Embedded in the core values of the University of Washington is a commitment to ensuring access to a quality higher education experience for a diverse student population. Disability Resources for Students (DRS) recognizes disability as an aspect of diversity that is integral to society and to our campus community. DRS serves as a partner in fostering an inclusive and equitable environment for all University of Washington students.
What does the Disability Resources for Students Office do?
The University of Washington Disability Resources for Students office (DRS) is firmly committed to ensuring that qualified students with documented disabilities are provided with an equal opportunity to participate in the variety of educational, recreational and social opportunities available at the University. The primary functions DRS performs towards this objective are the provision of academic and housing accommodations for students with a documented, permanent or temporary physical, mental or sensory disability; resource and referral information and advocacy support as necessary and appropriate. (Non-academic accommodations must meet the same standards regarding documentation but are provided by the Disability Services Office on campus. See DRS staff for contact information.)
Academic and housing accommodations for each student are determined on an individual basis with input from the diagnostician or physician (usually from the diagnostic report), the student and the Counselor or Director of the DRS office. Types of accommodations that may be provided include but are not limited to: extra time for examinations, books in electronic format, Sign Language interpreters, room relocation, priority registration, and assistance with notetaking. The DRS office is an operational unit within the Division of Student Life. Staff of the DRS office include the Director, Assistant Director, Counselors, Access Text & Technology (AT&T) Manager, Classroom Services Manager, a Learning Disabilities Specialist, Office Manager, and student office assistants and AT&T editors.
DRS is not involved in the process of admission to the University. For information regarding undergraduate admissions please contact the Office of Admissions at (206) 543-9686. For information regarding graduate admissions please contact Graduate Admissions at (206) 543-5900. If you would like to request that your disability be considered during the review of your admission application, please ask to speak with an admissions counselor for further information about this process.
What is the history of Disability Resources for Students?
The Disability Resources for Students office was established in 1978 following the passage of the first federal civil rights legislation for people with disabilities titled The Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (usually just called Section 504) describes specific protections from discrimination for people with disabilities as well as outlines appropriate and reasonable services for students with disabilities in postsecondary education, e.g., academic accommodations, auxiliary aids, etc. In 1990, Congress passed a second law known as The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This law added further support to Section 504 and set in place additional protections from discrimination for people with disabilities in such areas as employment, public transportation, public communication systems and facility accessibility. Washington State, in 1994 passed a state law that is referred to as The Core Services Bill (House Bill 2327). This law specifies 16 different types of accommodations that students with disabilities should be offered if supported by a documented disability-related need. Disability Resources for Students has played, and continues to play, an active role in ensuring that the University programs and facilities are in compliance with the above stated laws.
Who is eligible for services?
DRS provides services to students who are enrolled as matriculated students at the Seattle campus, inclusive of the Evening Degree Program. Students who are enrolled at the Bothell or Tacoma campuses can receive services from their respective campus. Academic accommodations, if reasonable and appropriate, are provided to students with a documented permanent or temporary physical, emotional or sensory disability. A student must provide documentation of their disability in order to receive services. Students with disabilities are strongly encouraged to contact the DRS office if they have any type of disability that impacts their academic performance.
How do I request services?
Please refer to our Getting Started section.