Disability Resources for Students

The Disability Resources for Students serves the faculty and students equally. Once students are admitted to UW, DRS works with them to facilitate their requests and approve services.

Students with a wide array of physical, sensory, cognitive and mental health disabilities attend the University and are active in all majors and disciplines at every level of the educational system; undergraduate, graduate and professional programs. DRS partners with the student, faculty and appropriate campus departments to establish the accommodations needed to remove the student’s unique access barrier(s).

The University provides reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental limitations of qualified disabled students so long as doing so does not impose an undue hardship on the University or fundamentally alter the educational program. Reasonable accommodations may include providing appropriate core services necessary to ensure equal access, such as early registration or providing materials in alternative formats.

When academic accommodations are needed, they are determined for each student on an individual basis by DRS staff and designed through the interactive process with a student. The interactive process includes: documentation of a disability; student DRS application; DRS Access Planning Meeting; and any follow up needed to ensure reasonable accommodations have been considered.

Faculty Responsibilities

Faculty, and relevant academic staff, are primarily responsible in providing activated accommodations communicated in the DRS Faculty Notification Letter (FNL) in a timely manner. Other responsibilities include:
• Provide only the accommodations communicated in the FNL unless it is an accommodation that they willing to offer all students in the class.
• Contact DRS if there are questions or concerns about requested adjustments and/or for assistance in identifying the best method for providing accommodations for students enrolled in classes.
• In the event that a significant concerns arises about an activated accommodation impacting the nature of a course pursue a reevaluation through the Faculty Reconsideration Process (see Section III. Reconsideration Process).
• Refer any student to DRS who is requesting adjustments but does not present a DRS FNL.
• Ensure instructional materials are accessible. DRS can collaborate with faculty to ensure access. This may include: video captioning, transcripts of audio lectures/podcasts, and accessible materials (i.e. course packs, lecture exhibits).
• Maintain accommodation information under FERPA. Faculty should not ask students about the nature of their disability or to provide medical documentation nor share information with the class.
• Implement best practices in teaching to reach a diversity of learners.

DRS Services to Faculty

The Disability Resources for Students serves the faculty and students equally. We assist students once they are admitted to UW, facilitate their requests and approve services. For faculty we are your resource and collaborator in ensuring the academic accommodations are in place and effective. If you as faculty have questions, problems establishing an accommodation, or need help on where to start DRS is here for you. We provide a variety of services for faculty delivering instruction, including by not limited to:

  • Troubleshooting/assisting with establishing classroom accommodations
  • Facilitation of extended time and low-stimuli testing environments
  • Providing consultation on working with various types of disabilities
  • Assisting faculty in ensuring they have accessible course materials
  • Providing faculty training and educational resources


It is an individual’s choice whether to disclose the nature of his/her disability to faculty. Asking a student for more details regarding their disability is not permitted as the confidentiality of medical information must be maintained. DRS can and will discuss student information with faculty related to the facilitation of accommodations.

(Updated 1/2020)