Director's Digressions

Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph.D.

In a meeting with the Phase I DO-IT Scholars on the last day of Summer Study 2006, our annual two-week live-in college prep program at the University of Washington, I asked each of them to tell me at least one thing they gained from Summer Study. Below are their thoughtful answers in the order they were given. Together, they offer a picture of what first year DO-IT Scholars take away from this experience:

  • I learned how to get prepared for college.
  • I made friends.
  • I learned how to speak to professors about my disability.
  • I learned how to advocate for myself.
  • Here, a disability is not a major deal.
  • I learned how to self-advocate.
  • I fine-tuned my self-advocacy skills.
  • I learned a lot about other types of disabilities and how the world works.
  • If I ever design something, I need to make sure it is accessible to everyone.
  • I made friends.
  • I practiced self-advocacy.
  • I found out that some places are easy to get to and some are not as wheelchair-accessible. I need to check places out ahead of time.
  • Phase I, Phase II, Ambassadors, Mentors... we're all one big family.
  • We should advocate for ourselves AND for each other.
  • I learned not to let others do everything. I know I have to do it!
  • I saw people with disabilities do miracles.
  • I made lots of friends.
  • Even though we have challenges, we can do it!
  • I know I want to go to college.
  • I learned about different disabilities.
  • I learned how to organize my email.
  • College classes take more than just walking a few steps. I need to make time to go between classes.
  • I learned about technology used by people with different disabilities.
  • I learned how to find scholarships.
  • Be sure to SAVE important email messages.
  • I learned about the daily lives of people with different disabilities.
  • My self-advocacy skills are better.
  • At school I never asked for accommodations. Maybe I will now.
  • I have a feel for what university life is like.
  • I learned not to be shy and how to speak my mind.
  • I learned to participate more—I did everything—like DO-IT.

This issue of DO-IT News features some of our efforts in promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) academic studies and careers. These efforts include activities in the AccessComputing and AccessSTEM alliances.