDA director Rosemary Owens at (253) 627-7575 for information and applications.


DO-IT director Sheryl Burgstahler, Ambassador Kris, and Mentor Jerry Zak (from Czechoslovakia) will once again travel to Maple Lake, Minnesota for the Camp Courage College Preview and Internet Camp, a partnership between DO-IT and Courage Center in Minnesota. Open July 11-20, this session offers 15 campers ten days of intensive instruction covering Internet resources, workshops on how to be successful in college and careers, email communications with DO-IT Scholars and Mentors, and a day trip to St. Cloud University. Participants also have plenty of time for typical camp activities such as horseback riding, camping, fishing, swimming, parties, dances, and more. In addition to this beginning group, DO-IT offers special Internet activities, including developing a camp Web site, to an advance group of about 10 campers. The College Preview and Internet Camp is open to any young person with a disability who has completed seventh grade or higher and has college potential. Although Camp Courage primarily serves Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota and North Dakota, participants from other states are welcome. If you would like to know more contact Courage Center Camping Department at (612) 520-0504 (Voice), (612) 520-0245 (TTY), or


In August, Kris will travel to Empire, Colorado for the Easter Seal "Leadership Camp." DO-IT will provide Internet training and presentations on transitioning to college and employment for approximately 50 campers age 15 to 21 who have a variety of physical disabilities. Camp activities run August 2-8 and include swimming, arts and crafts, overnight camping, horseback riding, and more! For more information, contact camp director Christine Newell, or Mary Kay, at (303) 892-6063.

Here are just a few enthusiastic comments from campers and staff who participated in '97 DO-IT camp programs:

"This is so cool!"

"I like them. I like how you can do email on 'em. I like all the new web sites."

"I think the computers are great for the campers. They get to use them a lot and some never get to get on the net so this is a great experience for them."

"I think it's the best thing that they have got here."

We expect an encore performance in summer '98 - hope to see you there!

DO-IT is working to expand our camp offerings across the country. If you are involved with a summer camp that would like to partner with DO-IT to offer Internet and college/career preparation activities for your campers, contact the DO-IT office.

What DO-IT Does

DO-IT is increasing the representation of people with disabilities in science, engineering, mathematics, and technology academic programs and careers. DO-IT uses computer technology, adaptive technology, and the Internet to help individuals with disabilities reach academic and career goals. Primary funding is provided by the National Science Foundation and the State of Washington. Additional grants have been received from NEC Foundation of America, the Seattle Foundation, the Telecommunications Funding Partnership, the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. West Communications, Washington State Services for the Blind, and Visio Corporation. It has won national awards for its unique programs, including the National Information Infrastructure Award in Education and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring. DO-IT was also showcased at the 1997 Presidents' Summit on Volunteerism. DO-IT supports several key initiatives:

K-12 to College Transition

DO-IT Scholars are high school students with disabilities who have an interest and aptitude in science, engineering, mathematics, or technology, and who have a desire to attend college. DO-IT Scholars attend live-in summer study programs at the University of Washington and communicate electronically with each other as well as mentors.

DO-IT Pals form an electronic community of pre-college students with disabilities from around the world. They are supported by one another and by DO-IT Mentors in their efforts to pursue college degrees and careers.

DO-IT Campers participate in Internet, science, and college preview programs at existing camps for children and youth with disabilities. Some campers become DO-IT Pals.

Two-Year to Four-Year College Transition

DO-IT 2-4 helps students with disabilities in community colleges successfully transition to four-year schools.

School-to-Work Transition

DO-IT CAREERS (Careers, Academics, Research, Experiential Education, and Relevant Skills) works to increase the participation of students with disabilities in work-based learning programs such as internships and cooperative education. It helps them to meet school-to-work challenges as well as those related to their disabilities.

Training Teachers

DO-IT MATH-SCI helps teachers and faculty of science and mathematics understand the potential contributions and accommodation needs of students with disabilities.

Access to College, Employment, WWW, Libraries, Labs

DO-IT supports a broad community through workshops, presentations, publications, videotapes, electronic discussion lists, and the World Wide Web. Topics covered include adaptive technology, transition to college and employment for individuals with disabilities, accessible Web page design, accessible libraries and labs, and strategies for accommodating and including individuals with disabilities in the classroom and workplace. DO-IT has created a thriving electronic community through its discussion lists and World Wide Web site.

Key Staff Members

Dr. Sheryl Burgstahler, director

Dan Comden, technology specialist

Kathy Cook, counselor/coordinator

Marvin Crippen, technology research assistant

Deb Cronheim, research coordinator

Dr. Steve Nourse, DO-IT 2-4 & MATH-SCI coordinator

James O'Connor, counselor/assistant

Kristin Otis, DO-IT counselor/coordinator

Julie Smallman, CAREERS coordinator

DO-IT Dictionary

Confused by some of the DO-IT lingo? Here's a dictionary of some of the DO-IT terms.

adaptive (é -dap'tiv) adj. technology (tê k -nô l'è -jee) n. Specialized equipment and software that allows people with disabilities to use computers and networks.

DID-IT (did-it) n. Past tense of DO-IT. Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology, a project to increase the participation of people with disabilities in science, engineering, and mathematics academic programs and careers.

DO-IT Ambassador (doo-it- am-bas'é -dé r, -dô r') n. A previous Scholar who graduated from high school and now continues to participate in DO-IT by helping the program and guiding younger Scholars.

DO-IT Mentor (doo-it- më n'tô r', -tè r) n. An adult who is in college or career who helps Scholars and Ambassadors as they pursue academics and careers. The address of their discussion list is

DO-IT News (doo-it- nooz, nyooz) n. The DO-IT newsletter that features stories, articles, and events about the DO-IT program, participants, and disability-related issues.

DO-IT Pal (doo-it- palz) n. An electronic community of teens with disabilities perparing for college and careers.

DO-IT Scholar (doo-it- skö l'é r)n. See Phase I, II, III Scholars.

DO-IT Summer Study (doo-it- sû m'é r- stû d'ee) n. A live-in summer program at the University of Washington in Seattle where DO-IT Scholars participate in science, engineering, and mathematics lectures and labs; live in residence halls; and practice skills which will help them to be independent and successful in college and careers.

doitkids (doo-itkids) n. The name of the electronic list that includes DO-IT Scholars and Ambassadors. The full address is

doitpals (doo-it- palz) n. The electronic discussion list for DO-IT Pals. The full address is

doitsem (doo-itsê m') n. The discussion list for anyone interested in promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities in science, engineering, and mathematics programs and careers. The Internet address is doitsem

You can join the list by sending a message to

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

NSF (en- es- ef) n. The National Science Foundation. A grant from NSF funds DO-IT operations.

Phase I Scholar (fâ z- wû n- skö l'é r) n. A high school student from the time they are accepted into the DO-IT Scholars program through the completion of their first Summer Study at the University of Washington.

Phase II Scholar (fâ z- too- skö l'é r) n. Phase I graduates who continue their DO-IT participation through the second Summer Study at the University of Washington.

Phase III Scholar (fâ z- three-skö l'é r ) n. Phase II graduates who retain this title until they attend college and become a DO-IT Ambassador.

You can DO-IT! (yoo- kan- doo-it) The DO-IT motto.

Another Claim to Fame!

Congratulations to DO-IT Scholar Trent, and DO-IT Ambassador David, who will be inducted into the 1998 Youth Hall of Fame.

The Youth Hall of Fame honors ordinary youth for being extraordinary! Young people who are taking positive action toward their dreams and goals, and who are voluntarily giving back to others. Trent and David have both signed the Youth Hall of Fame Pledge, to mentor and encourage another person in the coming year.

The Youth Hall of Fame International is a 501c3 non-profit corporation whose mission is to recognize, document, publicize, and celebrate the inspiring contributions of the world's youth. Trent and David have both designed their own individual hand-etched tiles that will be part of the Greater Seattle Youth Wall of Fame!

Congratulations from DO-IT!!!

Once the honors were announced via the Internet, congratulations were received from around the world. What follows is one comment from a DO-IT Pal.

  • DO-IT has received much recognition for the accomplishments of the DO-IT program and the key personnel involved in creating the DO-IT model. From the seeds of an idea to getting the sponsorship, to attracting talented youth to becoming involved in the various aspects of DO-IT. And this is nothing short of fantastic. But when the participants of DO-IT receive recognition, this is even greater because it truly is a mark of success of the DO-IT Program to do just that, DO-IT!

    Ditto in the congratulations to youth who provide a fine role model for other youth to follow. Too often youth who do fine things are not recognized for their contributions. I salute these two exemplary young men and the program that recognized them. And additional congratulations to DO-IT for giving them the opportunities to focus on their strengths and to help them further their potential through the DO-IT program.

    Great stuff, keep it up and grow to even greater heights. Blessings to everyone involved.

Trent and David join other DO-IT participants who have been inducted into the Youth Hall of Fame. They include Jennifer, Matt, Nguyen, Matthew, and Priscilla. Way to go!

Calendar of Events

DO-IT Camps
Washington, Colorado, Minnesota. Contact the DO-IT office for information on Internet and college preview camps for children and youth with disabilities.
July 27-31, 1998
Las Vegas, NV. Workshops and exhibits regarding people with disabilities for educators, administrators, service providers, and other professionals. For information contact AHEAD, PO Box 21192, Columbus, OH 43221-0192; (614) 48804972 (Voice/TDD);
1998 Youth Leadership Forum for Students with Disabilities
August 3-6, 1998
Sacramento, CA. For more information call (916) 654-8055 (Voice); (916) 654-9820 (TDD); (800) 695-0350.
ISAAC 98 - International Society for Augmentative & Alternative Communication
8th Biennial Conference
August 24-27, 1998
Dublin, Ireland. For more information contact, Jacqueline Berkeley, Conference Director, Incentive Conference Ireland, 1 Pembroke Place, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, Ireland; +353 1 6671711; Fax +353 1 66717131;
Speech Technology Conference
September 15-17, 1998
San Jose, CA. For more information, contact John A. Oberteuffer, PO Box 20817, San Jose, CA 95160; (408) 323-1783; FAX (408) 323-1782;
Assistive Technology Conference
September 17-19, 1998
Topeka, KS. Annual conference of assistive technology presentations and demonstrations sponsored by the Assistive Technology for Kansans Project and the Capper Foundation. For more information, contact Mary Dunbar or Mary Ann Keating, (913) 272-4060 or (800) 500-1034.
CUE Fall Conference
October 16-18, 1998
Santa Clara, CA. For more information, contact CUE, Inc., 1210 Marina Village Pkwy Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501;;
Closing the Gap Conference
October 20-29, 1998
Minneapolis, MN. Microcomputer technology in Special Education and Rehabilitation. A leading source for information on innovative applications of microcomputer technology for persons with disabilities. For more information, contact Closing the Gap Inc., PO Box 68, 526 Main Street, Henderson, MN 56044; (507) 248-3294; (507) 248-3810 (FAX);;
ASHA (American Speech-Hearing Association) Annual Convention
October 19-22, 1998
San Antonio, TX. For more information, call (301) 897-5700.
NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) Northwest Area Convention
October 29-31, 1998
Seattle, WA. For more information, call 1-800-400-NSTA or (703) 312-9399;
The Seventh Annual International Conference on Telecommunications and Multimedia in Education
(Tel*Ed '98)
October 29-31, 1998
New Orleans, LA. This conference will focus on how interactive networked multimedia learning environments can involve students, teachers, and other educational leaders in a worldwide community of leaders. For more information, contact Tel*Ed '98, 1277 University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon 97403-1277; (800) 280-6218 (US), (541) 346-3537 (Intl);;
WebNet 98-World Conference of the WWW, Internet, and Intranet
November 7-12, 1998
Orlando, FL. For more information contact, AACE International Headquarters, PO Box 2966, Charlottesville, VA 22902; (804) 973-3987; Fax (804) 978-7449;
Work Now and in the Future 15 Conference
November 8-10, 1998
Portland, OR. A three-day event with over 100 sessions featured to challenge people in education, business, labor, and industry to carry out educational reform. To provide ALL students a solid educational foundation. For more information contact the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, 101 SW Main Street Suite 500, Portland, OR 97204; (800) 547-6339 ext. 598; (503) 275-0443 (FAX);

More About DO-IT

DO-IT News is published at the University of Washington with input from the staff, Pals, Scholars, Ambassadors, and Mentors of DO-IT. DO-IT is primarily funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. To request more information.