Inclusive Student Services

Departments and offices play an important role in creating inclusive experiences for all students. This page contains a non-exhaustive list of suggestions for making services for students more accessible and inclusive.

General Practices

  • Include a statement on your website and handouts welcoming students with disabilities and providing information on how to request accommodations.
  • Have a procedure to ensure a timely response when accommodations are requested. It may be helpful to name a point person for coordinating accommodation requests within the office.

Meeting with Students

  • Provide a variety of means for connecting with students – appointments, walk-in hours, remote (Skype, Zoom) meetings, off-site meetings
  • Ensure that any scheduling software or required intake forms are accessible
  • Share information in at least two modalities. For example, talk through options with a student and write down those options for them, as well.

Materials and Handouts

Please read through our accessible materials page for more information.

  • Print Materials: Provide PDF or Word versions of any print materials so that they are accessible for use with screen readers.
  • Video and Audio Content: Video and audio content shown to students, displayed on websites, or uploaded to social media should be captioned.
  • General Content: Provide multiple means of accessing information. For example, include both print directions and a video with instructions on how to connect with your office.

Other Inclusive Practices

  • Include disability in any and all diversity initiatives or representations of diverse populations.
  • Use person-first language (eg., student with a disability vs. disabled student) and avoid negative descriptions of disability (eg., suffers from a condition, is confined/bound to a wheelchair)
  • Do not interact with a person’s service dog unless given permission to do so. Service dogs are working and are not pets.

The University of Washington’s Center for Universal Design in Education has a wealth of resources on improving accessibility in student services.