The University of Washington and the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences are committed to ensuring that otherwise qualified students with disabilities are provided with access, equal opportunity, and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education, and employment. We strongly encourage any students with physical, sensory, cognitive, and mental health disabilities to take advantage of the services and support provided by UW Disability Resources for Students (DRS).
Please note that accommodations are not retroactive. While students may present Letters of Accommodation to instructors at any point during the quarter or during their degree program, accommodations will only go into effect moving forward from the date of letter receipt. The sooner you can officially document your needs the better, to ensure the best opportunity for success in your program.
What is the Disability Resources for Students (DRS) Office?
The Disability Resources for Students Office (DRS) is the contact point for students with permanent or temporary disabilities interested in requesting reasonable accommodations due to the effects of a disability. DRS establishes a student’s eligibility for disability accommodations and works collaboratively with faculty and staff to coordinate and implement these accommodations. DRS is a resource for students, faculty, and staff regarding the provision of equal access for students with disabilities in all aspects of campus life. DRS provides knowledgeable guidance and consultation and is a resource for publications on disability-related subject matter.
Students who believe they have a disability, for which they wish to request reasonable accommodations, should contact DRS to start the process for documenting their disability and determining eligibility for services prior to the start of their academic program where possible. While this process can be started at any time, reasonable accommodations may not be implemented retroactively, so the timeliness in requesting accommodations is very important. The University does have policies regarding the type of documentation required in order to diagnose different disabilities and a process for requesting accommodations. For questions or to learn more about the process for establishing services please contact the DRS office directly:
Where to Go
The DRS office is located in Mary Gates Hall
Disability Resources for Students (Seattle)
011 Mary Gates Hall – Box 352808
Seattle, WA 98195-5839
How to Contact DRS
We encourage students to visit the DRS website which contains all the information, forms, and resources needed for applying for services at the UW. Our department has been assigned two primary DRS advisers who will work with all SPHSC students, faculty and staff:
How Do I Apply for Accommodations?
The accommodation management system called MyDRS can be accessed by students using a UW NetID and password. The MyDRS portal is linked to each student’s MyUW account and was created to improve student access and management of services. The online system simplifies and streamlines the disability accommodation application and advising process, and also generates electronic Letters of Accommodation for instructors. The new process:
- ONLINE APPLICATION Students initiate contact with DRS electronically. They request services by completing an online application and uploading supporting documentation.
- EVALUATION DRS evaluates each student’s healthcare provider information and requested accommodations, and confirms whether the student qualifies for services.
- ACCESS PLANNING MEETING DRS works collaboratively with qualified students to:
- Document all approved accommodations/auxiliary aids/services
- Prepare an electronic Letter of Accommodation for classroom instructors
- Complete other documentation (Rights & Responsibilities, Audio Recording Agreements, etc.)
- Through MyDRS, each student manages their accommodation requestsby class on a quarterly basis. They identify which approved accommodations they wish to request for each course.
- 5 days prior to the quarter start, accommodation letters are automatically emailed to the instructor of record for each class in which the student is enrolled and has requested accommodations.
- Students will continue to communicate with individual instructors about their specific accommodation needs, clarifying services where applicable.
Our department is committed to providing individuals with disabilities with appropriate and reasonable academic accommodations, auxiliary aids and services that are necessary to afford an equal opportunity to participate in our degree programs. To best support and advise SPHSC students and faculty, the Director of Academic & Student Services will receive copies of all student Letters of Accommodation. Students (and faculty) should feel free to contact the Director with any questions or concerns pertaining to the implementation of specific disability accommodations. The Director of Academic & Student Services will work closely with the DRS office as needed to help clarify and identify both classroom and clinical accommodations for our students.
For graduate students in our clinical degree programs (M.S. or Au.D.), we encourage you to talk with DRS advisers about specific accommodations for the clinical setting (this includes the UW Speech and Hearing Clinic as well as community practice settings). Often students consider services for the classroom, but do not consider what may also be needed in the clinical teaching environment. Our Director of Clinical Education and the Director of Academic & Student Services will work closely with all clinical graduate students and DRS to identify reasonable accommodations that can be implemented in the clinical arena. Special Letters of Accommodation will be drafted by DRS and the Department for clinical graduate students approved for both classroom and clinical accommodations.