Getting Started with DRS Services
Going to college will most likely be a significant transition for you. For many students this is the first time they are separating from the family and moving towards independence. This is an exciting time but the transition can also bring up concerns for you as a student in a new environment. Students with disabilities benefit greatly from understanding what it means to transition to a university with a disability and what steps to take in order to receive support from Disability Resources for Students (DRS) at UWB. While the DRS office at UWB cannot promise you will succeed, we are committed to ensuring you have equal access to UWB programs and services, and facilitating you with opportunities for success.
Here are some resources designed to help you make a smoother transition as well as information on how our office can help partner with you on your journey at UWB:
DRS is always striving for greater collaboration with students, faculty, and staff in order to create usable, equitable, inclusive, and sustainable learning environments. There may be times when there are aspects of the instruction or design of your courses that result in barriers to your inclusion or to accurate assessment of achievement. When that is the case, the DRS staff will work with you to establish accommodations. Accommodations are put into place to minimize, or if possible, remove the access barrier.
Students with disabilities who anticipate barriers to full participation in courses are encouraged to meet with a DRS counselor to explore the possible accommodations and services that might be available. Newly admitted students should start this process as soon as they have received notice of admission. Students already enrolled, should start this process as soon as there is an anticipated need. Once accommodations are established, they are applied proactively rather than retroactively, so planning ahead is very important!
Submit a DRS application and documentation of your disability
Review the DRS Documentation Guidelines as one part of the process for establishing your accommodations. If you have the documentation needed, complete the myDRS New Student Application and upload your information.
NOTE: If your disability is visible and the need for your requested accommodations can easily be established by your visible disability, documentation may not be needed.
If you are not sure you have the documentation you need or do not have documentation at all, you are welcome to contact DRS with questions or schedule a consultation meeting with a DRS counselor to help determine what documentation for your disability you may need to provide and resources available in the community who could assist you in obtaining the documentation.
Complete an Access Planning Meeting (APM)
The Access Planning Meeting is for the purpose of you to be able to discuss with a DRS counselor your experience living with and learning with your disability. To schedule an Access Planning Meeting, a myDRS New Student Application must be completed, including uploaded documentation.
This is an opportunity for you to communicate the kind of barriers you have or are experiencing with your educational goals. Through this interactive dialogue, the goal will be to identify appropriate accommodations/services that can be implemented to create equal access for you in the areas where there are or may be anticipated barriers. When the accommodations are established, the DRS counselor will share with you how accommodations are requested and coordinated each quarter. This meeting will also provide information regarding everyone’s role in the process: the role of the DRS office, the role of the student, the role of the professor or teaching assistant, etc.
The purpose of this meeting is to discuss with a DRS counselor your experience living with and learning with your disability and the kind of barriers you have or are experiencing. Through this interactive dialogue, the goal will be to identify appropriate accommodations/services that can be implemented to create equal access for you in the areas where there are or may be anticipated barriers.
Request Your Accommodations
When the accommodations are established, the DRS counselor will share with you how the accommodation is requested and coordinated each quarter and everyone’s role in that process: the role of the DRS office, the role of the student, the role of the professor or teaching assistant, the role of a staff member within our campus community, etc.
Each quarter, make sure to follow the timelines and processes established by DRS for requesting your accommodations. This will allow for the smooth and timely coordination of your services. Please log into myDRS and request your accommodations.
Follow-Up with DRS for Questions or Concerns
DRS staff are dedicated to ensuring the provision of your accommodations and services. The UWB is a large campus and there may be many individuals involved in the process of getting your accommodations in place. If you experience any difficulties in obtaining or receiving your accommodations, contact DRS right away for assistance. The nature of a course or program may pose barriers that you and the DRS counselor did not anticipate and you may need to look at alterations or additions to your accommodations.
It is important that you follow-up with your DRS counselor for further discussions when you are or believe you may be experiencing barriers that would not be addressed with your current accommodations/services.
DRS will happily schedule a consultation to discuss the accommodations and services we might be able to provide for matriculated students at the Bothell campus. Consultations with our staff are scheduled by phone, e-mail, or scheduled meetings. We encourage students with disabilities or those students not sure about whether they have a disability to explore whether they could benefit from partnering with our office in receiving services. We are interested in your access as well as your success as a student here at UWB! Please contact us or schedule an appointment for questions.