Disability Resources for Students Impact on First-Year Students Presentation to Committee on Improving the UW Undergraduate Experience October 2005
Mission Statement: Disability Resources for Students (DRS) is committed to ensuring that students with documented temporary or permanent physical, psychological or sensory disabilities are provided an equal opportunity to participate in the variety of educational, recreational and social opportunities available on campus. DRS envisions and promotes a campus community that values students with disabilities and works to ensure their full participation and inclusion in all aspects of campus life.
Impact: Due to DRS outreach efforts and collaborative campus-wide relationships with faculty and staff, first-year students are informed of the disability-related resources available to them through DRS. • Examples of how this is accomplished: • DRS information and accommodation statements appear in Admissions materials, Housing materials, First Year Programs orientation materials, etc.
New professors and teaching assistants receive a letter about DRS requesting they include a statement on their syllabus welcoming students to request accommodations through DRS • Housing liaison sends students needing housing accommodations to DRS. • Student Financial Aid sends students to DRS with disability-related needs. • Undergraduate advising and departmental advisers across the campus, connect students with disabilities to DRS.
Impact: Students with disabilities eligible for DRS services receive individualized reasonable accommodations that allow them equal access to participate fully and be included in the wide array of educational programs and activities of the University. • Examples of how this is accomplished: • Providing Sign Language Interpreters for students who are Deaf • Converting printed textbooks to an alternate format, e.g., audio-tape, large print, Braille, electronic text
Relocating inaccessible classrooms • Providing exam accommodations such as additional time, computers, live readers and scribes • Providing notetaking services • Providing assistive technology e.g., listening devices, computer hardware, software • Placing specialized furniture in classrooms, practicum placements, etc. • Removing physical, programmatic and attitudinal barriers whenever, wherever possible on an ongoing basis.
Impact: DRS provides ongoing advocacy for and support to students with disabilities (including first year students) so any reported problems arising in their ability to receive reasonable accommodations or enjoy the benefits of full participation and inclusion in all aspects of campus life are promptly resolved.
Impact: DRS works collaboratively with campus faculty, staff and students to identify and address physical and programmatic barriers to accessibility for students with disabilities (including first year students). • Examples of how this is accomplished: • Work with campus webpage masters to remind them of the need of accessible webpages and the resources available on campus to assist them in this effort.
Consult with faculty and staff when policies, procedures or practices appear to be discriminatory for students with disabilities to determine if change is needed and provide recommendations for change, if needed. • Provide in-services for faculty and staff on working effectively with students with disabilities. • Process incoming reports of barriers to access for students with disabilities found on campus that need to be fixed, e.g., elevators in need of repair, pathways needing to be cleared for wheelchair users, automatic door openers needing repair, etc.