Dedicated to the promise of equal opportunity through advocacy and education
Guide to Disability Related Resources:
Organizations, Offices, Programs, and Publications
This guide is a comprehensive list of the disability related organizations, offices, programs, and publications at the University of Washington Seattle campus. Compiled by Deborah A. Byrne, DLA Website and Resource Developer
- Resources for Disabled Students
- Disability Resources for Faculty, Staff, and Public Attending UW Events
- Student Run Disability Organizations
- Disability Related Academic Courses and Programs
- University Committees
- Computers and Adaptive Technology
- Publications and Pamphlets
- Campus Transportation
- Filing a Discrimination Complaint
- Scholarships for Students with Disabilities
Resources for Disabled Students
Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology (DO-IT)
Description: The international DO-IT Center promotes the success of individuals with disabilities and the use of computer and networking technologies to increase their independence, productivity, and participation in education and careers. DOIT is comprised of several programs for students:
- AccessSTEM http://www.washington.edu/doit/Stem/team_app.html
Description: Students with disabilities who are pursuing a degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics can join AccessSTEM, which is funded by the National Science Foundation. AccessSTEM students receive assistance with STEM tutors and paid research internships, and can apply for funding to attend student leadership conferences or other STEM events. Students also receive mentoring and have opportunities to provide mentoring to younger students. AccessSTEM staff help students with career development. They host and co-sponsor social activities on campus throughout the year.
Description: Students with disabilities who are pursuing a degree in computer science can join AccessComputing, which is funded by the National Science Foundation. AccessComputing students receive assistance with computing tutors and paid research internships, and can apply for funding to attend student leadership or computing conferences. Students receive mentoring from project staff, graduate students, and working professionals. AccessComputing staff help students with career development (e.g. resumes, cover letters, and networking).
Staff at the DO-IT Center also host the annual U.S. Department of Labor Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students, Disability Mentoring Day, and other events that are open to all majors. In collaboration with other units, they develop a campus newsletter called “Opportunities!”, which is regularly sent to UW students with disabilities.
Disability Resources for Students Office (DRS)
448 Schmitz Hall, Box 355839
Seattle, WA 98195-5839
Dyane Haynes, Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Krista Greear email@example.com, Assistive Technology/Alternative Media Program Manager
Description: The DRS is the office where all matriculated students need to apply for academic accommodations for a permanent or temporary disability (for services for non-matriculated students, see Disability Services Office (DSO) ). Submission of medical documentation of disability is a necessary part of the application process.
The DRS staff works to:
- Determine with students how to best meet individual disability-related needs through academic accommodations, auxiliary aids or various campus services.
- Provide and coordinate a comprehensive range of academic support services and accommodations such as: priority registration, note taking services, class materials in alternate formats such as electronic text, large print, Braille or audio formats, additional time for exams, accessible classroom furniture, room modifications for on-campus housing, Sign Language interpreting and others.
- Collaborate with faculty, staff and campus department to ensure that the physical and programmatic needs of students with disabilities are met in a timely and effective manner.
- Increase disability awareness and knowledge pertaining to access issues for people with disabilities on campus through in-service trainings, committee work, one-on-one discussions, etc.
- Provide needs assessment, consultation, mediation, resources and referrals and advocacy as necessary and appropriate. If the DRS denies requested accommodations that you feel you are eligible for, there are many avenues for challenging the denial. For more information see Section 9, “Filing a Discrimination complaint” in this document.
‘Ask Us’ Library Service
Description: Reference librarians have an amazing depth of understanding about how to find information. Typically they answer questions from the public while working two-hour shifts at a reference desk. If your question is too complicated to be quickly answered, you can ask to have the question forwarded to the ‘Ask Us’ service: librarians not working at the desk who can take more time to research your question. There are many types of libraries across the United States that have an Ask Us service. If you cannot find the answer you are looking for at one library, you can try calling another Ask Us service. Some libraries at private colleges will not assist callers who are not affiliated with their college. Because the University of Washington is a state school, in addition to serving faculty, staff and students, the libraries have a commitment to serve the public. This service is available to all library patrons, but may be particularly useful for students who have a disability that is a barrier to using a computer. A disabled student can use an Ask Us service by either making a phone call or sending an email via the online forms linked below.
University of Washington Libraries
Reference Librarian Phone Number
‘Ask Us’ online form
Gallagher Law Library
Health Sciences Library
To find a librarian for a specific subject in the health sciences (e.g. anesthesiology): libguides.hsl.washington.edu/liaisons
King County Library System
Description: The UW Veterans Center is a place for veterans to connect with other veterans. In addition, the center provides access to university resources specifically designed for veterans. It is not just an office, rather a place where veterans can find and build their community within the university.
Veterans Center staff are able to provide both direct service and referrals to a number of campus and community resources with the goal of helping veterans balance their academic and personal demands. Services available at the center include:
- financial aid counseling
- VA educational benefits
In addition, referrals are available to the following resources:
- admissions counseling
- academic advising
- career counseling
- disability resources
- mental health and wellness counseling
Disability Resources for Faculty, Staff, and Public Attending UW Events
Disability Services Office (DSO)
1100 N.E. Campus Parkway, Suite 836
Seattle, WA 98195
UW Box 354560
Disability Services Coordinator
Description: DSO provides:
- Services to University staff, academic personnel, and non-matriculated students with disabilities.
- Accommodation advice and resources for University departments
- Assistive equipment
- Classroom or examination accommodations for non-matriculated students including those in Extension courses, English Language Programs, and Certificate programs.
- Interpreters (sign language, oral and tactile) and real time captioning
- General access accommodations for members of the public attending University events
- Coordination of disabled parking or disabled transportation (Dial-A-Ride)
- A process for reporting needed facilities modification (e.g. doors widened, ramps installed)
If the DSO denies requested accommodations that you feel you are eligible for, there are many avenues for challenging the denial. For more information see Section 9, “Filing a Discrimination complaint”.
Student Run Disability Organizations
Disability Advocacy Student Alliance (DASA)
DASA and SDC have unofficially merged (not at the official level, but from a getting-things-done level) to form the Disability Advocacy Collective (DAC). We have a website here: https://catalyst.uw.edu/workspace/kjbyers/26902/
Disability Law Alliance (DLA)
Description: The Disability Law Alliance is an organization of law students, with and without disabilities, who are interested in the practical experience of advocating for the human rights of people with disabilities. Annual activities may include:
- Quarterly meetings
- Peer mentoring for first year students
- Social Justice Tuesday (SJT) lunch time presentation
- Practitioner dinner
- Alumni networking
- Development of a community resource webpage that offers advocacy resources for students with disabilities at the UW. Some of these resources have been created by DLA while some items are links to pre-existing resources. The purpose of the webpage is to fill information gaps at the UW and to promote the study and practice of disability law. WE welcome feedback and suggestions on how we can best serve the disabled community. Volunteers to work on proposed advocacy projects are also welcome!
The Student Disability Commission (SDC)
Campus Mail: Box 364560
Suite 836, Condon Hall
1100 NE Campus Parkway
Seattle, Washington 98105
Description: The Student Disability Commission (SDC) promotes disability awareness and advocates for disability rights on campus and in the greater Seattle community. We host workshops, screen films, discuss (and resolve) disability-related issues on campus, and build community to improve the experiences of students with disabilities at our University. The SDC is always looking for interns and volunteers to work on projects related to our goals. We are extremely open to new ideas, and are willing to adapt any project to fit the individual working style and capabilities of Commission members.
Disability Related Academic Courses and Programs
Center for Continuing Education and Rehabilitation (CCER)
Main: (425) 774-4446
Fax: (425) 774-9303
TTY: (425) 771-7438
6912 220th Street SW Suite 105
Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043
Kathe Matrone, Director
Description: CCER is the umbrella organization for a number of grant funded projects including the TACE (Technical Assistance and Continuing Education), DBTAC Northwest, and Rehabilitation Leadership. CCER offers a variety of training programs, technical assistance, consultation, and human resource development services to enable rehabilitation organizations and personnel to more effectively serve individuals with disabilities. CCER is one of ten regional Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) Centers funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) to provide information, training, and technical assistance in Vocational Rehabilitation. Through the DBTAC Northwest, CCER also provides information, training, and technical assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Participants in CCER activities include vocational rehabilitation counselors and administrators, community rehabilitation and mental health providers, people with disabilities, advocates, families, employers, educators, government representatives, and other community leaders.
Center for Technology and Disability Studies (UWCTDS)
Kurt Johnson, Director
Pat Brown, Associate Director
Description: UWCTDS is an interdisciplinary program located in the Center for Human Development and Disability, and is linked to the academic Department of Rehabilitation Medicine in the School of Medicine. The Center provides integrated research, education and training, technical assistance and consultation, policy analysis, and legal advocacy related to disability and technology issues. UWCTDS is supported by grants from the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Health and Human Services, and other funding sources. UWCTDS provides education and training at the undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education level as well as basic and advanced skills training. Education and training opportunities offered by UWCTDS include:
- Interdisciplinary graduate coursework in assistive technology
- Post graduate certificate in assistive technology
- Continuing education in accessible information technology and assistive technology for health, rehabilitation, and social service providers, educators, and information technology professionals. UWCTDS offers customized, training workshops tailored to the specific needs of the intended audience.
Disability Studies – University of Washington
Sherrie Brown, JD, Ed.D, Director
of Disability Studies Program
261 CHDD, South Building #102, Box 357920
Dennis Lang, BSN, MPH - Associate Director
(206) 518 3117
B-110-C Padelford, Box 354300
Description: Disability Studies at the University of Washington involves a multi-campus interdisciplinary group of faculty, staff, students and community members who share an interest in questions relating to society's understanding of disability. The undergraduate Disability Studies Minor and the Individualized Studies Major in Disability Studies explore the social, legal and political construction of disability. The emphasis is on studying the culture of disability, social justice and disability policy, and the intersections of disability, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, class, and other markers of diversity and difference.
The Committee on Disability Issues (CDI)
Erica Sekins, 2011-12 Co-chair
Description: The UW Committee on Disability Issues (CDI) serves in an advisory capacity to Dr. Sheila Edwards Lange, Vice President for Minority Affairs and Vice Provost for Diversity, and Dr. Eric Godfrey, Vice President and Vice Provost for Student Life. The goal of the CDI is to advance systemic change and overall improvement of campus climate for persons with disabilities at the University of Washington. Included among the committee responsibilities are identifying issues of concern for persons with disabilities and making recommendations for improving the climate for faculty, staff, students, and other UW community members with disabilities.
Computers and Adaptive Technology
Access Technology Center (ATC)
Dan Comden, Manager
Mary Gates Hall, Room 064
Description: The Access Technology Center (ATC) provides tools to improve access to computing resources for University of Washington students, faculty, and staff. The computers, software, and special equipment in the center provide:
- Access for blind users via speech output or braille
- Magnification of the screen for people with low vision
- Alternatives to the standard keyboard and mouse
- Use of speech recognition software as a writing tool
- Tools to make the reading and writing process easier
- Accessories to make computer use more comfortable
- The capability to create and produce documents in alternative formats such as e-text, braille, large print, etc. In addition to the technology described above, the center staff can provide:
- An introduction to access technology
- Advice on how best to meet an individual's particular needs
- Basic training and documentation for the hardware and software available in the center
- Accessible electronic resource design consulting and testing In the Odegaard Undergraduate Library (OUGL), all of the Windows machines, including the Apple equipment that boots Windows, are provided with basic software such as screen magnification, text to speech, and screen reading software. Specialized hardware and software may be installed in this location if the hours in the ATC are not sufficient for student needs. Accessible workstations are also located in other campus locations, such as the Suzzallo and Health Sciences Libraries. Contact ATC staff for assistance in obtaining accessible technology in other campus computing locations.
Learning and Scholarly Technologies
Hours: 8 am to noon Monday through Thursday; 8 am to 9 pm Friday; 1 pm to 9 pm Saturday; 1 pm to midnight Sunday.
Description: Located on the second floor of Odegaard Undergraduate Library, this computer help desk is open to students, staff, and faculty. The desk is staffed by student employees. If your computer problems are related to your adaptive technology, they probably won’t be able to help you. But if your computer problems are general in nature, they are a free resource for troubleshooting.
Publications and Pamphlets
The ADA Access Guide
Description: The Access Guide is designed to help students, faculty, staff and visitors with disabilities locate accessible routes on the Seattle campus and find appropriate entrances within buildings. The Access Guide provides measurements of facilities in each building. Since each person has differing requirements for accessibility, it is up to the individual to assess this information and conclude whether he or she can use a facility. A copy of the Guide in an alternate format may be available upon request at the Disability Resources for Students Office.
UW Library Disability Studies Guide
The Disability Resource Monthly (DRM) Regional Resource Directory : Washington State
Description: This nonprofit organization lists an amazing number of local, state and national disability resources. Some of the UW resources are health based.
- Universal Design in Postsecondary Education: Process, Principles, and Applications - applications of universal design in postsecondary settings.
- Working Together: Faculty and Students with Disabilities at the University of Washington.
- Working Together: Students with Disabilities and Teaching Assistants at the University of Washington - guidelines for teaching assistants at the UW.
- Opportunities! Newsletter for UW Students with Disabilities
Lee Schooley, Director
Hours of operation: 7:45 am – 7:25 pm, Monday – Friday
Description: Dial-A-Ride is a free campus shuttle service for people who have a permanent or temporary mobility limitations. The route of the shuttle is determined by individual request and not a predetermined route. There are approximately 100 DAR shuttle stops on campus. The shuttle picks up at 5 minutes, 25 minutes and 45 minutes after the hour. Long-term eligibility for the service can be determined by either the Disability Resources for students Office or the Disability Services Office. All shuttles are wheelchair lift equipped.
Health Sciences Express
Hours of operation: 6:00 am – 6:15 pm, Monday - Friday
Description: The Health Sciences Express (HSE) provides transportation between the UW Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center, with stops at the UW Roosevelt Clinic and the UW Tower. Service is available to UW faculty, staff, students, as well as medical center patients and their families. All HSE buses have wheelchair lifts and are equipped with two-position bike racks.
Hours of operation: 8:00pm – 12:00 midnight, Sunday - Thursday
Description: NightRide is a shuttle service that provides a safe and easy way for the campus community to get home at night. Shuttle service runs from 8 p.m. until midnight, Sunday through Thursday (excluding University holidays and summer quarter). Shuttles run every 20 minutes picking up passengers from 6 designated locations around campus before dropping passengers off at requested destinations in one of two zones that are within approximately one mile of campus. All shuttles are wheelchair lift equipped.
South Lake Union Shuttle
Hours of operation: (SLU) 6:40 am – 6:40 pm, Monday - Friday (HMC) 7:35 am – 6:05 pm, Monday – Friday
Description: The South Lake Union shuttles transport UW affiliated passengers between UW Medical Center and the School of Medicine at South Lake Union (815 Mercer street). The shuttle departs every 20 minutes. A separate shuttle operates between SLU and Harborview Medical Center (325 9th Ave.) and departs every 30 minutes. All SLU shuttles are lift equipped.
Filing a Discrimination Complaint
The Disability Law Alliance is currently working on a “Filing a Discrimination Complaint: A Guide to Self-Advocacy at the UW”. That will be available July 2012. The guide will be more detailed then the following entries and have a flowchart displaying the many avenues for filing a complaint.
Administrative Policy Statement (APS) 46.3
This UW policy applies to filing many types of complaints including a discrimination complaint based on disability. The document is written in a legal tone and can be difficult to read.
There are two categories of locations where students, staff and faculty can go to file a discrimination complaint: internal review options and external review options. Internal review occurs at various offices within the UW system. External review options occur at organizations outside of the UW system. A unique, and perhaps confusing, attribute of the complaint policy is that there are many locations where a complaint can be filed and there is no one set place to start or order of locations to progress through. It is all up to the person filing the complaint.
- Internal review and resolution options
- Local Resolution: The most efficient means of resolving a complaint is sometimes a “local resolution,” that is, sitting down with the person you have a complaint about, listening to each other’s interests and resolving the problem one on one. This method is the least contentious, causes the least harm to relationships and may be preferable if the person you are complaining about is someone you will need to interact with in the future. If this approach fails there are many alternative options you can pursue.
Office of The Ombudsman
Susan L. Neff, M.Ed
Description: The Ombudsman is an expert on conflict resolution and University procedures. If you are uncertain about the best way to resolve your unique conflict, she can analyze your situation and advice you on the best options for you to achieve an internal resolution. The Ombudsman can also facilitate mediations. Sometimes just receiving an inquiry from the Ombudsman is sufficient to correct discriminatory behavior of a UW employee. Note: the UW has cut back the staffing of this office.
Disability Resources for Students Office (DRS)
206-543-8924 (voice), 206-543-8925 (TTY).
The ADA Coordinator
Nicki McCraw, UW
ADA Coordinator for Seattle, Bothell, and Tacoma campuses
Description: The ADA Coordinator is another resource available to assist in mediating and or solving problems related to the provision of academic accommodations or matters that might involve discrimination due to a disability. Additionally, DRS will consult with the ADA Coordinator in cases where they are unable to identify accommodations that do not impose an undue hardship. In cases where a student is not satisfied with the accommodations offered by DRS, the student may request a review by the ADA Coordinator for a second opinion.
University Complaint Investigation and Resolution Office (UCIRO)
Description: UCIRO is the office to contact to request a University investigation and resolution of your complaint. They are the formal grievance office for the University. Call 206-616-2028 (voice) or 206-616-4797 (TTY) to discuss your complaint with a staff member. You may be asked to leave a message on voice mail, but you will receive a call back from a staff member.
- External review and resolution options: Individuals have a right to file complaints alleging discrimination or retaliation with state or federal agencies within the agencies' prescribed time periods. State and federal agencies establish their own processes for responding to and processing these complaints. Filing a complaint with a state or federal agency can be done in lieu of or in addition to the University’s complaint processes.
The Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR)
Description: The Office of Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education is the enforcement agency for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. OCR will examine the factors of the alleged discrimination and interview appropriate persons to establish the facts, determine if discrimination has taken place, and resolve the complaint. When a student is not satisfied with the on-campus efforts to resolve a complaint, OCR is usually the place to turn.
The Washington State Human Rights Commission (WSHRC)
464-6500 (voice) or (206) 587-5168 (TTY)
Description: WSHRC is the enforcement agency for the Washington State Law Against Discrimination (RCW 49.60) and investigates and resolves complaints of discrimination as a neutral, fact-finding agency. Filing a complaint with WSHRC instead of OCR may be appropriate in situations where Washington State law may provide more extensive legal rights than federal law.
Scholarships for Students with Disabilities
Dennis Lang Award for Disability Studies
Description: The Dennis Lang Award is a merit-based monetary award (up to $500) for undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Washington who demonstrate promise in the field of Disability Studies.
Harlan Hahn Award
Description: The UW Disability Studies Program has received a large donation of $550,000 from the estate of Harlan D. Hahn, disability activist and political scientist. Hahn was a pioneering scholar in the field of disability studies in the 1970s, and a key figure in the disability civil rights movement. He worked for passage of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The funds are being used for student scholarships and faculty grants. For more information refer to the above website.
Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing College Scholarships Awards
Chair Scholars Foundation National Scholarship Program
Pfizer Epilepsy Scholarship Award
Washington Council for the Blind
For information on annual scholarships, call (800) 255-1147