DO-IT Ambassador Profile


My name is Andrea, and I am currently a junior in the architecture program at the University of Washington. I had a stroke in 1996 during a medical procedure meant to examine an arteriovenous malformation in my brain. The stroke weakened the right side of my body and left me in a wheelchair. This and other experiences have influenced my decision to study architecture and work with accessibility issues.

I joined the DO-IT community in 2000 with the expectation that I would be able to find opportunities through the program that would otherwise be unknown to me. I also knew that a lot of help would be necessary to achieve my goals, and I knew an organization like DO-IT could provide this support. DO-IT has exceeded my expectations in both offering me help and support and introducing me to many new people and experiences. It has played an important role in getting me to where I am today.

One of these opportunities was the chance to shadow a DO-IT Mentor and architect, Karen Braitmeyer. This job shadow allowed me to see how a person in a wheelchair can successfully practice architecture. It also gave me a better idea of what a licensed architect does during a typical day. Karen is really inspiring to me as a successful architect who happens to use a wheelchair. I am grateful to DO-IT for giving me the opportunity to meet and learn from her.