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Disability Resources for Students

Faculty Rights & Responsibilities

The Disability Resources for Students serves the faculty and students equally. We assist students once they are admitted to UW, facilitate their requests and approve services. For more information, please view our Flyer for Faculty in text selectable PDF format. An accessible word document version is also available.

Access, Equity & Inclusion

Students with a wide array of physical, sensory, cognitive and mental health disabilities attend the University and are active in all majors and disciplines at every level of our educational system; undergraduate, graduate and professional programs. DRS partners with the student, faculty and appropriate campus departments to establish the accommodations needed to remove the student’s unique access barrier(s).

The University provides reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental limitations of qualified disabled students so long as doing so does not impose an undue hardship on the University or fundamentally alter the educational program. Reasonable accommodations may include providing appropriate core services necessary to ensure equal access, such as early registration or providing materials in alternative formats.

When academic accommodations are needed they are determined for each student on an individual basis by DRS staff and designed through the interactive process with a student. The interactive process includes; documentation of a disability, student DRS application, DRS Access Planning Meeting, and any follow up needed to ensure reasonable accommodations have been considered.

Disability Resources for Students Services to Faculty

The Disability Resources for Students serves the faculty and students equally. We assist students once they are admitted to UW, facilitate their requests and approve services. For faculty we are your resource and collaborator in ensuring the academic accommodations are in place and effective. If you as faculty have questions, problems establishing an accommodation, or need help on where to start DRS is here for you. We provide a variety of services for faculty delivering instruction, including by not limited to:

  • Troubleshooting/Assisting with establishing classroom accommodations
  • Facilitation of extended time and low-stimuli testing environments
  • Providing consultation on working with various types of disabilities
  • Assist faculty in ensuring they have accessible course materials
  • Providing Faculty training & educational resources

Faculty Responsibilities

Faculty is primarily responsible to provide academic accommodations approved by the Disability Resources for Students (DRS) office on the DRS Letter of Accommodation and to work with DRS and students to make reasonable accommodations in a timely manner. Other responsibilities include:

  • Provide only the adjustments on the DRS Letter of Accommodation unless it is an accommodation that you are willing to offer all students in the class.
  • Contact DRS if there are questions or concerns about requested adjustments and/or for assistance in identifying the best method for providing accommodations for students enrolled in classes.
  • Refer any student to DRS who is requesting adjustments but does not present a DRS Letter of Accommodation letter.
  • Faculty should not lower course expectations or fundamentally alter the nature of the course at the request of a student with a disability. If a student makes such a request, related to an approved disability absence, Faculty should consult with DRS.
  • Ensure instructional materials are accessible. DRS can collaborate with faculty to ensure access. This may include: video captioning, transcripts of audio lectures/podcasts, and accessible materials (i.e. course packs, lecture exhibits).
  • Maintain confidentiality. Faculty should not ask students about the nature of their disability or to provide medical documentation.
  • Implement best practices in teaching to reach a diversity of learners.

How Students Access Services

  1. Self-identify to the University. Students are encouraged to register with the DRS office and make requests of the faculty in a timely manner to create the best opportunities for their own success.
  2. Request services from DRS and engage in the interactive process.
  3. On a quarterly basis the student will present the DRS Letter of Accommodation to the faculty member. The responsibility of providing the academic accommodations does not go into effect until the letter is presented.

Faculty will likely receive the majority of DRS Letter of Accommodation the first two weeks of classes, but they can be delivered at any time throughout the quarter.

Services are not retroactive. If a letter is presented in the middle of the quarter adjustments are only required from that day forward.


It is an individual’s choice whether to disclose the nature of his/her disability to faculty. Asking a student for more details regarding their disability is not permitted as the confidentiality of medical information must be maintained. DRS can and will discuss student information with Faculty related to the facilitation of accommodations.

Fall 2014- Spring 2015 Demographics of DRS Students (Seattle Only)

  • # of Students: 1619
  • # of UW Student Veterans: 54
  • # of International Students: 51
  • # of Graduating students: 314
  • # of Athletes: 98
  • # of DRS Students participating in a Study Abroad program: 75
  • Average GPA of DRS students over 2014-2015: 3.2