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Disability Resources for Students

Getting Started

Disability Resources for Students (DRS) recognizes disability as an aspect of diversity that is integral to society and to our campus community. DRS staff work with admitted University of Washington (UW) students to ensure equal access to UW academic programs and services. Whether transitioning from high school, community college or another university, it’s important to be aware of the process to request accommodations and/or auxiliary aids due to a disability or temporary health condition.

Please know that it could take 1-5 weeks to get started with DRS. This is based on a number of potential factors, including but not limited to: the nature of a student’s academic accommodation requests, the availability of appropriate supporting documentation, and scheduling appointments during peak periods of a quarter.

  • Newly admitted UW students are advised to start this process once they have confirmed admission to the UW.
  • UW students already enrolled should engage DRS as soon as possible once they have identified a barrier and or need.

Once accommodations are established, they are applied proactively rather than retroactively, so planning ahead is very important. The steps below provide general information about transitioning to college, and also outline the process for requesting and receiving disability accommodations at the UW.

Step 1: Complete the myDRS New Student Application & Submit Accommodation Requests. This brief online questionnaire is for students to describe the impacts and history of a disability and/or health condition, and request accommodations. myDRS is the online system used by students and faculty to submit, track, and help streamline the facilitation of accommodations and services approved for students.

Requesting UW On-Campus Housing Accommodations: Students seeking accommodations for on-campus housing must also complete the DRS Housing & Dietary Accommodation Request. For more information on housing accommodations please visit the DRS On-Campus Housing Page.

Requesting Disability Parking for UW Campus: Students seeking disability parking access on campus will need to submit a copy of their state placard, state ID card or information submitted by their healthcare provider to request a placard. Visit the DRS Parking page for more details.

Step 2: Submit documentation supporting accommodation need/request. Documentation that establishes the nature of a disability and/or health condition as well as its impact for the student in the educational environment is needed to support requested accommodations. Students documenting ADHD, health or sensory disabilities are encouraged to have their healthcare providers complete our DRS Healthcare Provider Form. The UW has specific documentation guidelines to provide an outline of the information necessary to establish that a student has a disability and/or temporary health condition:

Documentation Consultations: Students who are unsure whether their documentation is sufficient, or are not sure how DRS can address concerns, are encouraged to either connect with DRS during our daily Coordinator On Duty (COD) hours (located on: disability.uw.edu) or schedule a longer consultation meeting with a DRS Coordinator. DRS Coordinators can help to determine what documentation may be useful based on the situation and or request(s) and can connect students with resources in the community. NOTE: If a disability is apparent and the need for a requested accommodations can easily be established, additional documentation may not be needed.

Step 3: Scheduling of an Access Planning Meeting (APM). Upon completing steps 1-2 (including complete documentation) a DRS staff member will follow-up to schedule an Access Planning Meeting. If any information is incomplete, a DRS staff member will contact the student to address what’s needed and answer questions. APM’s can be conducted over the phone, or Skype when appropriate.

Step 4: Learn how to prepare for your Access Planning Meeting

Additional information on getting started with DRS

Privacy Information: All information and documentation submitted to the DRS office is kept separate from an academic record and is considered private under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). HIPPA privacy and confidentiality guides do not apply to documents submitted to DRS for they are not being used for treatment. Under FERPA guidelines DRS can not guarantee complete confidentiality as they may be times when sharing some information with other UW staff/faculty is necessary in the facilitation of the accommodation process.

Release of Information: Students will need to submit an “Information Release Consent” in myDRS if they would like their DRS Coordinator to discuss disability accommodations with a family member, healthcare provider, or other non UW staff. For students not yet working with DRS, they can complete the online Release of Information form.

Transition Resources: For more information on transitioning to the UW DRS office, please visit the Transition Resources webpage.