Disability Resources for Students


Alternative Testing is a group of academic accommodations approved by Disability Resources for Students (DRS) to provide access to course examinations, tests, and quizzes for students whose documented disability affects their ability to take exams.

Alternative testing accommodations can be facilitated by the faculty member, academic department, or through the DRS Testing Center and or Proctoring Service. Students should discuss their preferred testing location with their professors; however, faculty make the final decisions about whether an exam will be accommodated in the department or in DRS during business hours.

DRS Testing Services Options

As a faculty member, you have two options in administering approved testing accommodations:

Option 1

Arrange for testing accommodations in your department/classroom.
Please consider this option especially if:

  • The class does not meet during the DRS Testing Center hours (Mon-Fri 8:30am-5pm), or you are unwilling to have a student take the test at an alternate time
  • You and your student would like to be able to easily communicate about questions and clarifications during the test
  • The exam has specific administering or technology components that will DRS will not be able to effectively facilitate outside of the department. Examples may include the need for tech support for computer or internet based exam systems, specific software needed to use/complete/or be tested on that is not able to be installed or supported in DRS Testing Center.

If you have any questions about how to adequately accommodate your students for in-department testing, DRS is always happy to consult and be a resource.


Option 2

Arrange for the exam to be administered in the DRS Testing Center.
A student may take some or all of their exams/quizzes in the Testing Center. DRS will need to partner with you to ensure it can effectively administer your exam if it contains one or more of these components or formats:

  • Audio and/or Video Components
  • Digital Images and/or interactive Powerpoint
  • Computer Based or Online Exams
  • Student using own computer for exam
  • Specific software for exams

Please contact the DRS Testing Center for assistance in determining if administering exams with these components is better in your department.

How to administer your own accommodated exams

It is ideal for a DRS student to be able to take an exam within an academic department so the student has access to the course and its faculty/TA similar to all other students in the class. The DRS Testing Center can assist faculty in the administering of accommodated exams and can provide consultation to support the appropriate provision of approved student accommodations. To provide testing accommodations in the department:

  • Understand your students accommodations as listed on the Faculty Notification letter uploaded to myDRS Faculty Portal
  • Review the descriptions of 3 Most Common Testing Accommodations
  • Know if you or your department can provide any required alternative testing space (reduced distraction or private room)
  • Consult with DRS Testing Center staff on any questions you may have on the accommodations logistics

Proctoring Services Overview

To support departments and course instructors in facilitating alternative testing accommodations, DRS is offering Proctoring Assistance for accommodated exams/quizzes.  If you would like to administer accommodated exams within your department but need additional support of a proctor to ensure accommodations occur, please contact the DRS Testing Center.

DRS Role:

  • Provide a space analysis to determine what department available spaces would suit accommodation needs
  • Provide distraction reducing equipment if needed. May include: noise canceling headphones, cardboard dividers, earplugs
  • If needed, recruit, on board, and train proctors to aid in the administering of accommodated exams
  • Connect proctor to designated departmental contact

Department’s Role:

  • Identify space in department for exam and partner with DRS on completing the Testing Partnership Agreement (below)
  • Review the descriptions of 3 Most Common Testing Accommodations
  • Provide proctor with any necessary orientations to the program or process
  • Provide any necessary day-of instructions to proctor
  • Maintain communication with DRS regarding any difficulties or complications with accommodated exam administration
  • Communicate exam dates and locations to DRS students

How to set up exams in the DRS Testing Center

If you are unable to provide testing accommodations to students in the department, the following information reviews how to facilitate accommodations in the DRS Testing Center

Complete the DRS Testing Agreement (view able in Notification letter and myDRS Faculty Portal)

The student will not be able to schedule exams with the Testing Center until the Testing Agreement has been submitted.

When one of your students requests disability accommodations, you will be emailed a Faculty Notification Letter from DRS. If the student requires testing accommodations, then the testing section of the letter will contain  a link to the Testing Agreement.  Once you complete the Testing Agreement, it will automatically be applied for any other students requesting testing accommodations for your class. The link will be included in every Faculty Notification Letter, but you need only complete the agreement once per SLN number.

**This means that if you have a class that includes one lecture and two different quiz sections, there will be 3 agreements**

What To Do with Multiple Agreements for One Class?

Once the first agreement has been submitted it will automatically applied to any other students who request testing accommodations for your class. If you have made special arrangements with a student that are not indicated on the class agreement, please contact DRS to modify that student’s agreement.

Scheduling Exams

Students are responsible to schedule exams through their myDRS account. With every exam request, they are required to agree that they have scheduled exams according to the syllabus or Testing Agreement specifications. To ensure that you are aware of when students have scheduled exams, you will be sent an automatic notice of the date and time of each exam scheduled. DRS will still need to approve the request. You can view all exam information in your myDRS Faculty Portal.

Upload Exam to myDRS or hand deliver to DRS

  • Upload to myDRS Faculty Portal (suggested method):  2 days before the test, you will receive a reminder email that will include a link to our secure server. By clicking on the link and uploading the exam, you send it directly to DRS.
  • Professor/TA Delivery:  deliver a hard copy to DRS in Mary Gates Hall, 011 at least 24 hours ahead of time. DRS hours Mon-Fri 8:30am-5pm.
    • DRS is no longer taking student deliveries due to concerns about exam integrity. Contact DRS Testing Center if you have questions.

Please only email exams to drstest@uw.edu if you have audio components or have trouble uploading exams to myDRS Faculty Portal.

Exam Returns

DRS will always scan and email completed exams to the course instructor(s) connected in the myDRS course details. DRS partnered with UW IT to set up a secure workflow to store and email exams electronically per our records retention cycle and get exams to faculty faster. You are welcome to file, store or erase them as per your process for tracking and keeping records of exams. You may also select one of the following additional return methods if you wish:

  • Prof/TA pick up:  DRS will hold the completed exam for you to pick up.
  • Campus Mail: DRS will send the completed exam to you via UW Campus Mail. Please note that UW Campus mail delivery can take 3-7 business days
    • If you need a more expedited return option for a specific reason contact DRS Testing Center to discuss needs and options.

What to expect from the Testing Center

Exam Start Times

When students schedule exams, DRS checks that the exam start time is within the parameters of the Testing Agreement. If the student’s request does not match the agreement, the student is contacted and asked to reschedule, or to provide written indication from the professor that the change has been approved.

15-Minute Grace Policy

Students are expected to show up at DRS and begin their test on time. DRS does allow a 15-minute grace policy, in acknowledgement that the DRS office may be further for a student than the normal class and may take more time to get to, or there may be a need to attend to disability related items before starting an exam.

After the 15-minute grace period has expired, students begin to forfeit their test time just as if they were to arrive to an in-class test late. If a student arrives after the class has begun the exam, DRS may contact the professor for approval to administer the exam before doing so.

Time-keeping During Exams

DRS does not alert students when their testing time has expired. When students begin a test in DRS, they are notified of their calculated end time and reminded that it is their responsibility to keep track of their time. DRS does offer personal timers and clocks, which students may use, if they wish, to help with timekeeping.