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 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 axillary aids due to a disability or temporary health condition.

  • 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.

  • Please know that it could take 1-5 weeks to get started with this process, based on a number of factors, such as the availability of appropriate documentation, scheduling and the nature of a student’s requests.

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.

Step 2: Submit disability documentation. After completing the new student application, students should upload documentation that establishes the nature of a disability. Students documenting ADHD, Psychological, 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:

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 counselor on duty hours. This can be in person or over the phone. DRS can also schedule a consultation meeting with a DRS counselor. Current counselor on duty hours and contact information can be found at disability.uw.edu. 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.

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.

Step 3: Schedule an Access Planning Meeting (APM). Once a myDRS New Student Application has been reviewed, 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.  APM’s can also be conducted over the phone, when appropriate.

Step 4: Participate in the Access Planning Meeting (APM). The purpose of the Access Planning Meeting is to engage in an interactive process to discuss with a DRS Counselor submitted documentation and a student’s experience living with a disability. The goal will be to identify appropriate accommodations and/or auxiliary aids that can be implemented to create equal access in the areas where there are barriers caused by a disability. When accommodations are established, the DRS counselor will share how each accommodation is requested and facilitated on a quarterly basis.

Step 5: Request approved accommodations. Each quarter, students are responsible for making accommodations requests through myDRS in a timely manner as outlined in the Services Request Timeline.

Step 6: Communicate with DRS regarding any questions or concerns. The DRS staff is dedicated to ensuring the provision of approved accommodations and auxiliary aids. The UW is big campus and there may be many individuals involved in the process of getting accommodations in place. If a student experiences any difficulties in obtaining or receiving accommodations, or if any additional accommodations are needed, please follow-up with a DRS Counselor right away for assistance.

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).  For more information on FERPA, please visit: http://www.washington.edu/students/reg/ferpa.html

Release of Information: Students can complete a Release of Information Form if they would like their DRS Counselor to discuss disability accommodations a family member, healthcare provider, etc.

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