SISTEM one-on-one from Seattle, Washington with Mr. Scott Bellman, Program Manager at the Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology (DO-IT) at the University of Washington.
 
  
 
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SISTEM one-on-one from Seattle, Washington with Mr. Scott Bellman, Program Manager at the Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology (DO-IT) at the University of Washington.

Scott Bellman

Scott Bellman currently serves as program manager at the Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology (DO-IT) at the University of Washington, where he has worked for 15 years. His interests include the career development of students with disabilities and access to challenging postsecondary programs and careers. Scott attended the University of Iowa, where he received a masters degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling and a degree in psychology.

 

Q:   Please tell us about yourself and the path that led you to the DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) initiative.

Bellman: I'm Scott Bellman. I am the program manager at DO-IT. I have a master's 
degree in rehabilitation counseling and earned my undergraduate degree in 
psychology and business. I am a licensed mental health counselor in 
Washington State. I also serve on several boards and committees, including 
the Governor's Committee on Disability Issues and Employment. I joined the 
DO-IT team in 2001, because I am very interested in the career development 
of individuals with disabilities and their full participation in society.

Q:   Tell us about the DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) initiative. Why was it created? In a few words can you please tell us the programs, services and resources do you offer and who do you serve?

Bellman: The DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) 
Center is dedicated to empowering people with disabilities through 
technology and education. It promotes awareness and accessibilityin both 
the classroom and the workplaceto maximize the potential of individuals 
with disabilities and make our communities more vibrant, diverse, and 
inclusive.

The DO-IT Center strives to:

  • Increase the success of people with disabilities in challenging 

academic programs and careers.

  • Promote the application of universal design to physical spaces, 

information technology, instruction, and services.

  • Freely distribute online content, publications, and videos for use in 

presentations, exhibits, and the classroom.

  • Provide resources for students with disabilities, K-12 educators, 

postsecondary faculty and administrators, librarians, employers, parents, 
and mentors.

Q:  Can you please elaborate on three of DO-IT?s programs: (1) Access Computing; (2) Access Engineering, and (3) AccessSTEM Careers.

Bellman:

DO-IT Pals: DO-IT Pals is an electronic community of teens with 
disabilities planning for college and careers. They engage with each 
other, mentors, and DO-IT Staff and learn about useful resources.
DO-IT Pals use the Internet to explore academic and career interests. It 
is their door to the information and resources they need for success.
http://www.washington.edu/doit/programs/do-it-pals

AccessComputing: High school, college, and graduate students with 
disabilities can connect with mentors and professionals to learn about 
internships and other opportunities in computing fields.
http://www.washington.edu/accesscomputing/

AccessSTEM CAREERS: AccessSTEM CAREERS, a DO-IT project funded by the 
Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation, promotes STEM fields to students 
with disabilities in the Seattle area and works with career centers at 
local colleges to make their offerings welcoming and accessible to 
students with disabilities. Project partners include the University of 
Washington, Bellevue College, and the Seattle Community College District.
http://www.washington.edu/doit/programs/accessstem-careers

Q:  Tell us of the importance of programs such as DO-IT in the education and development of students with special needs.

Bellman: Students with disabilities need access to encouraging adults in the form 
of teachers, parents, and mentors. They also need access to empowering 
technology, including assistive technology. Programs that promote 
mentoring and technology have been shown to contribute to the success of 
students with disabilities.

Q:  In your opinion, what are the 3 main challenges students with special needs face in terms of pursuing their STEM Education?

Bellman:

1.  Lack of role models and supportive adults.

2.  Lack of technology and assistive technology.

3.  Inadequate preparation in secondary school for college classes.

Q:  In your estimation, how can we improve the STEM participation of students with special needs?

Bellman: Provide opportunities for mentoring, improve the K-12 education system for 
students with disabilities, and provide access to technology.
 

To read more ISTG Online Publication articles, please click here.
 
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