1. Sheryl Burgstahler
  2. https://sites.uw.edu/sherylb/
  3. Director, DO-IT and Accessible Technology Services
  4. DO-IT Scholars
  5. uw.edu/doit/do-it-scholars
  6. University of Washington, College of Engineering, University of Washington, Univ of Washington Information Technology
  1. Scott Bellman
  2. Manager, DO-IT Center
  3. DO-IT Scholars
  4. uw.edu/doit/do-it-scholars
  5. DO-IT, Univ of Washington College of Engineering
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Scott Bellman

    Scott Bellman

    Co-Presenter
    May 4, 2020 | 01:34 p.m.

    Welcome to the DO-IT Center's video. In the video we discuss some of our NSF-funded projects that promote challenging postsecondary programs and STEM careers to students with disabilities, focusing on the DO-IT Scholars program as an example. Your comments and questions are encouraged. Thanks!

  • Icon for: Sheryl Burgstahler

    Sheryl Burgstahler

    Lead Presenter
    Director, DO-IT and Accessible Technology Services
    May 5, 2020 | 12:34 a.m.

    The DO-IT Center has been funded since 1992 by NSF and other sources. All of our projects have the goal of increasing the success of individuals with disabilities in STEM fields, creation of and use of technology that is accessible to individuals with disabilities, and improving STEM fields with the expertise and perspectives of people with disabilities. Enjoy our video!

  • Icon for: Overtoun Jenda

    Overtoun Jenda

    Facilitator
    May 5, 2020 | 05:22 p.m.

    Hi there. This is a great overview of the great work you continue to do. Just wondering out loud here, what are the challenges you have encountered in doing this superb work over the years? 

  • Icon for: Scott Bellman

    Scott Bellman

    Co-Presenter
    May 5, 2020 | 05:46 p.m.

    Thanks Overtoun. Some of the common challenges relate to the expectations of parents, mentors, and educators who underestimate the talent and potential of students with disabilities. Lack of access to role models (individuals with disabilities in challenging STEM fields) is also an issue. The DO-IT Center has built robust mentoring programs over the last three decades to help address this issue. Additional challenges relate to inaccessible programs, facilities, and information technology. We have tried to address such challenges through Capacity Building Institutes and the development of resources to help others improve accessibility and implement Universal Design practices. The focus of lot of DO-IT's work came about by listening carefully to students with disabilities pursuing STEM education, such as those featured in the book Perspectives of STEM Students with Disabilities.

  • Icon for: Sheryl Burgstahler

    Sheryl Burgstahler

    Lead Presenter
    Director, DO-IT and Accessible Technology Services
    May 6, 2020 | 09:45 a.m.

    Great summary, Scott. One of the ways we address challenges is to build our next project on the current one, thus building our knowledge base and diversity of collaborators. We also seek partners who contribute their unique perspectives and expertise. We seek out collaborators working in different fields who may not have considered disability/accessibility issues; we gain their buy-in by starting with small steps that can make a course, program, service, project activities more accessible to people with disabilities.

  • Icon for: Renee Fall

    Renee Fall

    Researcher
    May 5, 2020 | 06:09 p.m.

    I was fortunate to partner with DO-IT's AccessComputing to host a capacity building institute for Massachusetts colleges several years ago. I continue to look to UW's DO-IT and related programs for expertise and resources for broadening participation of students with disabilities into computing and engineering, so it was great to learn more about the Scholars program in this video. Do the Scholars mainly come from your region, or across the country? And I'm curious if a lot of the scholars decide to attend UW?

  • Icon for: Scott Bellman

    Scott Bellman

    Co-Presenter
    May 5, 2020 | 06:15 p.m.

    Renee, it's great to hear from you! The Scholars program was originally funded by the National Science Foundation, and subsequently funded by the State of Washington and other generous funders. Currently, the program serves students who live in Washington State. We encourage each student to consider their unique interests and characteristics as they consider options for college, and we always hope for them to find the best fit possible. Having said that, we love it when they attend the University of Washington, as many of them do! That allows us to see them in-person more often, and allows them to stay connected with one another right in our own backyard.

  • Icon for: Richard Ladner

    Richard Ladner

    Professor Emeritus
    May 6, 2020 | 12:04 p.m.

    To add to what Scott just said, AccessComputing, which is joint program with the DO-IT Center, Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering, and the Information School at the University of Washington, has the AccessComputing Team, that has had about 1,000 students from around the nation participate.  The team now has more than 450 members who form a peer mentoring group and received benefits such as access to industry and research internships, and support to go to conferences.  The infrastructure provided by the DO-IT center with its staff and expertise has allowed AccessComputing to thrive for more than 14 years.

  • Icon for: Brianna Blaser

    Brianna Blaser

    Program Coordinator/Counselor
    May 6, 2020 | 02:28 p.m.

    As Richard notes, DO-IT works with students with disabilities from multiple programs.  Many DO-IT Scholars who have pursued computing education or careers have participated in AccessComputing. Others have served as mentors to AccessComputing Team.

  • Icon for: Sheryl Burgstahler

    Sheryl Burgstahler

    Lead Presenter
    Director, DO-IT and Accessible Technology Services
    May 6, 2020 | 01:58 p.m.

    Thanks, Richard. Yes, a key to success for projects like AccessComputing is strategic partnerships that bring in expertise from many areas. 

  • Icon for: Jeanne Reis

    Jeanne Reis

    Facilitator
    May 6, 2020 | 03:17 p.m.

    Thank you for this presentation! Colleagues of mine who run similar programs often describe the challenges of recruiting and training mentors, and developing the strategic partnerships you mention above, Sheryl.

    So I'm wondering how you've successfully recruited mentors over the many years of your program?

    I'm also interested in learning more about how you've developed and capitalized on strategic partnerships.  

  • Icon for: Scott Bellman

    Scott Bellman

    Co-Presenter
    May 6, 2020 | 03:43 p.m.

    DO-IT efforts have utilized a Student-Centered Community Building Model where an ongoing collection of projects provide activities and resources to stakeholders such as educators, service providers, community leaders, postsecondary administrators, families, funding agencies, and policymakers. Several projects have strong ties to employers. Many mentors were met and recruited through these communities and activities.


    A large number of DO-IT participants serve as mentors for younger students as they move further into their own career. These "near-peer" mentors are among the most impactful. They engage in online mentoring activities and help mentor students during on-site programming. Some appear in videos as advocates and mentors, for example, the videos Scholar Profile:K and Our Technology for Equal Access.

  • Small default profile

    Kelsey Kupferer

    K-12 Teacher
    May 6, 2020 | 03:39 p.m.

    We at KUOW RadioActive Youth Media love the DO-IT Scholars Program! We get to meet with the scholars once each summer for a journalism workshop. The thing that impresses me most about the program is the consistency of coming to campus for three consecutive summers, and maintaining that supportive community throughout the Scholars' high school careers. Thanks for the great work you do, and the great contributions the Scholars make to the UW community. 

  • Small default profile

    Tami Tidwell

    May 6, 2020 | 04:44 p.m.

    Kelsey, The DO-IT Scholars enjoy visiting KUOW every year. They learn more about media, diversity and internship options for high school students. My favorite part is that the media they experience is created by their high school peers. Thank you for being a wonderful host. 

  • Icon for: Scott Bellman

    Scott Bellman

    Co-Presenter
    May 6, 2020 | 04:56 p.m.

    Kelsey, Thank you for your kind words. The Scholars have benefitted greatly from visits to your radio station to learn about audio recording, storytelling, and advocacy-based programming. It's nice to see you here at the Showcase!

  • Small default profile

    Doug

    May 6, 2020 | 03:58 p.m.

    How have things changed for the program in regards to technology from the early days to today?

  • Icon for: Scott Bellman

    Scott Bellman

    Co-Presenter
    May 6, 2020 | 05:13 p.m.

    Well, computing technology hasn't really changed that much since the program started in 1992. Just kidding of course! The smart phones we carry in our pockets today are much more powerful than the largest desktop computers of the 90's. In the earliest days, the program was nation-wide and home internet was almost non-existent. Having a personal computer in your home was also much less common than it is today. So back then, in many cases, DO-IT had to teach teenagers with disabilities how to use the Internet through their school or local library and how to best utilize and maintain a computer in their home.


    The assistive technology (AT) tools have also seen incredible changes over the last 28 years. We have had to teach students to value "life-long learning" as it relates to AT, and to continually try new products as they become available. We have also seen an increasing need to advocate for educators and administrators to understand how AT users are impacted by their decisions around Information Technology (IT). Check out the DO-IT video IT Accessibility: What Campus Leaders Have to Say, where University presidents, chief information officers, and other IT leaders discuss the importance of and strategies for making IT accessible campus-wide.

  • Icon for: Sheryl Burgstahler

    Sheryl Burgstahler

    Lead Presenter
    Director, DO-IT and Accessible Technology Services
    May 6, 2020 | 11:52 p.m.

    This is over simplified, but, in the early days of the program, the focus was on getting assistive technology (AT) for students. Once they had access to AT, most IT resources were accessible to them because so many of them had pretty simple features and were text-based. As graphical systems and the World Wide Web emerged, increasing attention needed to be paid to the design of mainstream technology so that it is accessible to people with disabilities, including those that use AT.

  • Icon for: Sasha Palmquist

    Sasha Palmquist

    Facilitator
    May 6, 2020 | 09:19 p.m.

    It was such a pleasure to learn about your program through this video. As an adjunct professor, I have had the opportunity to work with a range of differently abled students. As I have incorporated more digital content into my courses, I often wonder whether I am designing with best practices around accessibility. I am very interested to hear more about how your program supports educators across University departments to develop the skills to be partners and allies for students like those you serve in the Scholars program.  

  • Icon for: Sheryl Burgstahler

    Sheryl Burgstahler

    Lead Presenter
    Director, DO-IT and Accessible Technology Services
    May 6, 2020 | 11:27 p.m.

    As far as online learning we have created a website AccessDL with resources for making distance/online learning accessible to students with disabilities. For those just getting started in this space, we recommend checking out our 20 Tips for Teaching an Accessible Online Course at uw.edu/doit/20-tips-teaching-accessible-online-course

  • May 7, 2020 | 11:56 a.m.

    Thank you for this interesting video. What are the accommodations that you find are most effective for helping students use computers for learning?

    Marcia

  • Icon for: Scott Bellman

    Scott Bellman

    Co-Presenter
    May 7, 2020 | 12:41 p.m.

    Hi Marcia. Thanks for your comment. The Access Technology Center (ATC) at the University of Washington has a showcase room of assistive technology (AT) that faculty, students, and staff can explore and/or use on a regular basis. These AT products are also installed in computer labs and workstations at various locations around campus, so that individuals with disabilities can use UW computers widely. This strategy is more an example of Universal Design as compared to an accommodation. The ATC offers a brief video that invites people to visit.

    As far as accommodations, students typically register with the disability resources office, or in some cases work directly with faculty, to identify solutions to learning barriers. Some solutions require the use of AT, while others might be low-tech or no tech. I'd suggest watching the DO-IT video Working Together: People with Disabilities and Computer Technology for an overview of computer access challenges. The video highlights some of the advantages access to computers, adaptive technology, software, and the Internet provide to people with specific disabilities. For more information about technology access issues in the workplace view the video Access to Technology in the Workplace: In Our Own Words

    If you find these resources helpful, there are more at DO-IT's Access to Computers page.

  • Small default profile

    Lyla

    Researcher
    May 7, 2020 | 03:26 p.m.

    The summer program looks very interactive and hands-on. Can you tell us a bit more about how you engage the participants throughout the year? 

  • Icon for: Scott Bellman

    Scott Bellman

    Co-Presenter
    May 7, 2020 | 04:30 p.m.

    Sure! New students interact with staff each Spring. During that time, they receive laptops and assistive technology that they can use during DO-IT and school activities. Online and in-person mentoring continues through the summer and during the summer camp. The rest of the year, DO-IT staff and mentors host in-person networking events and online competitions.

    For example, often in September, STEM students are encouraged to enter an essay contest called "What I did over the summer to further my pursuit of STEM."

    DO-IT also tries to engage Scholars in panel presentations and exhibits at events throughout the year.

  • May 7, 2020 | 08:50 p.m.

    Inspiring. In our program at the Belle Isle Aquarium, the question came up right from the first year for our professional development program with teachers:  my students are special needs: am I eligible to participate?  Of course the answer was yes. In fact, we viewed that what students see and participate in at the Aquarium as "no barriers" learning [notwithstanding that the ramp entrance into the Aquarium is technically just a little steeper than ADA regulations recommend [perhaps excusable for a building that is 115 years old?].  Last summer, one of our teachers was a specialist with deaf students and the entire 4-day workshop was signed.  The whole idea of our program was that it should be scalable to every fifth grader and every fifth grade teacher in the public schools of Detroit. 

  • Icon for: Scott Bellman

    Scott Bellman

    Co-Presenter
    May 7, 2020 | 11:12 p.m.

    That is such a great story, Jeffrey! Thanks for sharing. Please join our growing group of practitioners from informal STEM learning (ISL) programs through DO-IT's NSF-funded AccessISL project, which supports efforts to develop a capacity building model for making informal STEM learning opportunities more welcoming and accessible to everyone, especially individuals with disabilities. We host an AccessISL Community of Practice, where we share ideas and assist in the creation and dissemination of resources to encourage others to help a broader range of students and patrons learn about universal design and accessibility in informal science settings. ISL practitioners and stakeholders are invited to our next project meeting on May 18, 2020 at 11:30am Pacific Time. Interested stakeholders can send me an message at <swb3@uw.edu>. There is no cost to participate in this NSF-funded effort.

  • Icon for: Sheryl Burgstahler

    Sheryl Burgstahler

    Lead Presenter
    Director, DO-IT and Accessible Technology Services
    May 8, 2020 | 12:00 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing, Jeffrey. Making a program accessible and inclusive of students with disabilities likely benefits many other individuals as well.

  • Icon for: Mark Bealo

    Mark Bealo

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 8, 2020 | 11:42 p.m.

    I absolutely love this! It reminds me of my childhood  when my dad worked at the Department of Rehabilitation getting his clients accessible equipment that would enable them to get to jobs or perform a trade. Keep up the great work! Such a blessing to so many and a much needed inspiration!

  • Icon for: Sheryl Burgstahler

    Sheryl Burgstahler

    Lead Presenter
    Director, DO-IT and Accessible Technology Services
    May 11, 2020 | 09:23 a.m.

    Thanks for your encouragement. We are the lucky ones that see success stories every day when students with disabilities become prepared themselves and gain access to technology, learning opportunities, and mentoring.

  • May 9, 2020 | 10:36 a.m.

    Thank you for sharing information about this meaningful and impactful program. I value and appreciate your work in accessibility. This program highlights the importance of broadening participation and expanding learning and engagement opportunities for students with disabilities. Much of my work is in the area of accessibility of assessments in K-12. I wonder if you used assessment resources or platforms that increase accessibility for students in your program.  

  • Icon for: Scott Bellman

    Scott Bellman

    Co-Presenter
    May 11, 2020 | 12:21 p.m.

    Leanne, We have advocated for secondary and postsecondary schools to broaden their thinking about assessment and demonstration of learning, and taught DO-IT participants to do the same. This is such an important topic. Thank you for your work in this area!

  • Icon for: Sheryl Burgstahler

    Sheryl Burgstahler

    Lead Presenter
    Director, DO-IT and Accessible Technology Services
    May 11, 2020 | 04:39 p.m.

    ditto!

  • May 12, 2020 | 03:30 p.m.

    The longevity of this program speaks to its excellence.  Thank you for doing and sharing this work.  Has this program been scaled or implemented at other institutions?  Other university cities?  Seems every high-school district in the country should have a DO-IT!

    In our work using motion capture for geometry learning, we encountered a number of students for whom our original designs were not accommodating.  These students provided invaluable feedback for our subsequent development.  Is there a theoretical framework or a resource that is particularly helpful for any and all of the teams in this years STEM4ALL that would help us all consider access issues central to our projects?

  • Icon for: Scott Bellman

    Scott Bellman

    Co-Presenter
    May 12, 2020 | 04:29 p.m.

    Hi Michael. Thanks for your comments.

    Regarding your first question, the DO-IT program has been replicated (with modifications) in Japan and Malaysia. DO-IT has created two free online books, for people interested in replicating DO-IT activities: Creating a Transition Program for Teens: How DO-IT Does It, and How You Can Do It Too and Creating an E-Mentoring Community: How DO-IT Does It, and How You Can Do It Too.

    As other projects consider access issues, I would encourage them to check out DO-IT's Center for Universal Design in Education, which develops and collects resources to help educators apply universal design in order to make all aspects of the educational experience welcoming to, usable by, and inclusive of everyone, including people with disabilities. Also of potential interest is DO-IT's model that explores Critical Junctures for STEM Students with Disabilities. Inputs in the model address issues that encourage people to learn science (attraction), choose to keep learning mathematics and science (retention), graduate (persistence), and secure STEM careers.

  • Icon for: John Chikwem

    John Chikwem

    Researcher
    May 12, 2020 | 03:55 p.m.

    This is a very useful project because of its inclusion of students with disability. This enables such students to succeed in college and also feel good about themselves instead of just focusing on their disabilities.

  • Icon for: Scott Bellman

    Scott Bellman

    Co-Presenter
    May 12, 2020 | 04:33 p.m.

    Thanks, John. NSF support for many of the DO-IT projects has helped change many lives and bring more of these traditionally underrepresented students into STEM fields. It's fun and rewarding to watch the DO-IT students move through high school and postsecondary education, and then on to challenging careers.

  • Icon for: Sheryl Burgstahler

    Sheryl Burgstahler

    Lead Presenter
    Director, DO-IT and Accessible Technology Services
    May 12, 2020 | 07:46 p.m.

    We measure our DO-IT's success by the success stories of those who have engaged it it. Many of you reading this showcase will meet them if you are in or pursuing STEM careers. Check out our many programs and resources at uw.edu/doit

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