Institutional Change Associated With DO-IT Interventions

DO-IT projects have contributed to implementation of changes that make postsecondary campuses more inclusive of students with disabilities nationwide. Listed below are examples of changes at DO-IT's host institution, the University of Washington (UW), and of other postsecondary institutions participating in DO-IT projects. Although all changes are associated with DO-IT efforts, no cause-effect relationship can be determined. These examples can be used to stimulate inclusive practices at other schools.

University of Washington

Data routinely collected at the UW that suggest impacts for DO-IT interventions to create a more welcoming and accessible environment for students with disabilities in general and specifically for the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

DO-IT efforts have contributed to systematic changes at the UW that include:

  • diversity issues are more broadly defined to include disability in the College of Engineering and the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity (which instituted an Advisory Committee on Disability Issues);
  • a course syllabi statement was adopted that encourages students with disabilities to talk to the professor about accommodations;
  • a user group and website were developed to guide UW webmasters on accessible web design;
  • the Adaptive Technology Lab grew into the Access Technology Lab to increase consulting on accessible design;
  • videos of campus leaders on the UW website include captions; technology units routinely develop web-based tools with accessibility features;
  • sign language is accepted for language credit; a disability studies program was established; disability-related content is included in new faculty orientations;
  • technology fee funds collected from students are used to purchase assistive technology; and
  • the distance learning program adopted universal design policies.

Systemic Changes at Partner Institutions

Numerous systemic changes that have resulted from project participation have been reported by institutional representatives of DO-IT partners. Interventions have been employed as part of specific projects and programs hosted by the DO-IT Center and its partners, including AccessCollege, AccessSTEM, and AccessComputing. Examples of institutional changes reported include those listed at the web page entitled Systemic Changes at Partner Institutions.

Published Articles about Institutional Change Resulting from Practices of DO-IT and Its Partners

Listed below are references to publications that report institutional changes related to projects supported by the DO-IT Center.

  • Thompson, T., Burgstahler, S., & Moore, E. (2010). Web accessibility: A longitudinal study of college and university home pages in the northwestern United States. Disability & Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 5(2), 108-114. Link to one of these:
  • Burgstahler, S., & Moore, E. (2009). Making student services welcoming and accessible through accommodations and universal design. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 21(3), 151-174.
  • Burgstahler, S. (2008). Universal design of instruction: From principles to practice. In Universal design in higher education: From principles to practice (pp. 23-44). Boston: Harvard Education Press.
  • Burgstahler, S. (2008). Universal design of student services: From principles to practice. In Universal design in higher education: From principles to practice (pp. 167-175). Boston: Harvard Education Press.
  • Burgstahler, S., Slatin, J., Anderson, A., & Lewis, K. (2008). Accessible IT: Lessons learned from three universities. Information Technology and Disabilities, 12(1).
  • Burgstahler, S. (2007). Accessibility training for distance learning personnel. Access Technologists Higher Education Network (ATHEN) E-Journal, 2.
  • Burgstahler, S. (2007). Lessons learned in The Faculty Room. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 18(3), 103-128.
  • Burgstahler, S. (2006). The development of accessibility indicators for distance learning programs. Research in Learning Technology, 14(1), 79-102.
  • Burgstahler, S., & Doe, T. (2006). Improving postsecondary outcomes for students with disabilities: Designing professional development for faculty. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 18(2), 135-147.
  • Vogel, S., Leyser, Y., Burgstahler, S., Sliger, S., & Zecker, S. (2006). Faculty knowledge and practices regarding students with disabilities in three contrasting institutions of higher education. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 18(2), 109-123.
  • Burgstahler, S. (2005). Accommodating students with disabilities: Professional development needs of faculty. In To improve the academy: Resources for faculty, instructional, and organizational development (pp. 179-195). Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing Company.
  • Burgstahler, S. (2005). Preparing faculty to make their courses accessible to all students. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 16(2), 69-86.
  • Burgstahler, S., Corrigan, B., & McCarter, J. (2005). Steps toward making distance learning accessible to students and instructors with disabilities. Information Technology and Disabilities, 11(1).
  • Burgstahler, S., & Doe, T. (2004). Disability-related simulations: If, when, and how to use them. Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal, 1(2), 4-17.