UW News

December 4, 2008

DO-IT Scholars now accepting applications from high school sophomores and juniors with disabilities

The University of Washington’s DO-IT Scholars program is now accepting applications from Washington state high school sophomores and juniors with disabilities who are interested in preparing for college and challenging careers.

DO-IT, which stands for Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking and Technology, introduces high school students with disabilities to technology, peer support and work-based learning in an effort to help them be successful in a college environment. Participants are loaned laptop computers, software and adaptive technology for long-term use in their homes and at school or work. This technology enables them to network online with peers, DO-IT staff and DO-IT mentors — many of whom are working professionals with disabilities.

The students also attend UW summer study sessions. They learn about college selection, career options, technology and self-advocacy. Living in dormitories and navigating the campus helps them get an early taste of college life.

“Some young people with disabilities have expectations that are lower than they need to be,” said Sheryl Burgstahler, director of accessible technologies in UW Technology Services and founder and director of DO-IT. “We try to change that. Our focus is on the use of empowering technology and teaching students the skills they need to succeed in challenging careers.”

Approximately 20 students are selected each year. For this unique program, DO-IT is seeking students who:

• Are sophomores or juniors in high school.

• Have an aptitude and interest in attending college.

• Have a significant disability such as a mobility impairment, a learning disability, sensory impairment, or health impairment.

• Are interested in interactions with other students with disabilities.

Students are encouraged to apply by Jan. 10, 2009. Applications will be accepted after that time only until all openings are filled. For more information or to request information or application materials, contact the DO-IT office at (206) 685-3648 (V/TTY), or download forms at http://www.washington.edu/doit/Programs/scholar.html.


For more information, contact the DO-IT office at (206) 685-3648, or Scott Bellman, DO-IT project coordinator, at swb3@u.washington.edu.