One of the coolest things I have been doing is going to the hill. We are advocating for an assistive technology bill. http://www.coataccess.org/node/51 This is the COAT Bill which basically calls for better assistive technology for blind and deaf people primarily though others as well. It has been a great experience in learning what are the essential things to say to a staff member on the Hill and what isn't.
Also this week, I have been getting to know our VP and Director who are both wonderful people. I am the only intern so establishing an office rapore is a lot of fun. They are both really nice and approachable which is helpful. For example, they asked me to go to the Hill and told me to take a taxi and that was kind of expensive. At first I was nervous about asking for reimbursement but I basically phrased it such that either way was fine with me and I was just inquiring but it turned out they did and their openness made the question a lot easier to ask. Also, they are very open about talking about blindness and as well as assistive methods. I find this helpful because I am visually impaired and have a degenerative disease. I will never go totally blind-just really bad eyesight but still their openness is really helpful and maintains an open and supportive environment.
I have been doing this like working on survey processing about access technology, and contacting respondents when questions or further information was needed. This I know is a really important policy tool so I am thrilled to be working on it. In policy research, people's input is important so as a tool for opinion gathering it is really interesting.