DO-IT Pals

Who are the DO-IT Pals?

A mentor works with a high school student in a computer lab.

DO-IT Pals are teens and young adults with disabilities who are pursuing or interested in a college education and career. DO-IT Pals benefit from having an online community to support them:

  • Mentorship—Frequent email and personal contacts with DO-IT Mentors who support academic, career, and personal goals. Mentors are college students, faculty, engineers, scientists, and other professionals. Many DO-IT Mentors have disabilities themselves.
  • InternetworkingDO-IT Pals use the Internet to explore academic and career interests and gain access to resources about scholarships, internships, and other opportunities.

What is expected of DO-IT Pals?

DO-IT Pals come from all over the world and most activities take place online. DO-IT Pals are expected to

  • Check their email at least once per week,
  • Read messages sent over email and engage in these discussions,
  • Use online resources in classes at school, and
  • Attend DO-IT events when possible.

What is a DO-IT Mentor?

A mentor helps a student on her iPad.

DO-IT Mentors are valuable resources for DO-IT Pals. As guides, counselors, teachers, and friends, they inspire and facilitate academic, career, and personal achievements. Relationships developed with Mentors become channels for the passage of information, advice, opportunities, challenges, and support with the ultimate goals of achievement and fun. DO-IT Mentors offer the following:

  • Role Modeling - DO-IT Mentors are successful individuals who have collectively accomplished many of the things that DO-IT Pals strive for.
  • Information - Mentors share their knowledge, experiences, and wisdom.
  • Challenges - Mentors stimulate curiosity and build confidence by presenting new ideas and opportunities.
  • Goal Setting - Mentors help DO-IT Pals discover interests, define goals, and outline strategies for success.
  • Support - Mentors encourage achievement by offering support to DO-IT Pals who are growing in new areas.
  • Contacts - Mentors provide valuable opportunities by connecting DO-IT Pals with academic, career, and personal contacts.

What is DO-IT Pal "Netiquette"?

Two students working together on a computer.
  • Be brief, keep paragraphs short, and try to only discuss one topic per email thread.
  • Use proper grammar and spelling.
  • Send messages meant for only one person to that person’s individual email address. Always start the message with the recipient’s name.
  • End messages with your real name.
  • Do not engage in conversations that seem inappropriate and report offensive or troubling emails to DO-IT staff.
  • Remember that emails are easy to forward—never write overly personal information that wouldn’t be appropriate for others to read.
  • Always review what’s written before sending it.

How do I apply to be a DO-IT Pal?

Teens with disabilities who want to go to college and who have an email address are encouraged to apply to become a DO-IT Pal. Apply online or request or the form via email at Complete and return the application via email. 

DO-IT Pal parents can join a community of parents by sending a request to join the DO-IT Parent list to

Additional Information

A high school student uses assistive technology with her laptop.

DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) serves to increase the successful participation of individuals with disabilities in challenging academic programs such as those in science, engineering, mathematics, and technology. Primary funding for DO-IT is provided by the National Science Foundation, the State of Washington, and the U.S. Department of Education. DO-IT is a collaboration of UW Information Technology and the College of Engineering at the University of Washington.

Grants and gifts fund DO-IT publications, videos, and programs to support the academic and career success of people with disabilities. Contribute today by sending a check to DO-IT, Box 354842, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-4842.

Your gift is tax deductible as specified in IRS regulations. Pursuant to RCW 19.09, the University of Washington is registered as a charitable organization with the Secretary of State, state of Washington. For more information call the Office of the Secretary of State, 1-800-322-4483.

To order free publications or newsletters use the DO-IT Publications Order Form; to order videos and training materials use the Videos, Books and Comprehensive Training Materials Order Form.

For further information, to be placed on the DO-IT mailing list, request materials in an alternate format, or to make comments or suggestions about DO-IT publications or web pages contact:

University of Washington
Box 354842
Seattle, WA 98195-4842

206-685-DOIT (3648) (voice/TTY)
888-972-DOIT (3648) (voice/TTY)
206-221-4171 (fax)&
509-328-9331 (voice/TTY) Spokane

DO-IT Funding and Partners

Copyright © 2016, 2011, 2003, 2000, 1997 University of Washington. Permission is granted to copy these materials for educational, non-commercial purposes provided the source is acknowledged.