Disability Resources for Students
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 availability of appropriate documentation, the nature of a student’s academic accommodation requests, and scheduling appointments during peak periods of a quarter.
- Newly admitted UW students should start this process once they have received notice of admission.
- UW students already enrolled should engage DRS as soon as they have identified a 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. The new student application is a brief online questionnaire designed to let the students describe the impacts of a disability and request accommodations. myDRS is the online system that allows students to quickly and easily request services and notify their faculty of their approved accommodations.
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 disability documentation. Part of completing the new student application includes uploading documentation that establishes the nature of a disability as well as its impact for the student in the educational environment. 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 for a Learning Disability
- Documentation for a Psychological Disability
- Documentation for ADHD
- Documentation for Health Conditions
- Documentation for a Traumatic Brain Injury
Documentation Consultations: Students who are unsure whether their documentation is sufficient, or are not sure what DRS can provide to them, are encouraged to connect with DRS during our daily counselor on duty (COD) hours. This can be in person or over the phone. Current COD hours and contact information can be found at disability.uw.edu. DRS can also schedule a longer consultation meeting with a DRS counselor. DRS Counselors can help to determine what documentation may be useful 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, documentation may not be needed.
Step 3: Scheduling of an Access Planning Meeting (APM). Once a myDRS New Student Application has been completed (including complete documentation) and reviewed, 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.
Additional information on getting started with DRS
Privacy: All information 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). DRS can not guarantee confidentiality as they may be times when sharing some information in 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 Counselor 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.