Disability Resources for Students

Complaint Resolution Resources

If you are having difficulty with a person, office or department at the University of Washington and believe you have or may be experiencing mistreatment or discrimination on the basis of your disability, you can contact the following places to get assistance with mediation or to file a complaint.  A copy of the University policy on the resolution of complaints against university employees is available on-line:  http://www.washington.edu/admin/rules/APS/46.03.html or in hard copy at Disability Resources for Students.

Informal UW Options

DISABILITY RESOURCES FOR STUDENTS (DRS) is available to offer assistance to students by informally mediating problematic issues.  As many problems are a result of misunderstandings, DRS is often able to assist in resolving concerns or misunderstandings quickly.  In some instances, UW faculty or staff may not be aware of the laws protecting the rights of students with disabilities, and once they have the information, the situation can usually be resolved.  DRS can also appropriately refer students to other offices or individuals who can assist with resolution.  Students are welcome to contact the DRS office directly if they are having difficulties or have concerns about the office.  Please feel free to drop in at 011 Mary Gates or call 206-543-8924 (voice & relay)\, or email uwdrs@uw.edu.

Formal UW Compliant Options

THE ADA COORDINATOR is a resource available to assist in mediating and or solving problems related to the provision of academic accommodations or matters that might involve discrimination due to a disability for the Seattle, Bothell and Tacoma campuses.  Additionally, DRS will consult with the ADA Coordinator in cases where they are unable to identify accommodations that do not impose an undue hardship. Review the office website for more information and contact information, or you can call at (206) 221-7932 (voice & relay), or email ADAHelp@uw.edu.

THE OMBUDSMAN OFFICE can facilitate internal appeal methods and provide information about University of Washington procedures.  Review their website for campus locations and contact information, or you can call 206-543-6028 (voice & relay), or email:  ombuds@uw.edu.

UNIVERSITY COMPLAINT INVESTIGATION AND RESOLUTION OFFICE (UCIRO) is the place to contact to request a University investigation and resolution of your complaint.  They are the formal grievance office for the University.  Call 206-616-2028 (voice & relay) to discuss your complaint with a staff member.  You may be asked to leave a message on voice mail, but you will receive a call back from a staff member. Review the office website for more information.

External Options

THE WASHINGTON STATE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION (WSHRC) is the enforcement agency for the Washington State Law Against Discrimination (RCW 49.60) and investigates and resolves complaints of discrimination as a neutral, fact-finding agency.  They can be contacted at 206-464-6500 (voice) or 206-587-5168 (TTY).  For more information about WSHRC visit their website at:  http://www.hum.wa.gov

THE OFFICE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS (OCR) in the U.S. Department of Education is the enforcement agency for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.  OCR will examine the factors of the alleged discrimination and interview appropriate persons to establish the facts, determine if discrimination has taken place and resolve the complaint.  When a student is not satisfied with the on-campus efforts to resolve a complaint, OCR is usually the place to turn.  They can be contacted at 206-684-4500 (voice) or 206-684-0332 (TTY).  For more information about OCR, go to their website: http://www.seattle.gov/civilrights/

WHEN MAKING A COMPLAINT, be specific.  Document the incident (s), and the action (s) taken.  Be thorough in your documentation and include the dates, times, names and a statement explaining the interactions.  State what individuals/office (s) you believe has discriminated against you, when the incident occurred and describe the incident.  If you are attempting to resolve a problem that includes a number of offices, it is important to let each office know what other efforts you have made to try to resolve the complaint.  Keep a record of all written correspondence between yourself and the various offices you work with.