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Disability Resources for Students


Accommodations are tools that grant students with disabilities access to educational opportunities. Accommodations are not intended to alter or lower the standards or expectations of a course or exam; they are designed to assist students in learning the same material and meet the same expectations as their classmates who do not have a disability. In certain cases, DRS needs professional documentation to support the request of certain accommodations. DRS will partner with students to reasonably accommodate individuals with a disability unless such accommodation would pose an undue hardship, would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of the UW activity, program or service or in undue financial or administrative burdens. Below are examples of some of the accommodations provided by DRS:

Accommodations in the Classroom

Academic accommodations are determined for each student on an individual basis through an interactive process between DRS and each student.  Requested accommodations must be supported by the documented effects of the disability.  Following are some common accommodations available through or provided by DRS.  This list is not inclusive and the accommodations listed will not apply to the effects of every disability.

What Are Not Accommodations in Higher Education

Disability Resource for Students works to ensure access for students with disabilities by designing and implementing accommodations. However, there are some items that are not considered accommodations in higher education; this includes, but is not limited to:

  • Individualized instruction
  • Tutoring
  • Personal care attendant
  • Modifying curriculum
  • Requiring a professor to change a teaching style

How to Use Approved Accommodations

Once a student has been approved for accommodations by their DRS Coordinator they will receive a Student Eligibility Letter via our myDRS system along with necessary next steps. Students then use the myDRS system to select which approved accommodations they want to use in a course, each quarter. Through myDRS a Faculty Notification Letter is delivered to course faculty and relevant academic staff. Quarterly course submissions need to be done in a timely manner for accommodations can not be submitted retroactively.

Once faculty have been notified students need to meet with them to discuss the details of how each accommodation will/can work in course. In some circumstances requested accommodations may not be reasonable in specific courses, if this arises DRS will engage with faculty and determine what is reasonable. In the cases where based on the nature of the course a requested accommodation is not reasonable DRS may explore alternatives if an access barrier is still present.

How to Request Additional Accommodations

Accommodations are approved initially by DRS staff in the Access Planning Meeting based on the needs and access barriers the student is encountering at that time. However, DRS recognizes that needs and barriers can change and/or evolve as a student progress through an academic program. If a student encounters new barriers or needs, or seeks to modify a current accommodations, they can request additional accommodations through myDRS. In myDRS select the “Additional Accommodation Request Form” and submit your request. A DRS Coordinator will follow up with you to reengage the interactive process and resolve your access need.

In the event that your accommodation request is not approved, you may seek a reconsideration of your request.

Accommodations Beyond the Classroom

UW On-Campus Housing Accommodations

For more information on the housing accommodation process or to submit a request go to our UW Housing page above or click on this link: UW Housing Disability Accommodations.

Clinicals, Clerkships & Internships

Are you thinking about or planning on doing an internship, clerkship, clinical, etc? If so, are you wondering what accommodations you may need, or are unsure if you may need them at all? Set up a time to consult with your DRS Coordinator at least a quarter before you start. As accommodations can take multiple weeks to coordinate for non-classroom or off campus internships working with your DRS Coordinator early is important to your success.

Field courses & Field trips

Does your program have field courses and/or field trips as a part of a course or the larger program? Connect with your DRS Coordinator as soon as you are aware of these so DRS can work with the department to ensure accessibility is considered and additional accommodations for access are explored.

Study Abroad Accommodations

If you have not thought about doing a study abroad experience now is the time to get curious! Check out the UW Study Abroad site and see what possibilities await you in the numerous excursion opportunities. DRS has 100+ students participate in a study abroad program since 2014. Remember, you can request accommodations from DRS for your study abroad program, but those have to be submitted two months before you leave. Information and resources for traveling and studying abroad are below: