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 is always striving for greater collaboration with students, faculty, and staff in order to create usable, equitable, inclusive, and sustainable learning environments. There may be times when there are aspects of the instruction or design of your courses that result in barriers to your inclusion or to accurate assessment of achievement. When that is the case, the DRS staff will work with you to establish accommodations. Accommodations are put into place to minimize, or if possible, remove the access barrier.

Students with disabilities who anticipate barriers to full participation in courses are encouraged to meet with a DRS counselor to explore the possible accommodations and services that might be available. Newly admitted students should start this process as soon as they have received notice of admission. Students already enrolled, should start this process as soon as there is an anticipated need. Once accommodations are established, they are applied proactively rather than retroactively, so planning ahead is very important!

  • Submit your documentation of your disability (information from your health care provider)    Review the DRS documentation guidelines as one part of the process for establishing your accommodations. If you have the documentation needed, complete the myDRS New Student Application and upload your information. If you are not sure you have the documentation you need or do not have documentation at all, you are welcome to either; attend, or phone into, a counselor on duty hour during the week; or schedule a phone or in-person consultation meeting with a DRS counselor. These options can help to determine what documentation for your disability you may need to provide and resources available in the community who could assist you in obtaining the documentation. NOTE: If your disability is visible and the need for your requested accommodations can easily be established by your visible disability, documentation may not be needed.
  • Schedule your Access Planning Meeting     Once your myDRS New Student Application has been submitted, including your documentation,  a DRS staff member will process it and contact you to schedule an Access Planning Meeting with a DRS counselor. NOTE: We will initiate the scheduling of this meeting after we have processed your application, typically you will hear from us within 3 business days of submission.
  • Prepare for/participate in the Access Planning Meeting (APM)     The purpose of the Access Planning Meeting is to discuss with a DRS counselor your experience living with and learning with your disability and the kind of barriers you have or are experiencing. Through this interactive dialogue, the goal will be to identify appropriate accommodations/services that can be implemented to create equal access for you in the areas where there are or may be anticipated barriers. When the accommodations are established, the DRS counselor will share with you how the accommodation is requested and coordinated each quarter and everyone’s role in that process: the role of the DRS office, the role of the student, the role of the professor or Teaching Assistant’s, the role of a staff member within our campus community, etc.
  • Request your accommodations     Each quarter, make sure to follow the timelines and processes established by DRS for requesting your accommodations. This will allow for the smooth and timely coordination of your services.
  • Follow-up with DRS for questions or concerns regarding your accommodations     The DRS staff is dedicated to ensuring the provision of your accommodations and services. The UW is big campus and there may be many individuals involved in the process of getting your accommodations in place. If you experience any difficulties in obtaining or receiving your accommodations, follow-up with DRS right away for assistance. The nature of a course or program may pose barriers that you and the DRS counselor did not anticipate and you may need to look at alterations or additions to your accommodations. It is important that you follow-up with your DRS counselor for further discussions when you are or believe you may be experiencing barriers that would not be addressed with your current accommodations/services.

 

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