Getting Started

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Please know that it can take several weeks to get started with DRS based upon a number of factors including but not limited to: the availability of appropriate documentation, the nature of a student’s academic accommodation requests, and scheduling appointments during peak periods of a quarter.  Accomodations are applied proactively and not retroactively so it is important to plan ahead.  Newly admitted  students should start this process once they have received notice of admission.  Currently enrolled students should contact DRS as soon as they have identified a need.

The following steps are necessary for a student to become eligible for disability resources at UW Tacoma:

  1. Contact Disability Resources for Students for an initial consultation.  Our team will help you understand what diagnostic documentation you will need to submit in order to determine your eligibility for services, and what accommodations might be reasonably and appropriately provided given the effects of your disability.  
  2. Submit your documentation to the DRS Office. It is best if you bring this documentation while meeting with DRS staff. However, in some instances it may be more convenient to submit the documentation prior to your meeting. If hand-delivering a letter to the DRS office from your doctor, please ensure that it is properly sealed in an envelope addressed to the Disability Resource Specialist. If you are having it sent through the U.S. Postal Service, please use the following address:

    Disability Support Services
    Campus Box 358423
    University of Washington Tacoma
    1900 Commerce Street
    Tacoma, WA 98402-3100
  3. Make an appointment with DRS to discuss your eligibility for services. We may ask that you provide supplemental or additional documentation of the diagnosis and current effects of your disability if that which was submitted is not sufficient. Once eligibility for services is established, the DRS Specialist will work with you to plan to provide reasonable and appropriate accommodations. You will also learn how the various accommodations are coordinated and provided.
  4. The Disability Resource Specialist will then write a memorandum on your behalf that is addressed to UW Tacoma faculty and department chairs. This memo serves to verify to your professors that your disability is diagnostically documented with DSS and outlines the approved academic accommodations you will be receiving.

    The Disability Resource Specialist will provide you with one copy of your memo for each class that you are taking during any given academic quarter (e.g., two classes/two memos). Please be sure to contact us as soon as you have registered for classes so that your memo(s) can be provided in a timely manner. When approved classroom accommodations are needed, you will benefit most if you arrange to meet privately with your professors as soon as possible before or shortly after the academic quarter begins. Introduce yourself, present each professor with a copy of your memo, and make certain that your professor is aware of the classroom accommodations you will be receiving.
  5. You are responsible for meeting with your professors, presenting them with your memo, and ensuring that they are aware of the approved accommodations you are requesting for each of their classes. Some courses may require accommodations not addressed in the memorandum. If this occurs, you can either come to a mutual arrangement with the professor about your accommodation(s), or return to DSS to further discuss your needs.
  6. Stay in contact with DRS to make adjustments when needed. Your accommodation memo is not set in stone. If your needs change, or if you would like to have something added or taken out regarding your disability or needed accommodations, please contact us to make adjustments.