A Funding Cutoff For Project Do-It
Seattle Times Staff Reporter
Last year Project DO-IT won a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.
But the 1998 crop of 20 DO-IT Scholars may be the last. A grant from the program's biggest funding source, the National Science Foundation, is ending.
DO-IT stands for Disabilities Opportunities Internetworking Technology.
Since 1992, selected high school students with severe disabilities have attended a two-week live-in summer camp at the University of Washington where they're tutored in math, science and technology and use the Internet.
Whether they're blind, deaf, learning-disabled or have severely limited mobility, students can be outfitted with adaptive technology to gain and dispense knowledge through computers.
Over the next two years, they maintain e-mail and personal contact with other students, educators and mentors.
Most of the students go on to college; many attend the UW.
Other aspects of the DO-IT program have benefited tens of thousands more, including DO-IT Pals, an "online community" similar to the networking program for DO-IT Scholars; college transition workshops; adaptive technology seminars; electronic resources and videotapes starring DO-IT Scholars.
Funding for those programs comes from a variety of sources, including the state.
Sheryl Burgstahler, program director, said she would love to see a company such as Microsoft or Intel fund the 20 DO-IT scholars each year.
People with disabilities and their employers need to be upfront about the limitations but not stop there.
"Go the next step and think, `How might you do this?' " Burgstahler said.
"Maybe they can't be exactly what they want to be, but maybe there's another choice that's pretty darn good."
Deadline for application to the DO-IT Scholar program is Jan. 31.
For information, write DO-IT, University of Washington, Box 354842, Seattle, WA 98195-4842. Call 206-685-DOIT (Voice, TDD). Fax: 206-221-4171. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Web site: http://weber.u.washington.edu/
Copyright (c) 1998 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.