Disability Resources for Students

COVID-19 FAQ’s and Resources

Disability Resources for Students (DRS) is experiencing a significantly high volume of requests and consultations. Staff are striving to be as timely as possible; however, you may experience a delay in communications. Below is information and resources available on our website you can review any time in case it resolves your current question.

New students:

DRS Applications are being reviewed on a first come, first serve basis at this time. Please review the getting started page to learn more about the process.

Current DRS students

Faculty & Staff

COVID-19 Information

We look forward to working with you, thank you for your patience.

Return to In-Person

*updated Aug 22, 2021

For Autumn 2021, DRS plans to provide in person services again to our students starting Monday Sept 13, 2021. Please feel free to reach out to your coordinator, or any of our team, with any questions or concerns so we can make this quarter a smooth one. We will add more of our plans for Autumn to this website so please keep checking there for updates.


Current Students: We will continue to offer appointments via Zoom or phone for anyone who wishes to do so. Students can email the front desk  at uwdrs@uw.edu to schedule an appointment.

New Students: to get started with DRS return to our homepage and complete the New Student Application. Once your application has been processed, you will then hear back from us on next steps.

UW Bothell and UW Tacoma contact your offices directly.

Activating accommodations for Autumn quarter

This is a reminder that in order to receive timely accommodations for Autumn 2021, you must have requested approved accommodations in MyDRS (this step is done after the APM) 6 weeks prior to the first day of instruction. Remember that for this quarter, that deadline is tomorrow, Wednesday August 18th, 2021. Review the Services Request Timeline for more details on specific accommodations. https://depts.washington.edu/uwdrs/current-students/services-request-timeline/

Test Accommodations

The DRS office will be open and offer students space to test with us. We will share more details or changes as information is shared by UW administration around how to safely return to in person services. Review the tips to schedule your exam at the following link. https://depts.washington.edu/uwdrs/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/SCHEDULING-EXAMS-IN-myDRS.docx

Furniture Accommodations
If you have furniture accommodations for your courses you need to make sure you have also activated that accommodation by tomorrow, Wednesday August 18, 2021. Our staff is working to ensure we have, or purchase, all necessary furniture in time for the start of the quarter. With COVID restrictions, manufacturing, production and shipping has been delayed for the past year and we need time to process your requests. After we have the furniture, DRS needs to work with facilities to place in the correct buildings and this does take time.

Reduced Credit Load
Remember that tomorrow, August 18, 2021, is also the deadline to activate Reduced Credit Load accommodations, in order for enough time to confirm Financial Aid.

Requesting Additional Accommodations

If you have a need for additional accommodations, remember to request them through myDRS. You can review the process for new requests on the DRS Accommodations website below. https://depts.washington.edu/uwdrs/current-students/accommodations/


COVID-19 FAQ’s and Resources 

*updated June 2021

  • Face Covering Policy: The UW Face Covering policy states that face coverings are required to be worn on site at the University of Washington; in class and in public spaces.
    • If students are unable to put on/take off or wear a face covering, due to a medical condition or disability, they need to reach out to Disability Resources for Students (DRS) to engage in the interactive process to determine what reasonable accommodations can be provided.
    • If a student is not sure which face covering they need in each environment or because of their condition, they can reach out to UW Environmental Health & Safety. [List-End]
    • For more details, please visit

Below are FAQ’s and tools for students and instructors working to implement accommodations in a remote/hybird/online manner, as well as information on broader UW resources for support.

Student Resources

Engaging in Online Classes

The resources below are tailored toward the unique opportunities and experiences of engaging in online learning.

Autumn Quarter Specific Information & Resources

Other Resources at Bothell

Other Resources at Seattle

Other Resources at Tacoma

DRS website resources to assist you

Faculty & Instructor Resources

Specific Accommodation Guidance

Syllabi statements

  • The university has sample syllabi statements for instructors to use particular for this remote/hybrid learning environment. The information on this webpage is designed to provide faculty with language that may be included in syllabi.

Exam Types and Accommodations

    • Timed exams are sets of problems that a student must complete in a limited amount of time. For example once a student starts the exam a timer counts down the amount of time remaining to complete the exam. You cannot pause or reset the timer. When there is no time remaining, the exam automatically ends. These exams administered online will require adjustments to the allocated time for students with “extra time on timed exams” accommodations noted in the Faculty Notification Letter. These include breaks not counted, when approved, see more information below.
    • Self-paced exams are not timed in the finite way noted above. Typically they are in take home exam formats that are designed for a student to self manage the time they need to allocate/spend on the material to meet the stated deadline, similar to an assignment. Some self-paced exams may require additional time if there are any finite time aspects, consult with DRS staff to ensure effective implementation
    • Breaks not counted in Testing Time are usually 5-10 minutes in length and typically allocated at 5 minutes per every 30 minutes, unless otherwise specified in this letter. These breaks need to be counted into the overall test allocation time to ensure they are provided.
      • Example: Exam for the course is 1 hr. in length and a DRS accommodation is present for 1.5 extra time on timed exams and breaks not counted. Calculation for time allocated in Canvas would be: 1.5 hours for extra time plus additional 15 minutes for breaks not counted = 1 hr 45 minutes for the DRS accommodation.
    • Reduced Distraction Environment means that an exam is taken with reasonably quiet and low stimuli. The environment is not required to be a silent setting. Tools that may help further reduce distractions for students may include noise cancelling headsets, ear plugs, etc.
      • Online Guidance: Faculty must work with student to ensure they have access to a reduced distraction environment. This may include changing examination times or method (ie. not a live video/recording of students taking exam) of administration to allow student access to a reduced distraction environment (i.e. extending examination times, so student can coordinate with roommate). Ensure proctor, and any other students, in the virtual room have turned off microphones as to not distract the students.
    • Private Testing Environment means that the exam is taken in a reasonably quiet with low stimuli room on their own. A TA or professor can be in the online room to proctor a test/quiz. However, the proctor must be meet the low stimuli requirements and not create distractions.
      • Online Guidance: Faculty must work with student to ensure they have access to a private room for testing. This may include changing examination times or method (ie. not a live video/recording of students taking exam) of administration to allow student access to a private room  (i.e. extending examination times, so student can coordinate with roommate/families). Ensure proctor has turned off microphones as to not distract the student.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Accommodations

    • Accessible Video and Audio-Closed Captioning are applied to media such as pre-recorded Panopto, YouTube, Vimeo, audio files, etc.
    • Review Spring 2020 Information on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services team website and reach out with questions: dhhreq@uw.edu
      • Sign Language Interpreting (ASL): Trained professional American Sign Language interpreter, translate between a spoken and a signed language in real-time.
      • Real-Time Captioning (CART): live captioning of a class lecture in real time by trained professionals called captioners, create a transcript of information that is presented.
    • If you do not currently have a student in your course with approved and activated DHOH accommodations but would like to make your course videos and streams accessible, please visit UW-IT Accessible Technology Services.
      • For all Zoom technical supports, please contact UW-IT at help@uw.edu 
      • If you need real-time captioning (CART) for virtual events, please contact: dhhreq@uw.edu

Course Participation

  • Accessible documents are any instructional materials provided to the class/student. If not accessible upfront they may need to be converted to alternative formats for a DRS students. Faculty need to be timely in working with DRS directly to ensure all materials are accessible.
    • Do not just take photos or make copies of books/articles/PDFs. Files need to be clean and in accessible formats, especially for us to be able to convert them. Engage with UW Library staff to get clean copies of articles or readings you use if needed.
    • If you know only a few pages or a chapter(s) of a book will be required, inform DRS & the student as it reduces the conversion work and timeline.


  • Audio Recording means the student is permitted to record audio during courses as a record of material covered or to review material post. They have completed the DRS Recording and Presentation Agreement, which is available upon request.
    • Guidance: For any student with audio/video recording accommodations, for this remote learning environment, please record any live/real-time lectures and make the recordings available to your DRS accommodations.
    • Some students have audio & video recording as an accommodation, this is different than just audio recording. Faculty will need to record the class and get a copy to the student, similar to an in person course recordings. An announcement can be made to the course about the recording since all students will see the red indicator, however it cannot be shared it is for an accommodation for a specific student.
    • Faculty can choose to record the class and share with all students for re-watching, if so review the Zoom storage and security information.
      • Note: Anything from the session is visible in the recording, including all private chat and they can be used in conduct cases if inappropriate. You should make everyone aware of this.
    • For questions related to other student’s rights during a recording, or WA state law related to audio recording of classes, please refer to our Audio Recording of Lectures page.


    • Class Breaks mean a student may need to leave class briefly during live lectures or course work to take short breaks (5-10 minutes) for management of disability. Breaks longer than this will need to be discussed between the instructor and this student’s DRS Coordinator. Faculty must be prepared to have students enter and leave the online platform without being penalized. Faculty may need to consider participation points differently with this accommodation. Consult with DRS if there are concerns.
    • Class Arrivals/Departure mean a student may need to occasionally arrive to a live lecture or course a few minutes late or leave a few minutes early to management of disability. Faculty must be prepared to have students enter and leave the online platform without being penalized. Faculty may need to consider participation points differently with this accommodation. Consult with DRS if there are concerns.
    • Disability Related Absences relevant in an online platform. Faculty may need to rethink how a student will access missed presented materials, assignments, participation, etc. Complete the DRS Disability Related Absence Agreement and consult with DRS anytime there are concerns.

Delivering Online Courses

    • Update your syllabus for online course delivery
    • Work with your TAs to clarify roles and communication expectations
    • Consider ways to prevent the simplest forms of cheating.
      • Allow the students to use open-resources (textbook, notes, web) and design questions accordingly.
      • Consider a larger number of shorter, more focused mini-exams/quizzes, vs. one or two high-stakes exams, to reduce student stress and provide both you and students with more frequent measures of their standing in the course. This also moderates the effects of unexpected exam design/administration problems (e.g., network outages).