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Meet Our Staff

Disability Resources for Students

Leadership Team


Adiam Tesfay, Director, adiamt(at)uw.edu

Adiam Tesfay started January 2020 serving as the interim Director. She received both her bachelor’s degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology, and her master’s degree in Education Psychology (Higher Education Counseling) from Northern Arizona University (NAU). At NAU she worked in Residence Life, the Multicultural Student Center, and in TRIO’s Student Support Programs. She comes to us most recently as the Director of UW Seattle’s Academic Support Programs (ASP), supporting campus tutoring, mentoring, and coaching where she also taught courses for UW students. Adiam was a first-generation college student and is a refugee to the U.S. She moved to Seattle from Arizona in 2010 and is originally from Eritrea, East Africa. She likes volunteering, learning from and empowering young adults, traveling, listening to music, dancing, watching the performing arts, meeting new people, and eating good food. She also loves learning new things, especially about culture and peoples’ experiences. She spends most of her time with her family, especially her five-year-old daughter.

 
Jack Nguyen, Assistant Director, jack18(at)uw.edu

Jack oversees the full array of Access Text & Technology and Classroom Access Services operations. He also collaborates with campus partners on inclusive design for teaching and learning environments. Prior to the UW, Jack worked with students with print-related disabilities as their accessibility specialist and senior accessibility coordinator at the California Community College and California State University campuses. Jack holds a Doctor of Education from Northeastern University in Boston. His research interests include: inclusive curriculum design; accessibility challenges within Web-based learning environments; and assistive technology abandonment. He received his Master of Fine Arts from Academy of Art University in San Francisco, where he focused on human-centered design and accessibility for the Web and mobile devices. Jack is a photography enthusiast who keeps record of good taco trucks during his travels. He now lives in Seattle and spends most of his free time exploring the town with his sidekick — a puppy named Dylan.


Direct Access


Brad Elmendorf, Direct Access Specialist, brade(at)uw.edu

Brad oversees the Direct Access arm of the office which includes student intake, emergent/short-turnaround accommodations, and outreach. Brad also works one-on-one with students whose accommodation requests require a reimagining of university policies and procedures. With an MA from Duke University and a master’s of clinical social work from NYU, Brad works from a social-justice and inclusion model – noting environmental and societal barriers commonly define one’s disability. With 7 years of experience, Brad has spent the majority of his professional career working within the field of disability, coming from a student development, advocacy, and accommodation-towards-equity perspective. When Brad is not at work, you can find him climbing in the alpine with his miniature schnauzer Ella.

 
Monique Chhabra, Direct Access Coordinator, mchhabra(at)uw.edu

Monique works with prospective students and students who need emergent/short-turnaround accommodations. She has supported students with disabilities for over 7 years, both at the university and community college level. She has a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and enjoys creating a safe space for students as they navigate their path in postsecondary education. She comes to the University of Washington with a passion to advocate for students and to guide and bridge students to resources that will help them to utilize their full potential. In her free time, Monique loves to walk in nature, cook, read, and explore the Pacific Northwest.


Access Coordinators, by Academic College Liaison role


Schools of: Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health, Social Work; Athletics and Housing Liaison

Meghan Matthews, Senior Access Coordinator, meghanm7(at)uw.edu

Meghan has a passion for serving students and cultivating spaces where they can be developed and supported, joining the DRS team after working for the last nine years in Residence Life. She received a degree in Communication Studies from Azusa Pacific University, and went on to complete a Master of Science in College Counseling and Student Development from Azusa Pacific as well. She is very excited to be working in DRS, and is eager to help students get the access they need. In her down time, Meghan loves to travel, hike, cook, and explore the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Schools and Colleges: Foster Business School, Built Environments, Education, Engineering, Evans School of Public Affairs, Information School, Law

Britt Neff, Access Coordinator, neffb(at)uw.edu

Britt has been with the Disability Resources for Students Office since 2008. Britt has twelve years of experience serving students with disabilities in higher education and a master’s degree in student development from Seattle University, working in various academic settings including private 4-year institutions and community college. Britt believes that it is crucial to allow student’s voices to be heard across campus and seeks to create avenues for them to share their stories.

College of Arts and Sciences (Last names A-G)

Macy Westrick, Access Coordinator, macyw(at)uw.edu

Macy has been a part of the DRS team in various capacities since 2014. Macy is an Access Coordinator with a student-driven focus in the belief that all students with disabilities deserve equitable access to education. As an MSW, her training focused primarily on work with children, youth and families, and emphasized transition services for youth and young adults with disabilities. A UW alum, Macy bleeds purple and gold, and spends most of her free time cheering on the Huskies and the Seattle Mariners.

College of Arts and Sciences (Last names H-O); College of the Environment

Kowan Russell, Access Coordinator, kowanr(at)uw.edu

Kowan comes to the University of Washington after recently graduating from Kansas State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and a Master of Arts Degree in Communication Studies. He has a passion for working with students and ensuring that they have the resources and agency they need to live a meaningful, joyous, and healthy life. Kowan loves performance-based art, traveling, cooking, great conversation, and staying active. He is very excited to be a part of the DRS office and looks forward to working with you!

College of Arts and Sciences (Last names P-Z)

Katy Palmer, Access Coordinator, kapalmer(at)uw.edu

Katy is passionate about helping advocate for students with disabilities; she comes to DRS having left the teaching profession. Katy was a special education teacher for five years, and while she has worked with students with a wide range of disabilities, her focus and passion has been in behavioral and emotional disabilities. Katy attended Eastern Michigan University, where she obtained a degree in special education specializing in emotional impairments, and has taught in both California and Washington. Katy is excited to collaborate with faculty, staff, and students to help create a more accessible UW and help students reach their goals!


DRS Programs & Services


Accessible Text & Technology

Shannon Garcia, Program Manager, lea(at)uw.edu

Shannon is a communication designer with over 15 years of experience in print and digital experience design and has been with the Disability Resources for Students office since 2016. Shannon is an alum of the UW Robinson Center for Young Scholars, was a co-developer and course instructor for the former MOSSAIC program for autistic students, and now oversees the tri-campus Accessible Instructional Materials program for DRS.

Classroom Access Services

Dominic Evans, Classroom Services Manager, devans13(at)uw.edu

Dominic is the Classroom Access Services Manager and oversees the daily office operations for the DRS Testing Center and Classroom Access Services programs (furniture, room relocation, and notetaking). Dominic began working with students with disabilities while completing his Social Work degree from Seattle University. After graduating he continued to work with underrepresented identities in the Seattle area and abroad before transitioning to graduate school at Loyola University Chicago. He earned his M.Ed. in Higher Education and worked as a graduate assistant for Northwestern University.

Administration & Operations

(In transition)

The DRS shared services position holds a unique role in the partnership between DRS and the Career & Internship Center by providing fiscal and HR supports across all aspects of programs and services.