What You'll Find in this Book

The chapters in this book take you on a journey of discovery, looking at success and self-determination from a variety of perspectives and learning how students with disabilities can be supported within an online mentoring community. The book is divided into three main sections.

PART I addresses the philosophy and purpose of online mentoring. It tells how to establish the community, recruit and train mentors and protégés, provide guidelines for participants, and initiate online discussions. Complementary videos reinforce this content.

PART II is organized around seven recommendations that were synthesized from hundreds of responses from the young people and adults with disabilities who contributed to the content (Burgstahler, 2006c):

  1. Define success for yourself.
  2. Set personal, academic, and career goals. Keep your expectations high.
  3. Understand your abilities and disabilities. Play to your strengths.
  4. Develop strategies to reach your goals.
  5. Use technology as an empowering tool.
  6. Work hard. Persevere. Be flexible.
  7. Develop a support network. Look to family, friends, and teachers.

Each chapter contains the text of messages to support an online community. Each can be sent by a program administrator to mentors alone or to mentors and protégés together.

PART III presents protégés and mentors with a forum to share their own stories and experiences and suggests additional resources for participants and administrators.