Guidance for Students
An accommodation is an adjustment made to a policy and/or academic environment to ensure students with temporary or permanent disabilities have equal access to course material, information, activities, programs, housing, and other campus facilities.
Disability Resources for Students (DRS) provides accommodations for UW students by working
with each student individually to establish academic adjustments and additional aids and services, more frequently referred to as academic accommodations for the purpose of eliminating the environmental barriers impacting the student’s equitable access to the campus facilities, programs and activities.
The DRS partners with students with disabilities to establish services for their access and inclusion on campus; manages, coordinates, implements and evaluates accommodation/service programs; serves as a resource to students/faculty/staff to ensure effective provision of services; provides educational and resource support to the campus community to increase awareness regarding how to create and sustain access and inclusion for students with disabilities in all aspects of the university; and provides resource and referral information to the campus community and prospective students and their families.
Do you have a complaint or negative experience with the University regarding your accommodations?
The SDC is more than happy to talk to you about it. We, as fellow students, are happy to serve as a listening ear, and we will try to point you to resources and provide support. Please check our office hours here (Director’s hours here, and Assistant Director’s hours here) and contact us to make an appointment (Director’s email here and Assistant Director’s email here).
Here are some main resources that we suggest if you have complaints about your accommodations process. If your needs are not being met, as a person with a disability at UW, we highly suggest you follow one of these pathways:
- Accommodation Reconsideration
- Useful if you do not get a preferred accommodation that you requested from a DRS office (tri campus wide) or do not think the effective alternative proposed removes the access barrier that you shared with DRS. This is an internal DRS process for them to state items and seek a reconsideration.
- Formal Grievance of Discrimination (investigation of discrimination):
- UCIRO is the office that will formally investigate a reported claim/concern of discrimination or a failure to accommodate across all campuses.
For a formal complaint ADA Office, Ombud, DRS Leadership are options for you to share concerns specifically without going through the formal investigation process of UCIRO.
- The ADA Office is an option for process issues or concerns both out of DRS/DSO or other campus process (i.e. Hardship Withdrawal), or to just learn more about options and pathways available as a person with a disability.
- DRS complaint mediation is an option for things related to specific staff in the office, faculty in classes, and interactions of concern/sharing direct experience with the Director.
- Ombud is an option similar to the ADA office and they really work on getting supportive communication flowing between parties if needed.
Us at the SDC are more than happy to guide you through this process. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We are here to support you.