DO-IT News May 2000: All Articles

This page features all the articles from the DO-IT News May 2000 newsletter. This newsletter can also be viewed article by article on the DO-IT News May 2000 page.

Director's Digressions

As we move into the twenty-first century, this is a good time to reflect on DO-IT's past achievements and take a look at where we're headed. Since its inception in 1992, DO-IT has enjoyed tremendous growth and has been the recipient of many awards. Here is a brief look at DO-IT's past, present, and future. In the last seven years, DO-IT has undertaken the following projects:

Picture of Sheryl with Students at Camp Courage
Sheryl with students at Camp Courage

In October 1992, the National Science Foundation funded DO-IT (grant #9255803). Its purpose was to increase the representation of individuals with disabilities in science, mathematics, engineering, technology academic programs and careers. Nationwide activities during this three-year project included summer programs; mentoring college and work preparation for students with disabilities; disability and technology awareness training for students, educators, and service providers; and information dissemination. The DO-IT Scholars program began with funding from the grant. The videotapes Working Together: People with Disabilities and Computer Technology and Working Together: Science Teachers and Students with Disabilities were created under this grant. They can be purchased through DO-IT for $25 each.

In 1995, successful DO-IT activities were continued and expanded through a three-year grant, DO-IT Extension, from the National Science Foundation (grant #9550003). Areas of expansion included the DO-IT Campers program, where DO-IT brings computer technology and college/career preparation activities to existing summer camps for youth with disabilities (see Summer Camps 2000). DO-IT Pals, a worldwide electronic community of youth and mentors with disabilities, was also developed under this grant (see related article Recruiting DO-IT Pals). The videotape, College: You Can DO-IT!, which sells for $25, was created with this funding.

In 1995, Electronic Resources in Libraries was funded by the Telecommunications Funding Partnership to create and disseminate materials in order to educate library staff and administrators about how to make their electronic resources accessible to individuals with disabilities. Materials developed through that grant are now disseminated through DO-IT and the American Library Association. The project videotape World Wide Access shows how to create accessible Web pages and is sold through DO-IT for $25.

In 1997, FIPSE (Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education), of the U.S. Department of Education, funded DO-IT 2-4 (grant #P116B71441). The three-year project was created to help students with disabilities successfully transition from two-year to four-year post-secondary institutions.

In 1997, the U.S. Department of Education funded DO-IT CAREERS (Careers, Academics, Research, Experiential Education, and Relevant Skills), a three-year project to help college students with disabilities gain work skills through cooperative education, internship, and other preparatory experiences (grant #H078C60047-97). Project training materials Career Development and Students with Disabilities are sold through DO-IT for $60. In addition, three videotapes, It's Your Career, Finding Gold: Hiring the Best and the Brightest, and Access to the Future: Preparing Students with Disabilities for Careers, are sold for $25 each.

In 1997 the DO-IT's mentoring program was recognized by receiving a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring. DO-IT received a $10,000 grant as part of the award. It was used to create a videotape, Opening Doors: Mentoring on the Internet, that is sold through DO-IT for $25.

In 1997, through a grant from the Seattle Foundation for DO-IT at CHMC, two computers, software, and adaptive technology were purchased for use in the "Teen Zone" by patients at Children's Hospital and Medical Center (CHMC) in Seattle. Patients use electronic mail, a World Wide Web browser, and word-processing software for academic and recreational activities.

NEC Foundation of America funded a grant in 1997 to develop Internet and college/career preparation materials to be distributed to camping programs for youth with disabilities nation-wide. These materials, titled Internet at Camp: How to DO-IT, are now sold through DO-IT for $60. In addition, the project videotape Camp: Beyond Summer is sold for $25.

In 1998, funding from Visio Corporation began supporting DO-IT's Show 'N Tell presentations to first grade classes in the Seattle and Spokane areas. Funds are used to pay successful college students with disabilities to deliver disability awareness presentations that are incorporated into classroom "show and tell'' activities.

In 1998, the Washington State Office of the Superintendent for Public Instruction funded DO-IT MATH-SCI (Making Accommodations That Help Schools Create Inclusion) with Eisenhower Professional Development Program Funds (grant #GR91915). In DO-IT MATH-SCI, pre-college math and science teachers were trained on how to fully include students with disabilities in laboratory and classroom activities. Training materials continue to be sold through DO-IT for $70. In addition, the project videotape presentation The Winning Equation is sold for $25.

In 1998, the National Science Foundation awarded a three-year grant (grant #9800324), Institutionalization of DO-IT, to institutionalize and replicate successful DO-IT practices in order to prepare more students with disabilities for college and careers; make information resources, programs, and facilities more accessible; and create more inclusive college and employment settings.

In 1999, the U.S. Department of Education (grant #H324M990010) funded CAREERS/K-12, a four-year project to increase employment opportunities and readiness for K-12 students with disabilities.

In 1999, the U.S. Department of Education's FIPSE program awarded a three-year grant (grant #P116D990138-01) to support CAREERS/Tech, a project to increase the representation of individuals with disabilities in the fields of business and technology.

The Samuel S. Johnson Foundation is the first to sponsor participants in the DO-IT Scholars program through the DO-IT in Your State program. Beginning in 1999, this three-year grant sponsored one student from the state of Oregon. Another student is being sponsored for three years beginning in 2000.

In 1999, Microsoft Corporation provided a grant to extend the DO-IT Campers program to two new states for two years through Microsoft Campers.

The JELD-WEN Foundation provided funding in 1999 to expand the program in the state of Oregon through the Oregon Campers project.

In 1999, the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation awarded a grant to create Lessons Learned, a book and videotape based on the successful practices of DO-IT and other programs. The project is creating a videotape and book that highlight what makes people with disabilities successful.

In 1999, the U.S. Department of Education funded DO-IT Prof to develop and deliver professional development programs to college and university faculty nation-wide. Delivery methods include printed material, videotapes, presentations, Internet-based distance learning, and the World Wide Web.

In 1999, the University of Washington provided funds for DO-IT to participate in the Diversity Scale-up project. This project extends efforts to recruit and retain individuals from underrepresented groups (women, racial/ethnic minorities, people with disabilities) in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at the University of Washington.

The state of Washington, beginning in July 1998, provides on-going funding for DO-IT activities. These funds support DO-IT Scholars, DO-IT Campers, DO-IT Pals, information dissemination, and other programs for Washington residents. Through this funding source, DO-IT opened an auxiliary office in Spokane. We are proud of DO-IT's accomplishments, but much work remains to be done. We look forward to continuing to increase the representation of individuals with disabilities in higher education and employment in 2000 and beyond!

DO-IT is Honored:

DO-IT has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards and invitations. The publicity and recognition provided by these awards have increased the impact of the project. Awards have included:

In December 1999, DO-IT was a recipient of the KCTS Golden Apple Award for excellence in education. DO-IT received $500 as part of the award.

In 1997, DO-IT's mentoring program was recognized by receiving a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring. The award recognizes long-term commitment to providing opportunities for greater participation in science and engineering by all Americans. A $10,000 grant was provided as part of the award.

DO-IT was invited to showcase its efforts at the 1997 President's Summit for America's Future. DO-IT was one of fourteen programs nationwide chosen to demonstrate their creative use of technology in advancing the cause of national service. A DO-IT Scholar joined staff to represent DO-IT at the Summit.

In the 1996 Dynamic Partnerships Invitational Conference, DO-IT was showcased with a booth and presentation panel in Washington, DC.

The 1995 National Information Infrastructure Award in education went to DO-IT for its creative use of the Internet to improve education.

DO-IT received the 1995 Organization Award from the Washington Association on Post-Secondary Education and Disability (WAPED) for, "an outstanding record of service to people with disabilities in higher education."

The 1995 Community Partnership Award from the King County Vocational/Special Education Cooperative was given to DO-IT for exemplary work in developing the careers of youth with disabilities in cooperation with schools.

In 1995, DO-IT received a Public Relations award from the Association for Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) for the videotape, Working Together: Faculty and Students with Disabilities.

DO-IT's videotapes to promote the success of individuals with disabilities have received praise locally, regionally, and nationally. Awards have included the Emerald City Award (see related article, DO-IT Video Director and UWTV Win Emerald City Awards).

DO-IT Camps 2000

Kristin Otis, DO-IT counselor/coordinator
Camp Courage Campers and staff in the 1999 internet and college preview program pose for a group picture
Camp Courage campers and staff

Summer is right around the corner and for DO-IT that means camps, camps and more camps. The DO-IT Campers program serves to teach children and youth with disabilities how to use computers, send electronic mail, and locate resources on the World Wide Web; prepare for success in college and employment; and network with other students and adult mentors with disabilities. DO-IT Camper activities are incorporated into existing summer camp activities and are tailored to individual camp needs and styles.

This year, in addition to our involvement with camps in Washington, California, Idaho, Minnesota, and Colorado, we have formed new partnerships with camps in Florida, Oregon, Maryland and Wisconsin! Here are some of the camps where you can expect to find DO-IT this summer:

  • Easter Seals Fairlee Manor, Chestertown, Maryland, 410-778-0566
  • Camp Courage, Maple Lake, Minnesota, 320-963-3121
  • Easter Seals Camp Wawbeek, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, 800-422-2324
  • Easter Seals West, Vaughn, Washington, 253-884-2722
  • Easter Seals Camp Harmon, Boulder Creek, California, 831-338-3383
  • Easter Seals Camp Challenge, Sorrrento, Florida, 352-383-4711
  • Muscular Dystrophy Summer Camp, North Bend, Washington, 253-627-7575
  • Summer Camp for Young Burn Survivors, North Bend, Washington, 206-789-6838
  • Easter Seals Oregon, Medford, Oregon, 541-552-1199
  • Camp Lots of Fun, Puyallup, Washington, 253-798-4753
  • Easter Seals Rocky Mountain Village, Empire, Colorado, 303-569-2333

The Washington camps are supported with funds from the State of Washington. Camps outside of Washington are supported with grants from the National Science Foundation (grant #HRD 9800324), Microsoft, and the JELD-WEN Foundation.

If you are interested in attending any of these camps, please contact the camp directly. If you know of camps that serve students with disabilities and who would like to incorporate Internet and/or college or work preparation into their programs, contact the DO-IT office.

Tips for College

DO-IT Scholars Chanon and Khrystal

All of us DO-IT Scholars have one or more disabilities. Some of us use wheelchairs while others can't see or hear too well. Some have learning disabilities. With our disabilities, some of us didn't, or still don't, think we can go to college. Now the ones that thought that are learning more and more that they can go to college and get the things they need to succeed in college. So, here are twenty helpful tips to help you with college.

  1. Have a positive attitude.
  2. Take classes in high school that will help you with your chosen major field.
  3. Preview the college in person before you attend it to check that it is all it is said to be.
  4. Make all necessary special arrangements with the disabled student services office and professors well in advance of starting your classes.
  5. Make sure to visit your professors during their office hours in the very beginning of the semester or prior to classes. This allows them to be able to get to know you and your unique needs personally.
  6. Check out the classrooms that you are scheduled to be using as well as the accessibility of the general area including halls, doors, and bathrooms.
  7. Determine what your optimal learning style and methods are, and use those methods to study.
  8. Set aside scheduled time to study in an area that is appropriate for your optimal learning style and method.
  9. Get sufficient sleep at night even if that means not cramming the whole night before a test. You will function better if your brain is awake.
  10. Become familiar with basic word processing programs as well as simple e-mail and Internet programs. They will be essential in college for chatting with distant friends, scheduling times with professors, and typing up papers.
  11. Keep a daily and monthly planner of all of the classes, activities, and other commitments you have made throughout the school year. Carry it with you at all times.
  12. Make up a preliminary roommate contract and stick to it, modifying it only if you both agree.
  13. Learn how to compromise with your college roommate.
  14. Learn how to budget your money. In college nobody has much of it, so you have to learn all of the little tricks, like buying in bulk, splitting perishables with your roommate, and buying generic. Also, try to carpool, not order out too much, and rent movies instead of going to the theater in order to save money.
  15. Spend some time volunteering in your community or school. Join organizations that allow you opportunities to interact with leaders in your community and develop connections.
  16. Get work experience before you graduate from college. Ideally, it will relate to your future major.
  17. Develop an independent attitude that allows you to accept both personal successes and failures.
  18. Learn to not take yourself too seriously and to laugh at your own mistakes. We all make them.
  19. Challenge yourself to try new things and embrace new opportunities.
  20. Make sure to set aside time to have fun and socialize. All work and no play makes you no fun to be with!

Breaking New Ground

DO-IT Scholar Isaiah

My disability first reared its ugly head when I was three years old. From then on, doctors have been stumped by my disability. They can't even name it. They have tried gate labs to genetic tests in an effort to give it a name. To this day they have made no progress. One may also assume that since my disability can't be associated with a set pattern, that my future is up in the air. As far as I know I am the oldest person with what is loosely called spinal-cerebellar degeneration. So every day is full of challenge as well as anxiety at what may happen.

When I was first "diagnosed" with my disability, my mother vowed to make my life as "normal" as possible. I'm sure it has been. I have attended regular schools all my life and have tackled the obstacles of normal kids as well as my disability, obstacles. I attended a science and technology high school. It was a magnet program that just started 6 to 7 years ago. I was the first disabled person in the program. After graduating, I continued my education at a private university. Many of my teachers haven't dealt with a disabled person before. I basically take the challenges presented one day at a time. My teachers have been very flexible; for example, they have changed activities sometimes while they're going on. But sometimes I have asked for accommodations early on, which I will have to do more and more in the future.

Advice for Students Transferring From a Two-Year to a Four-Year College

Aimee Elber, DO-IT 2-4 Participant
Picture of Aimee Elber
DO-IT 2-4 Participant Aimee Elber

The transition from a two-year college to a four-year school can be difficult for some students with disabilities. One piece of advice I would give to incoming transfer students is this: when you begin to register for classes, or even start thinking about what classes to take, find out about the professors who teach the courses you have in mind. Talk to students, other faculty members, and graduate students in the department. Go to Student Disabled Services and seek advice. You can even make an appointment with a specific professor yourself. Sometimes your success hinges upon the teaching methods of the professor. Can (or will) they accommodate your needs? Do they teach according to your learning style? Does the professor have a high success rate (students managing to consistently get A's or B's in the class)? Some professors will let you sit in during a class session, where you can usually get the answers to all of these questions. By "scoping out" a professor ahead of time, not only do you have the opportunity to gain insight about them, but you may also establish a relationship early on. So when classes finally do start, the professor may already be offering you help outside of class.

I encourage you to join our DO-IT 2-4 discussion list, if you are making the transition from a two- to a four-year college. The purpose of the group is for students attending two-year colleges to communicate with each other and with mentors. To join the discussion list, send email to with "subscribe doit2-4 Firstname Lastname" in the body of the message. Substitute your name for Firstname Lastname, without including quotation marks.

DO-IT Scholars Discuss Learning Styles

Kristin Otis, DO-IT counselor/coordinator
Picture of DO-IT Counselor/Coordinator Kristin with Scholar Kimberlee
DO-IT Counselor/ Coordinator Kristin with Scholar Kimberlee.

On a hot summer afternoon after a long day of Summer Study activities on the UW campus, a group of dedicated DO-IT Scholars came together to discuss learning strategies. Although, for most activities, Scholars work side-by-side with people who have disabilities other than their own, DO-IT understands the benefits of opportunities to share experiences, concerns, and strategies with peers who have disabilities similar to their own. The common thread for this particular group was that each Scholar was dealing with some sort of learning issue, as a result of his/her disability. The disabilities represented included specific learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Tourette syndrome, and head injury. First, I shared my experiences with dyslexia. Others followed as we discussed "Impacts" and "Solutions."

Each Scholar shared at least one way that a disability has impacted his/her ability to learn. Below we share our brainstorm list. We hope our ideas will benefit others.


  • Slow at taking tests
  • Slow reading
  • Messy handwriting
  • Difficulty expressing thoughts in writing
  • Difficulty keeping up with verbal output during a lecture
  • Unorganized
  • Easily distracted
  • Frustrated
  • Feeling stupid, overwhelmed

We all agreed that our disabilities do in fact impact our ability to learn. We also agreed that we all do have the ability to learn. Our next step was to list solutions that help us succeed in academics, in spite of our learning challenges. These solutions allow us to work to our full potential and demonstrate our true abilities!


  • Arrange for extended time on tests.
  • Take tests orally.
  • Outline ideas and information while reading or reviewing notes.
  • Use a computer (word processor and spell check).
  • Use different color pens to highlight key points.
  • Use colored transparent screens to cover pages while reading.
  • Use large print font on the computer.
  • Use a grammar check.
  • Utilize study groups.
  • Talk to the instructor to find out what they would suggest doing to succeed in the class.
  • Control the environment to minimize distractions.
  • Study during times of the day when you have the most energy.
  • Take breaks from reading to keep mind fresh.
  • Tape-record lectures.
  • Read out loud to yourself or have someone else read to you.
  • Get notes from the teacher or another person in the class.
  • Use a class planner.

In summary, we found that we have some common solutions, as well as some unique solutions. We found that a strategy that may make a difference for one person, may not help another. We also learned that we are the ones who need to figure out what works for us. Others can make suggestions, but it's up to the individual to try out an accommodation and then decide whether it provides a solution. The key is to keep trying until you find something that works! Become an expert on your disability and the accommodations that work for you.

Many of the DO-IT Scholars in this group are becoming active in the decision-making process for accommodations at school. How liberating! Once you're in college you are the decision-maker, so it is encouraging to learn that this process is beginning to take place for the Scholars. DO-IT Scholars are learning how to set and achieve their goals! We continue this ongoing process on our Internet discussion list for participants and mentors with learning issues.

As Scholars focus on their transition from high school to college and from college to career, they need to plan on adapting solutions to a new environment. Solutions that may work in a school context may not apply in a work setting. One may find, depending on what type of occupation is pursued, that more accommodations are needed at work or vice versa. I like to think of my disability as a life-long opportunity to use my creative energy to achieve success! Any other ideas?

DO-IT Prof Does-It!

Sheryl Burgstahler

DO-IT Prof, funded by the U.S. Department of Education (grant #P33A990042), began in September, 1999. Its purpose is to help faculty and administrators at post-secondary institutions become better prepared to fully include individuals with disabilities in their classes. Project team members were selected from twenty-four colleges and universities nation-wide. Each team member selected a partner school, making a total of forty-eight schools from twenty-four states represented in the project. The "Prof" part of the title represents "professional," a description of the quality of material created, and "professors," our primary audience. On February 15-18 a working session was held in Seattle to begin project collaborations between team members. Our goals for the meeting included:

Picture of Drs. Richard Radtke, University of Hawaii professor and DO-IT Prof team member; Robert Stodden, Director of the Rehabilitation and Training Center and Post-secondary Educational Supports
Sheryl Burgstahler, director of DO-IT, co-present at the 200 Pac Rim conference.

Working Relationships

  • to develop a collaborative team spirit and working relationships between team members
  • to begin to develop tasks, strategies and timelines for DO-IT Prof team members/partners and project staff


  • to listen to/discuss/brainstorm/summarize needs/expectations/concerns of students with disabilities and faculty through focus groups, panels, and team member experiences
  • to consider common and contrasting issues faced by students and faculty at two- and four-year schools and their impact on project materials and on working relationships between two- and four-year schools


  • to draft evaluation and data collection instruments
  • to discuss ideas for showing student impact in the areas of attendance and graduation rates

Project Products

  • to share ideas regarding ways to deliver professional development to faculty on our campuses
  • to begin to consider/prioritize content for presentations, especially for "Model 3"
  • to develop ideas regarding areas to research to form a theoretical/research basis for the materials/strategies we develop
  • to facilitate team members selecting specific areas of project work and begin formulating small group outcomes, timelines and working relationships

We made significant progress on all objectives. The input from team members as a group and in special interest groups now provides the foundation for our ongoing project efforts. Most communication related to the project will take place via electronic mail.

Our meeting provided a great first-step in a very important undertaking!

DO-IT Profiles

Here's your chance to learn more about the participants in DO-IT.

DO-IT Scholar Profile
by Tynesha

Picture of DO-IT Scholar Tynesha
DO-IT Scholar, Tynesha.

Hi, my name is Tynesha. I am a senior at Ingraham High School. I am a member of the Future Business Leaders of America. I am also the manager of our school store. I have been in the musical theater department since my sophomore year, and have put in a lot of hard work, time, and effort to help make our musicals successful. And since my freshman year I have been co-chair, then chairman, and a member this last year of our Winter Ball committee. My hobbies are hanging out with my friends, reading mystery books, listening to music, talking on the phone, playing games on my computer and shopping for things that interest me. My lifetime dreams are of becoming a sign language/Japanese interpreter. I have just completed my second year in Japanese. After I graduate in '00, I plan to attend Seattle Central Community College where I will start to achieve my dream.

DO-IT Ambassador Profile
by Laura

Picture of DO-IT Ambassador Laura
DO-IT Ambassador, Laura.

Greetings from Hendrix College! It's been three years since I joined the DO-IT program as a high school sophomore. I've been to two Summer Studies as a DO-IT Scholar, and I served as an Intern last summer. What I will remember the most about those three summers is how fun and exciting they were, and how I met a bunch of great people.

Thus far, college life has been great - full of new and exciting things, challenging classes, and new opportunities. I am in my freshman year, and I am undecided about my major. I participate in a couple of extra-curricular activities, including Chamber Orchestra, but I also spend a lot of time doing classwork. It has paid off, though, because my classes have gone well, and the other activities allow for some fun on the side.

I have enjoyed meeting the new challenges that college has to offer and I am sure I can succeed because of the experiences I have gained through high school and in the DO-IT program.

I hope this is a great year for everyone. See you in cyberspace (when I'm not doing chemistry homework...).

DO-IT 2-4 Profile
by Peggy Thomas

Hi! I am a mother of four children. I have been divorced for 5 years. I went back to school because I did not want to struggle with bills the rest of my life. I am a program coordinator for a counseling and psychiatric clinic. I have been working here for two years and I love my job. I have cerebral palsy and have just recently found more information on the Web about this. I have found it extremely difficult to convince a prospective employer that I am worth every cent they spend on me (a fact that comes to light soon after hiring me) and to pay me at a rate that matches the level of my contribution.

by Katrina

Photo portrait of Katrina

DO-IT Careers participants, Katrina

My name is Katrina. I am nineteen years old and live in Kenmore, Washington. At the age of five I fell off my bike and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Since that time I have been a strong advocate for the use of bike helmets and the rights of people with disabilities. In fact, I work for an organization called Think First. I go into schools to share my story and encourage others to wear bike helmets. I am a senior at the Secondary Academy of Success (SAS). In the fall I plan to attend Cascadia Community College in Bothell, WA. I have been involved with DO-IT since 1998 when I was selected as a Phase I Scholar. I also participate in the DO-IT CAREERS project. DO-IT has helped me to expand my leadership and work skills, and I will continue to improve upon these skills as an Intern at Summer Study. The CAREERS project has helped me to explore careers that meet my many interests. Last year, I participated in an internship with Disability Resource Center. This job helped me to assess my ability to perform essential job functions and allowed me to earn high school credit. Additionally, I was able to explore my career interest in working for an agency that advocates for the rights of people with disabilities.

DO-IT has helped me to become involved with the National Leadership Conference for Youth with Disabilities. Last summer, I was selected to attend the National Youth Leadership Conference for Youth with Disabilities in Washington, D.C. This year, I have been chosen to serve on the Executive Board for the 2000 National Youth Leadership Conference. This opportunity will allow me to help create an exciting conference for other youth with disabilities, learn more about ways to advocate for people with disabilities, and develop and refine leadership skills that will help me to succeed at school and at work. The DO-IT program has opened many doors for me and will continue to do so in the future.

Congratulations to Katrina for winning the "Millennium Mentor Award" through the Boys and Girls Clubs. This award is given to teens who are making a difference in their community through mentoring other teens and being a positive role model. Katrina was nominated for the work she has done with DO-IT, Think First, and the National Committee on Disability and Employment.

Katrina was presented with her awa-TV program called "Around the Sound."

Congratulations once again Katrina. This award is a wonderful acknowledgment for all of your hard work and efforts. Keep up the good work!

DO-IT Mentor Profile
by John Armstrong

I grew up in Poulsbo, Washington, which is a small community north of Bremerton on the Kitsap Peninsula. I contracted polio at the age of three (1952) just a few years before the Salk vaccine became available. I am a quadriplegic in a motorized wheelchair.

I attended the UW during a very exciting time (1968-72) when there was an incredible amount of student activism relating to the Civil Rights movement and the Anti-War movement. I received my BA in Social Welfare in 1972. I've spent the last 26 years working at the University of Washington, first as an academic counselor and for the last 15 years as the director of admissions for the School of Social Work.

I am interested in issues of equity, justice, and disability concerns. Beyond my involvement with the DO-IT program, I am a member of the University of Washington's Committee on Access. I hope to also help out with the development of a Disabilities Studies Program at the UW, too.

Outside of work, my interests include baseball (really big Mariners fan), reading modern literature, and working with computers. I also have two cats, Bear and Couscous, who take up most of my disposable income and affection.

DO-IT Staff Profile
by Lyla Crawford

Photo portrait of DO-IT counselor/coordinator Lyla Crawford
DO-IT Staff member, Lyla.

Hi! My name is Lyla Crawford and I am a Counselor/Coordinator for the DO-IT Program. I am based in the Spokane office and work on grants related to Eastern Washington efforts. I joined the DO-IT staff about three years ago, shortly after receiving my Master's Degree in Developmental Psychology. Why did I choose to major in Psychology? The answer is really quite simple. I became fascinated with how the human mind works. I wanted to know how and why we do things. What I discovered during my education was that the human mind is still a mystery. Through advancing technology, we have been able to unlock and study some of the mysteries, but we have really only just begun. I also liked the fact that Psychology is a field that is always changing and evolving. It is this ever-changing piece that drew me to DO-IT. I like the fact that we are always open to new ideas. I enjoy being part of an organization that seeks to find solutions and new ways of doing things to help people.

After work, you can usually find me at home trying to find some peace and quiet (which in my house is hard to do with a four-year old son running around). When I can find some time to myself, I love to read, grow plants, and I also do a lot of needlework.

Recruiting DO-IT Pals

Kathy Cook, DO-IT counselor/coordinator

You've heard of the DO-IT Scholars. You've heard of the DO-IT Campers. You've heard of the DO-IT Mentors. Well, watch out for the DO-IT Pals! DO-IT Pals form an electronic community of pre-college students from around the world with disabilities that support one another in their efforts to pursue college degrees and careers in science, engineering, mathematics, and technology. They communicate with each other, get advice from DO-IT Mentors and participate in projects throughout the year. To become a DO-IT Pal you must:

  • be a junior high or high school student
  • have access to a computer and the Internet
  • be interested in attending a 2- or 4-year college
  • want to communicate and work together with other students with disabilities who have common interests

Contact DO-IT for a DO-IT Pals application packet.

DO-IT on the Wall of Fame

Kathy Cook, DO-IT counselor/coordinator

The Youth Hall of Fame (YHF) is a Seattle-based, non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire youth to become positive role models by recognizing and publicizing their positive contributions to the community. Selected YHF youth are provided an opportunity to leave a legacy in their community on a permanent Youth Wall of Fame. Walls are built with tiles designed by honorees and contain a personal message (in pictures and/or words) to inspire future generations. Since 1990, YHF has helped to recognize, celebrate, encourage and document more than 2,000 school-age youth who are trying to make a difference in their own way.

The following DO-IT Scholars were recognized in 1996 (the statements after their names are the messages written on their tiles). Their Youth Wall of Fame is located at the University Village QFC grocery store in Seattle:

Jeff: "The Lord's my strength and my refuge"

Matt: "Deaf people can do anything but hear. I believe it and plan to prove it."

Jennifer: "If everyone accepted everyone's difference then there would be no difference."

Matthew: "Technology: The great equalizer."

Priscilla: "Believe in your dreams...pursue your own destiny."

The following DO-IT Scholars were recognized in 1998. Their Youth Wall of Fame is located in the Pacific Place shopping center in downtown Seattle.

Minh: "Education is the key to success in the future."

David: "Stand tall in the face of adversity."

Trent: "A disability can only stop you if you let it."

Join us in congratulating these award winners. You can learn more about the YHF by sending a message to

DO-IT Receives Golden Apple Award

Kathy Cook, DO-IT counselor/coordinator
Picture of Sheryl with Terry Bergeson, Washington state Superintendent of Public Instruction at the Golden Apple Awards
Sheryl with Terry Bergeson, Washington StateSuperintendent of Public instruction receives the Golden Apple Award.

For the eighth year, the KCTS Golden Apple Awards recognized programs and people making dramatic differences in education. They honored five individuals and four programs or initiatives with KCTS Golden Apple Awards.

DO-IT has received a Golden Apple Award in recognition of its efforts to maximize the academic and career success of people with disabilities in challenging fields, such as science, engineering, and technology. DO-IT is a collaboration between Computing & Communications, the College of Engineering, and the College of Education at the University of Washington.

Sheryl Burgstahler, director, accepted the award from Patty Murray, U.S. Senator, on January 15, 2000 at a celebration in the Intiman Theater, Seattle. In part, Sheryl said, "On behalf of DO-IT's staff, mentors, volunteers, participants and advocates, I am honored to accept this award. Our shared vision is a world where all people have opportunities to participate, to contribute, and to succeed, regardless of their abilities and disabilities. The success of participants in college and careers and their contributions to their communities provide the best measures of success for DO-IT. The DO-IT participants are changing the world. And, they are making it a better place for all of us."

KCTS TV celebrates the leadership and achievements of this year's Golden Apple Awards winners by regularly airing the Award ceremony. The 10 Golden Apple Award recipients were selected from more than 200 nominations by parents, students, educators and community leaders as examples of outstanding educational models throughout Washington state. Please join us in honoring their leadership and accomplishments. For more information about the recipients of the Golden Apple Awards, please visit the Golden Apple Awards section of the KCTS Web site at

DO-IT Video Director and UWTV Win Emerald City Awards

Laura Levitin-Wilson, DO-IT operations manager

Video director Charlie Hinckley won an Emerald City Award for video productions in the Motivation under $20,000 category for Finding Gold: Hiring The Best and the Brightest. This videotape is designed to help employers and staff in cooperative education, internship, and work-based learning programs fully include participants with disabilities. It was funded by a U.S. Department of Education grant (#H078C0047-97) that supports DO-IT CAREERS. Julie Smallman is the coordinator of this three-year project. The award winning video is available from DO-IT for $25.

The 17th Annual Emerald City Awards were presented by the Seattle Chapter of the International Television Association. Each year producers and production companies from across the Northwest, from Oregon to Alaska and from Washington to Montana, submit video productions for the Emerald City Awards. Most entries are industrial and corporate in-house production facilities and educational and government production organizations. The hundreds of entries this year included those from American Production Services, Pinnacle Studios, Boeing Video Services, Caribiner International, Microsoft Studios, Safeco, TVW, Washington State University, Screaming Flea Productions, Talking Dog Media, The Bon Marché and Flying Rhino.

DO-IT thanks Charlie Hinckley and UWTV production and engineering for helping DO-IT consistently produce outstanding educational programs.

See DO-IT Videotape and Training Materials Order Form for current pricing info.

Tech Tips: Spam and Hoaxes

Doug Hayman, adaptive technology specialist
Picture of DO-IT Staff Member Doug Hayman
DO-IT Staff Member, Doug Hayman

Those of us that use e-mail on a regular basis have been exposed to both spam (unsolicited junk e-mail) and hoaxes (blatantly false e-mail intended to alarm others, spread urban myths, or to just plain spread like wildfire no matter the content). For the occasional user of e-mail, these may seem a minor inconvenience. To the rest of us, these can be very disruptive.

We can take a pro-active stance to minimize the impact of spam and hoaxes on the important things we'd like to accomplish with e-mail. To reach this goal, we must limit the number of people who have access to our e-mail address. Additionally, we need to not become part of the problem by being the source of spam and hoaxes e-mailed on to others.

Whereas junk mail, in the traditional sense of the word, requires tangible items to mail and postage expenses, junk e-mail does not. It costs no more to send one e-mail advertisement than it does to send ten thousand. Spam e-mail can become much more of a problem for the recipient as it doesn't require much in the way of financial investment from the sender. The sender, or spammer, of this unsolicited junk e-mail thrives on maintaining a list of known active e-mail addresses. Tools created to "harvest" e-mail addresses from the Internet make it easy to create a list of valid addresses. Once they create a list of addresses, the spammer just floods the 'net with junk. Those that reply with complaints to the junk mail sender just validate to them that the address is current and active. Spammers often sell valid e-mail addresses to each other.

The best means of dealing with spam is prevention - minimize the avenues for others to acquire your e-mail address. One way to do this and still participate on the Internet, is to have multiple accounts. For those postings you do that will be widely available, use an account other than your primary, important account. This strategy can be carried out by obtaining a free e-mail account through such services as Hotmail™ or Yahoo™.

In order to prevent your cyber-correspondents from falling prey to spammers, it is wise to create mailing distribution lists that don't reveal all the recipients in the e-mail. That way, if the mail gets forwarded to some undesirable individual, the damage is minimal and your friend's e-mail addresses remain hidden.

Once your e-mail address has fallen into the hands of the "enemy," stopping the junk mail can be more problematic. To learn more about spam, and how to deal with it check out the following Web sites:

Coming in a close second to the irritation of spam are hoaxes. These e-mail messages don't attempt to sell as much as they attempt to be perpetuated throughout the Internet like breeding rabbits. Once you have received several of these messages, the formula becomes familiar and you will recognize them as hoax material. New e-mail users are often the most vulnerable to believing and passing them on to others with good intention.

Hoax messages take on several predictable formats. One is the "get rich by doing little or nothing" scenario. A second strain purports to bring good will to those who forward the message and, likewise, great misfortune to those who fail to do so. A variation on this is the type of message that promises a reward in the form of a cash or a trip for forwarding the message "to everyone you know." Another type preys on the fears of the computer user with claims that a particular event will cause their computer to be destroyed by a virus or worm program. The most notable of these was the "good times" virus. Unfortunately, receiving a virus via e-mail is a possibility and distinguishing between reality and myth takes a little investigation. Having a virus scanning program running on your system with the current virus signatures is an excellent measure. Unfortunately, these tools work by using a portion of recognizable virus code to filter the good from the bad. If the virus is new and not yet known to be in "the wild" it might not get detected by the virus scanning software. The best safeguard is not running programs or opening attachments from unknown/untrusted sources.

There are Web sites to further illustrate the nature of hoaxes. They list specific known hoaxes as well as typical formulas/formats of hoaxes to help Internet users develop skills necessary to discern truth from fiction. is a good place to search for information on a suspected hoax.

Spam and hoaxes needlessly clog the roadways of the Internet, adding to congestion and interrupting the desired processes of the e-mail user. An informed Internet user will minimize their exposure to receiving such mail and will respect the needs of others by refusing to pass such junk along to others.

The Thread: Disability Perspectives

Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph.D.

DO-IT participants engage in lively discussions on the Internet. In a conversation about personal perspectives on disabilities, adult DO-IT Mentors shared experiences and insights with young participants with disabilities and some of our younger participants came up with some insights of their own. Here are just a few paraphrased gems that appeared in our e-mail discussion. Together they document the wide range of perspectives on the topic.

  • Walking is NOT the defining factor in the status of being a person. It does not raise or lower who you are, unless that is what you allow it to do.
  • There is NO truth to the rumor that all we think of as persons with disabilities is being "normal." What is that anyway?
  • One of the major problems many people with disabilities have with the rehabilitation mode of thinking (not that all approaches in rehab are bad - just some of the theoretical ideas), is that it often uses some artificial concept of "normal." This concept is often based on able-bodied ideals and bears little or no resemblance to the realities of people with disabilities. The all-fired importance and value of walking is a key example of this. Sure, there is some value to walking - exercise, curbs, etc... The fact is, though, that some of the same people that are urging us on to walk are the same ones who put the curbs there in the first place. If people want to help me, they should support me to get what I can out of my body. That's great. Just try to be realistic about it and don't put up other barriers while you're urging me to walk.
  • I don't want to be viewed as "normal," but, rather, gifted and unique. Everyone lacks some ability. We are all gifted and unique in our own way. For example, many people have the gift of being able to have full control of their bodies. I have other gifts such as a mind for math and the ability to teach myself things very quickly. People without those abilities are not disabled but gifted in other ways. Calculators and books can compensate for the "lack" of math skills. In the same way, technology can compensate for the lack of mobility ability.
  • If we did live based on what we cannot do, life would be terribly boring, dull, pointless, and depressing. Life is far too short to dwell on what isn't there.
  • We do have the RIGHT to feel sorry for ourselves and we could definitely get enough pity to get by in life, but then our lives would be wasted. When we DON'T feel sorry for ourselves, others see that and sometimes wonder why THEY feel sorry for themselves.
  • It is within our power to change how people see us.
  • The difference between today and forty years ago is that we have the voice to say, "yes, I need help. I also deserve the right to be proud of who I am and to demand that your help is not conditioned on, or does not imply that my person is without value equal to yours." We no longer have to accept pity in order to get money/services/whatever. We can, and should, demand that one does not dictate the other.
  • Thank God for humor. Without it life really WOULD be a big freak show! I take a huge amount of comfort in the talent I have for laughing at myself. In fact, my nickname is SPAZZ, after the famous spastic reflexes of a CP kid like myself. If I didn't have my sense of humor, high school would be nearly impossible.
  • I honestly think that too much emphasis is put on labels. We are who we are, no matter what labels people put on us. I get so sick of reading magazine articles about people who feel used and put down because they are called "disabled athletes" instead of "athletes with a disability". The important thing is that the athlete is getting recognition they deserve, which rarely happens in wheelchair sports. We need to focus more on where we are moving in society and our accomplishments than on little trivial things like labels, or we will never be taken seriously.
  • I can count the number of times I've seen a person with a disability portrayed on a TV show or movie on one hand. Usually, when it does happen, the whole program is based on the person's disability rather than it just being a normal part of life. Maybe, if television would casually portray people with disabilities having normal lives with normal jobs and normal friends, the labels would eventually fade away.
  • I noticed myself that most people don't know how to act around people with disabilities. I also found that when I am myself and talk to them and give them information about my disabilities, they get more comfortable. It's just helping them understand.
  • It's the choices we make on how we see things and deal with them that make us who we are and how we handle things such as our disabilities. If we learn to respect ourselves and try to achieve all that we can, others will respect us also. But that doesn't really matter because what matters is how we feel about who we are.

Opening Doors: Mentoring on the Internet

Sheryl Burgstahler and Deb Cronheim

Most of us can think of people in our lives, more experienced than ourselves, who have supplied information, offered advice, presented a challenge, initiated friendship, or simply expressed an interest in our development as a person. Without their intervention, we may have remained on the same path, perhaps continuing a horizontal progression through our academic, career, or personal lives.

The term "mentor" has its origin in Homer's Odyssey when a man named Mentor was entrusted with the education of the son of Odysseus. Today, mentoring is associated with a variety of activities including teaching, counseling, sponsoring, role modeling, job shadowing, academic and career guidance, and networking.

DO-IT Mentors are valuable resources to their DO-IT Scholars and Pals in DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology). Most Mentors are college students, faculty, practicing engineers, scientists, or other professionals who have disabilities. DO-IT Scholars and Pals are making plans for post-secondary education and employment. Their disabilities include visual, hearing, mobility, and health impairments, as well as specific learning disabilities.

Some Mentors meet DO-IT Scholars and Pals during Summer Study programs and at camps and other DO-IT activities across the United States. However, most mentoring in DO-IT takes place via the Internet. Through electronic communications and projects using the Internet, mentors promote personal, academic, and career success. Mentors provide direction and motivation, instill values, promote professionalism, and help Scholars develop leadership skills. As one Scholar noted, "It feels so nice to know that there are adults with disabilities or who know a lot about disabilities, because I think that people who are about to go to college or start their adult life can learn a lot from mentors..." As reported by another Scholar, she had never met an adult with a hearing impairment like hers before getting involved in DO-IT: "But when I met him, I was so surprised how he had such a normal life, and he had a family, and he worked with people who had normal hearing. So he made me feel a lot better about my future." As participants move from high school to college and careers they too become mentors, sharing their experiences with younger participants.

Electronic communication eliminates the challenges imposed by time, distance, and disability that are characteristic of in-person mentoring. For example, participants who have speech impairments or are deaf do not need special assistance to communicate via electronic mail. Those who cannot use the standard keyboard because of mobility impairments, use adaptive technology to operate their computer systems.

DO-IT encourages one-to-one communication between Scholars, Pals, and Mentors via electronic mail. It also facilitates communication in small groups through the use of electronic discussion lists. For example, one group includes both Mentors, Pals, and Scholars who are blind. They discuss common interests and concerns such as independent living, speech and Braille output systems for computers, and options for displaying images and mathematical expressions.

The DO-IT program received national recognition with The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mentoring "for embodying excellence in mentoring underrepresented students and encouraging their significant achievement in science, mathematics, and engineering." It was also showcased in the President's Summit on Volunteerism and received the National Information Infrastructure Award "for those whose achievements demonstrate what is possible when the powerful forces of human creativity and technologies are combined." With the financial gift associated with its Presidential Award for Mentoring, DO-IT created a brochure and videotape ($25) titled Opening Doors: Mentoring on the Internet. To order this videotape, send a request and check to the DO-IT office.

As The Web Turns: Things No One Ever Told You About College

  • You can never make too many meals in a hot pot.
  • Going to the mailbox was never an ego booster/breaker before.
  • You will begin to nap again.
  • Your bookstore bill will almost equal tuition.
  • Squirt guns = 3D stress relief.
  • E-mail becomes your second language.
  • Frat parties are like they're shown on TV.
  • You never realized so many people were smarter than you.
  • Western Europe could be wiped out by a horrible plague, and you'd never know, but you can recite last week's episode of "South Park" verbatim.
  • Care packages are right up there with birthdays.
  • College guys/girls are the same as high school guys/girls, only with more freedom, less money, and no curfew.
  • You should learn to love your roommate, especially when they leave you the room.
  • Classes: the later the better.
  • Cereal makes a meal any time of the day.
  • Beware of the guy in the Care Bear toga.
  • Keys have never been so important, yet you seem to lose them even more.
  • You realize college is the ideal lifestyle, except for those pesky classes.
  • Procrastination is an art form.
  • The only time to dress up is when all your jeans are dirty.
  • Gas money makes a great gift.
  • You are never alone.
  • You learn to like all the music that one person blares every morning as they get dressed.
  • You begin to miss animals from home.
  • You make tons of friends, yet there is that one that you feel like you have known for life.
  • Laundry is a chore. Where is Mom when you need her?
  • There are already "College remember when's" and we have only been here for 3 months!
  • WOW are those showers gross!
  • No matter where you are after college, life will never be the same!

Summer Study: What Did the Phase II Scholars Do?

Phase II Scholars return to the University of Washington campus for their second Summer Study. They meet the Phase I Scholars as they participate in their first Summer Study, learn about college life and career preparation, and participate in a one-week workshop with postsecondary instructors. The following eight articles summarize some of the experiences of the 1998 and 1999 Phase II Scholars.

Outside, Inside, and On

by DO-IT Phase II Scholars Alexi, Brad, Veronica, Sharon, and Josh

Our group of Phase II Scholars learned about Implicit Solid Modeling (ISM). First we learned that functions have a graph and a geometric shape associated with it. We also learned the "Outside, Inside, and On" test which allowed us to determine if an object is solid. In addition, we used Maple, a computer algebra program, to create a 2D and eventually a 3D model of a jack. Our work in developing a 3D model of a jack was so we could build an actual jack with the use of a computer-controlled mill. The purpose of our workshop was to "use math to build objects."

Game of Life

by DO-IT Phase II Scholars Andrew, Ben, Michael, and DO-IT Intern Laura

Who would have thought that small colored dots on a grid could be so fascinating? The Game of Life taught us how. Our group learned about Java programming and, with that as our tool, we caused these small colored dots to do all sorts of neat things. At first we used the rules of the classic game of life which use the number of "neighbors" any "live" (colored) cell had to see whether it "lived" or "died" (became black). Depending on what pattern of dots we started with, they could form a whole range of patterns. After that, we worked with changing the rules of the game and finding out what happened. The variety of things we were able to come up with and how much we learned was surprising. Every morning during the week we got to the computer lab at 9:00 and got down to work. After several adventures and "happy mistakes," everyone developed a few unique creations to present to the others in the lab and later, to all the rest of the DO-IT Scholars. Our final presentation marked the end of our project and some really fun times.


by DO-IT Phase II Scholars Crystal, Abe, Eddie, Matt, Justin, and Arnell

While attending the DO-IT program, six students including myself (Crystal) went to a workshop called MESA. MESA stands for Mathematics Science Engineering Achievement. In MESA we discovered how to do many things, including ways to accommodate each other and ourselves so that we all could get the project done in the best way possible. Our duties ranged from measuring with a ruler to doing mathematics with a calculator. All of us found it difficult to do certain things, so we worked together to solve each problem. We thought of ways to keep the same idea but change the procedures.

The specific unit we studied was Packaging and the Environment. In this unit we learned how mathematics in packaging design could help save cardboard. We learned to reduce the amount of packaging material used in packaging cereal by using mathematical equations. We learned a cube uses less cardboard than a rectangular box to enclose the same volume. We applied this knowledge to several more experiments and reversed it. We took the same surface area and all made our own designs to try and find the most effective shape to hold cereal with the most amount of volume. Our results were that a cube had the most volume.

Within our group there were some people who could not see well, or even at all. Other people had mobility issues and some had reading problems. By all of us working together we learned many ways to accommodate each other. Some ideas we came up with were to have digital rulers for those who have a hard time seeing. These rulers would talk and tell you the exact measurement. This would have been helpful when we were measuring our boxes. Another idea we had was to have a speaking calculator for someone who could not see at all. Some more accommodations we discussed were to have an attachment for a wheelchair that would hold papers - for example, a music stand that could be adjusted up or down according to the specific needs of a certain person. One accommodation idea was as simple as having a partner to help relay information or be the hands of someone who cannot use their own. All of these things are very easy and important in making a lab activity or experiment accessible.

We learned a lot about science while working with MESA. We also discovered different accommodations for those people who need them. I speak for all of us when I say that it was an awesome experience to be able to be a part of the MESA program.

Genetics Research Workshop

by DO-IT Phase II Scholars John, Corey, Katrina, Marissa, Todd, and DO-IT Intern Cheri

The basic theme of the workshop we conducted consisted of learning about cells that react to foreign objects in your body, learning about how they communicate with signals, and the way they actually heal around an object inside of a living organism. We learned the way these cells, macrophage, interact with each other and push a foreign object out of the body, being it a large piece of metal, or something as simple as a splinter.

These macrophage patrol the body all the time, and when they come across something that doesn't belong in the body, one attaches to the object. Other macrophage that come by see that the one is attached to the object, and follow its example. After a certain period of time, depending on how large the object is, the macrophage form a scar tissue wall around the object, to try to push out eventually. We learned so much in the lab from our instructor, Kjell, it was a great experience to learn from such a knowledgeable man.

We conducted a few experiments on oranges that were used to simulate mice. We weren't allowed to use an actual mouse in the experiment, so we had to kind of play pretend. First, we used these gold plates to see what kind of liquid was hydrophilic, or hydrophobic, by putting a drop of water onto the plate. We then used a scalpel to cut an opening in the protective tissue of an orange (simulated mouse) to see what would happen to hydrophilic substances, and hydrophobic substances, when placed in a live mammal. After cutting the orange, we prepared our gold plates in a sort of wire protective cover, to place under the orange's skin, to see what would happen in the three different liquids we used.

Technical Communication '98

by DO-IT Phase II Scholars Jennifer, Minh, Steven, Chris, and DO-IT Intern Trent

Those of us who participated in the technical communications workshop made a Web page describing in detail some of the daily activities of a DO-IT Scholar. On the first day, we decided what we wanted our project to be. We all thought it would make our project unique if we used video. It would give our audience of potential Scholars and parents a better understanding of what we do. From there we decided what we would film and when we would do it. Some of the activities we filmed were sumi painting, the dissecting of a sheep heart, and the computer lab. A few of us would film and all of us worked on the text of the page. The filming and the writing went smoothly. We edited and put the page together. All of us decided where everything would be placed on the page and enjoyed helping. The work was challenging, but it was a blast. It took teamwork and patience. We all left Summer Study knowing a little more about how to make Web pages and how interesting they are to create.

Technical Communication '99

by DO-IT Phase II Scholars Wesley, Hank, Kimberlee, Jessica, Jeffrey, and Isaiah

A group of six DO-IT Scholars, including myself (Wesley), participated in a Technical Communication workshop. The main focus of this workshop was to learn about the different aspects of desktop publishing and document production. With the help of our instructor, we decided that we would publish a best-of-the-web guide. To start with, each group member thought of ten of their favorite sites and grouped them into different categories. These lists were then merged. Each person's sites were then sorted based on specific topics they covered.

Our group learned how easy it was to design and publish a document using a simple desktop computer and a program such as Adobe PageMaker. It is fascinating to see the ease in which a person can select and incorporate the different elements of a document, and then change, reformat, or replace them in an instant. This workshop has been a very educational and fascinating experience for us.

VR Rocks!

by DO-IT Phase II Scholars David, Justin, Dustin, Brian, Ivan, and Buddy

For our Phase II workshop, we did a really cool thing, Virtual Reality (VR). VR technology is just starting to pick up and is one of the strongest emerging technologies in our new world. There are many types of VR and we dealt with all of them. Things such as force feedback, audio realism, 3D modeling, group environments and head-mounted displays are part of emerging technology in this field. Our workshop was mostly hands-on with this technology, with some lectures given by various experts on things such as visual interaction and military VR technology. We had a great time down at VR.

Virtual Reality Lab

by DO-IT Phase II Scholars Shavonne, Nichole, Jessie, Chris, Chanon, and Silas

We began our week of study discussing the visual aspects of Virtual Reality. Augmented Reality is a type of visual aid that applies guidelines which supplement reality. Most pilots use this type of reality to see the highlights and outlines of objects around them when they are flying. This technology would be used more often if ambient light did not interfere with this technology.

Before we were able to explore the lab, we had to learn the vocabulary that applied to each aspect of VR. A few of the terms that we learned were binocular, monocular, depth of field, aspect ratio/distortion, and optical infinity. We also discussed the different types of displays used in the VR field, beginning with the most common technology CRT (tube/regular TV), LCD (Liquid Crystal Display), and VRD (Virtual Retinal Display).

The next topic covered was haptics, which is your tactile awareness. We were able to explore this aspect of virtual reality using force feed back technology called the Phantom at the HIT lab.

In conclusion we would like to thank Suzanne Weghorst, and all the others at the HIT (Human Interface Technology) lab who took their time to come and show us a piece of the virtual world.

The Browser: Calendar of Events

Kristin Otis, DO-IT counselor/coordinator

University of Washington Conference on Technology and Disability: Access to the Future
May 20-21, 2000
Seattle, WA
Assistive technology. 206-616-1396 (TTY), 800-841-8345

12th Annual Postsecondary Learning Disability Training Institute
June 13-17, 2000
Saratoga Springs, NY
Sponsored by University of Connecticut.

NECC (National Educational Computing Conference)
June 26-28, 2000
Atlanta, GA
Educational technology.
800-280-6218 or 541-346-3537

AHEAD (Association on Higher Education and Disability)
July 12-15, 2000
Kansas City, MO
Universal designs in higher education.

WSTA (Washington State Science Teacher Association) Convention
October 13-14, 2000
Vancouver, WA
Science teachers conference. Silk Purse Conference Management, 360-417-0374

CTG (Closing The Gap)
October 19-21, 2000
Minneapolis, MN
Technology and people with disabilities.

DO-IT Dictionary

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

adaptive (é-dap'tiv) adj. computer (kûm-pyoot'ér) adj. technology (têk-nôl'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.

DO-IT (doo- it) n. Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology, a project to increase the successful participation of people with disabilities in challenging academic programs and careers, such as science, engineering, mathematics, business, and technology.

DOING-IT (doo-ing-it) v. In the process of participating in a DO-IT activity.

DO-IT 2-4 (doo- it- too'- fôr') n. A program that helps community college students with disabilities successfully transition to four-year post-secondary institutions.

DO-IT Ambassador (doo- it- âm-bas'é- dôr') 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 CAREERS (doo- it- kè'rirz') n. An acronym that stands for Careers, Academics, Research, Experiential Education, and Relevant Skills. A program that increases the success of individuals with disabilities in challenging careers.

DO-IT Mentor (doo- it- mën'tôr') n. An adult who is in college or employment who helps Scholars and Ambassadors as they pursue academics and careers. The address of their discussion list is

DO-IT News (doo- it- nooz) 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- pal) n. A member of the DO-IT electronic community of teens with disabilities preparing for college and careers.

DO-IT Prof (doo- it- prôf) n. A program that works with a team representing institutions of higher education nationwide to create and deliver professional development that will help faculty more fully include students with disabilities in their classes. The "Prof" part of the title represents "professional," a description of the quality of material created, and "professors," our primary audience.

DO-IT Scholar (doo- it- sköl'ér) n. High school students participating in the DO-IT Scholars program, which includes Summer Study at the University of Washington, Internet communication with mentors, and college/career presentation. See Phase I, II, and III Scholars and DO-IT Summer Study.

DO-IT Summer Study (doo- it- sûm'ér- stûd'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- it- kidz) n. The name of the electronic list that includes DO-IT Scholars and Ambassadors. The full address is

doitpals (doo- it- palz) n. The name of the electronic list that supports communication between DO-IT Pals. The full address is

doitsem (doo- it- sêm') n. The discussion list for anyone interested in promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities in challenging fields such as science, engineering, and mathematics (SEM). The Internet address is 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. Grants from NSF have funded many DO-IT projects.

Phase I Scholar (fâz- wûn- sköl'ér) n. A high school student from the time they are accepted into the DO-IT Scholars program through the completion of his/her first Summer Study at the University of Washington.

Phase II Scholar (fâz- too- sköl'ér) n. A Phase I graduate who continues their DO-IT participation through the second Summer Study at the University of Washington.

Phase III Scholar (fâz- three- sköl'ér) n. A Phase II graduate who retains this title until they attend college and becomes a DO-IT Ambassador.

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

How Can You DO-IT?

  • Sign up to receive DO-IT News if this newsletter was not mailed directly to you.
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